Microsoft Reaches Agreement to Acquire Ensemble Studios

REDMOND, Wash., May 3, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Ensemble Studios Inc., the games developer responsible for the top-selling, award-winning Microsoft® “Age of Empires® ”
game franchise. Under the terms of the agreement, Ensemble Studios will continue to create titles from its Dallas headquarters as part of Microsoft’s growing pool of top-tier development talent.

Microsoft and Ensemble Studios have worked closely during the past six years to develop the internationally popular
“Age of Empires”
franchise for the PC. To date, the
“Age of Empires”
series has sold approximately 8.5 million licensed units worldwide and has won five Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences awards, including Strategy Game of the Year three times (1997, 1999 and 2000) and PC Game of the Year (1999).

“We are thrilled to bring Ensemble Studios under the Microsoft banner,”
said Stuart Moulder, general manager of the Games Division at Microsoft.
“The depth of talent and the leadership of Tony Goodman is a winning combination, and this acquisition will help strengthen our mutual commitment to remaining a PC games industry leader.”

The agreement comes on the heels of other successful games developer acquisitions, including FASA Interactive, creator of the best-selling
“MechWarrior™ ”
game franchise; Access Software Inc., creators of
“Links® ”
golf simulation games, the most popular PC golf franchise; and Bungie Software Products Corp.

“This announcement today is a natural evolution from the relationship we’ve had with Microsoft,”
said Tony Goodman, president and CEO of Ensemble Studios.
“Both companies have tremendous respect for each other. This deal gives Ensemble and Microsoft a long-term strategy for doing what we do best: working together to make world-class games.”

“Age of Empires”
real-time strategy series comprises
“Age of Empires,” “Age of Empires Expansion Pack: The Rise of Rome,” “Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings® ”
“Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion,”
as well as packaged sets of those games.

About Microsoft Games Division

Microsoft’s Games Division is a leading worldwide games company with three core businesses: games development and publishing, Xbox™
video game system and The company’s award-winning PC game titles excite the imaginations of casual gamers and appeal to the passions of hard-core players. Xbox, the video game system, is a future-generation platform that inspires developers to create better games, faster. ( ) is the Internet’s largest game site.

About Microsoft

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, Age of Empires, MechWarrior, Links, The Age of Kings and Xbox 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.

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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