Microsoft Acquires NetGames USA

REDMOND, Wash., July 12, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. has increased its commitment to online gaming by acquiring Kansas-based NetGames USA, a leading developer of scoring, matchmaking and other enhancements for retail and Web-based games. The acquisition will enhance the competitiveness of games on Microsoft’s ( ) and further solidify the site as the Internet’s best location to play games with players from around the globe.

“NetGames USA is excited about this opportunity to bring these enhancements to Microsoft® games and,”
said Craig Sparks, president and CEO of NetGames USA.
“But the real winners will be gamers, who will be able to more easily find appropriate gaming partners and enjoy other advanced gaming features.”

Microsoft plans to add technology developed by NetGames to select retail games currently in development, including the highly anticipated
“MechWarrior™ 4: Vengeance,”
scheduled for release this holiday season. The company will also maintain support for multiplayer games currently utilizing NetGames’ technology on

NetGames’ ngStats™
technology enhances score-reporting features for retail games played online. These features include real-time reporting of scores and rankings, expanded tracking of statistics and automated organization of tournaments. In addition, this acquisition brings a team of seasoned NetGames developers to Microsoft where they will lead the effort to incorporate the new technologies into Microsoft’s PC games, integrate ngStats technology into Microsoft’s software development kit (SDK) for PC game developers, and work on evolving technology on a variety of platforms, including the Xbox game console, scheduled for release in fall 2001. has established Microsoft as a leader in online gaming. With 18 million registered users and support for more than 140 games from many of the top PC game publishers, the site is the largest and most popular location on the Internet to play games against other gamers. PC Magazine rated the best gaming site on the Internet two years in a row.

“ has the best variety of games and the biggest community of people to play with,”
said Dean Hachamovitch, product unit manager for
“With NetGames’ technologies, will offer a level of online integration for games that no one has ever seen before. It shows Microsoft’s dedication to innovating and improving online gaming.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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

ngStats is a trademark of NetGames USA.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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