Microsoft Acquires FASA Interactive

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 7, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the acquisition of Chicago-based FASA Interactive Technologies Inc., including its parent company Virtual Worlds Entertainment Group Inc., from a group of shareholders including FASA Corp., creators of the enormously popular BattleTech® universe of stories, games and characters. As a result of the acquisition, Microsoft gains exclusive and perpetual electronic rights to the BattleTech property, which includes one of the most successful franchises in the computer game industry, “MechWarrior,” and its recent real-time strategy extension, “MechCommander
™
.” “MechWarrior 2” and its related add-ons have accounted for more than $70 million in sales. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“The acquisition of FASA Interactive reflects our commitment to growing our business with a smaller portfolio of top-quality games,” said Ed Fries, general manager of Microsoft’s games group. “The MechWarrior franchise is one of the best-selling series of PC games in history and is synonymous with groundbreaking technology and compelling gameplay. We’re excited to continue the growth of the BattleTech property as part of our portfolio.”

FASA Interactive’s development staff will be integrated into Microsoft’s product development teams in Redmond, where they will continue working on upcoming titles including “MechWarrior 4” and “MechCommander 2.” Jordan Weisman, chief creative officer of FASA Interactive and co-creator of the BattleTech universe for FASA Corp., has also joined Microsoft, where he will guide the growth of the BattleTech-based franchises.

“I am thrilled to see the BattleTech universe move to Microsoft, a company that really understands the value of focusing on great games,” said Mort Weisman, chief executive officer of FASA Corp. “We’re confident that Microsoft’s technology expertise, financial resources, global distribution channels and marketing muscle will expand the BattleTech universe of PC games into new areas, including the online arena.”

In addition to future MechWarrior and MechCommander games, Microsoft is also exploring opportunities for FASA Corp.’s other properties, includings the Shadowrun® , EarthDawn® and Renegade Legion® universes. The acquisition is not expected to affect the anticipated retail release of “MechWarrior 3,” which will be published in 1999 by Hasbro Interactive and MicroProse Inc. under an agreement entered into prior to the acquisition.

About FASA Interactive

Headquartered in Chicago, FASA Interactive designs and, develops interactive entertainment software for play on personal computers. Founded in 1994, the company focuses on action-simulation, action-strategy and strategy games utilizing BattleTech, MechWarrior and Shadowrun intellectual properties. More information on FASA Interactive and its products is available at http://www.fasainteractive.com/ and http://www.fasa.com/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.

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