Ensemble Studios and Microsoft Unleash the Wrath of the Gods With “Age of Mythology”

REDMOND, Wash., May 3, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. and Ensemble Studios announced today the development of their latest PC game, titled
“Age of Mythology.” “Age of Mythology,”
a real-time strategy game, is set in a mythological past when heroes battled monsters of legend and gods intervened in the affairs of mortal men.
“Age of Mythology,”
a branch of the

Age of Empires Ò”
franchise that has sold over 8.5 million licensed units worldwide, features a new proprietary 3-D engine enabling stunning visual effects, animated water, mythological characters and hundreds of on-screen units.

Using familiar elements of classical mythology,
“Age of Mythology”
casts players as ancient Greeks, the Norse and Egyptians.
“Our game puts players in those ancient civilizations where praying for luck in battle, fighting Cyclopes or petitioning Zeus to call down lightning bolts on the enemy are real occurrences,”
said Bruce Shelley, co-founder and senior game designer for Ensemble Studios.

“Age of Mythology”
incorporates Ensemble Studios’ trademark features from previous
“Age of Empires”
games, including a compelling economic model, a massive army and battle system, unequaled computer artificial intelligence, random maps, intuitive gameplay and extreme attention to detail.

“‘Age of Mythology’s”
3-D engine delivers an experience beyond anything we’ve been able to create previously,

Shelley said. The new engine allows for impressive graphical detail in a fully 3-D environment, including realistic terrain and lighting adjusted to produce the look of any time of day. In-game cinematics create a seamless, story-based and character-driven campaign. In addition, the game features incredible special effects, including fluid ocean waves, waterspouts, infernos, lava, tornadoes, earthquakes and smoke with astonishing levels of detail.

“Age of Mythology”
will be shown for the first time in Microsoft’s booth at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles on May 17-19, 2001.

About Ensemble Studios

Ensemble Studios ( http://www.ensemblestudios.com/ ) is one of the world’s premier entertainment software developers. Ensemble Studios is best known for its blockbuster
“Age of Empires”
game series which has sold over 8.5 million licensed copies worldwide. The
“Age of Empires”
franchise has received wide recognition for excellence, including multiple Best Game of the Year awards. Ensemble’s titles are distinguished by the highest-quality art and gameplay dynamics applied in familiar historical settings and appeal to hard-core gamers and mass audiences. Ensemble Studios is based in Dallas, Texas.

About Microsoft Games and Microsoft

Microsoft’s Games Division is recognized as one of the world’s leading games businesses in four key areas: PC and Xbox™ game development and publishing, Zone.com, SideWinder® game devices, and the Xbox video game system. Microsoft games developed and published for the PC and Xbox platforms target hard-core gamers and casual players.

Zone.com ( http://www.zone.com/ ) is the Internet’s largest multiplayer gaming site, and SideWinder is the best-selling brand of game devices in the world. Xbox is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system, scheduled to ship in fall 2001.

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.

The information contained in this press release relates to prerelease products that may be substantially modified before their first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the products when first commercially released. This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this press release or the information contained in it.

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

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

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