Microsoft Revamps the MSN Gaming Zone, Adds New Services For 3 Million-Strong Community of Gamers Ruling

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 19, 1998 — In an effort to create the most comprehensive gaming site on the Internet, Microsoft Corp. today announced that the MSN
Gaming Zone will now feature industry news, product reviews, downloadable demos and online shopping, in addition to a broader range of online games. The new services are designed to address all the gaming needs of registered members on the MSN Gaming Zone, which recently passed the
3 million mark. The updated Zone can still be found at or by clicking on Games at .

“With over 22,000 gamers on the site at peak times, the MSN Gaming Zone is already the place to play games on the Internet,”
said Adam Waalkes, product unit manager of the MSN Gaming Zone at Microsoft.
“Now with the Zone’s expanded services, gamers can read about, discuss, download, demo and order games – all from a single source.”

Get the Latest Information About Games

Players can research everything they need to know about their favorite games directly from the Zone. The MSN Gaming Zone provides up-to-date PC and console news, game previews, reviews, strategy guides, hints and tips, and interviews from GameSpot Inc. and Strategy Plus Inc., publishers of Computer Games Online and OGR. Hardcore gamers can turn to the Zone for tips and tricks just as easily as parents can research gift ideas for their favorite gamer.

Download and Take New Games for a Test Drive

Gamers are constantly in search of a new challenge. Now they can go to the MSN Gaming Zone to easily find and download game demos available through This preview feature allows gamers to take new games for a test drive before deciding whether to order them. Many of the demos can be played in multiplayer mode right on the Zone.

Shop for New Games

The Zone now offers users a quick, easy and inexpensive way to order computer games online, through MSN Shopping. Gamers can click on Game Store and find numerous options to shop for gaming software, hardware and books. In addition, when ordering through the Zone, users can take advantage of Zone-specific bargains and special offers.

Game Shows

In an effort to capitalize on the popularity of game shows with casual gamers, the MSN Gaming Zone has teamed with As an exclusive game show content provider for the Zone, Uproar will provide contestants with a chance to compete for cash and prizes in games like
“Picture This,” “Bingo Blitz,” “Puzzle A-Go-Go”
“Cosmo’s Conundrum.”
Adding these games to the Zone’s free* card and board games, free* matchmaking for popular CD-ROM games, and access to premium pay-for-play games creates a larger variety of games to match all interests and skill levels.

Interact With Fellow Gamers

In the MSN Gaming Zone Community gamers can enter or sponsor tournaments, join a newsgroup or chat, strategize and collaborate with peers, lay down a challenge, share tips and tricks, or attend a Guest Chat with a celebrity gamer. Every month the Zone has over 600 user-run tournaments and Zone events.

Proven Success

To showcase the power of the new site, Microsoft recently launched the eagerly anticipated
“Age of Empires® Expansion Pack: Rise of Rome,”
resulting in more than 50,000 downloads of the trial during the first week of its launch. Through the Zone, gamers could read a preview of the game, download the demo, play it against other gamers and then preorder a copy to ensure that they are one of the first to receive it when it hits shelves.

About the MSN Gaming Zone

The MSN Gaming Zone is a leading online gaming service that puts the social aspect back into computer games by bringing people together from around the world to meet and compete against each other. With over 3 million registered members and over 22,000 concurrent users at peak times, the Zone is one of the largest gaming communities on the Internet. The Zone offers free* membership and a wide variety of games including free* card, board and puzzle games; free* matchmaking for popular CD-ROM games; and premium games designed specifically for
“massively multiplayer”
gaming on the Internet. In addition, the MSN Gaming Zone has teamed with others to offer its members expanded gaming services such as industry news, product reviews, downloadable demos, online shopping and a broader range of online games.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

* Connect-time charges may apply.

Microsoft, MSN and Age of Empires are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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