Baltimore Bear’s Animal Magnetism Earns Stardom, Job Offer

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 13, 2001 — Snow, smelt and CD-ROMS. Microsoft Corp.s first-ever four-legged employee will be juggling all three when he joins the software companys PC Games division. Magnet, a polar bear from The Baltimore Zoo, today was given the top honor in the nationwide Microsoft® “Zoo Tycoon™ ”
Beast in Show campaign sponsored by Microsoft.

As Microsofts newest hire and one of its most famous employees, Magnet will provide expertise in Arctic habitats to the
“Zoo Tycoon”
game. In addition to receiving a $20,000 signing bonus (to be used by The Baltimore Zoo for habitat restoration) and his own honorary Microsoft employee badge, Magnet secured a high-profile position in the new
“Zoo Tycoon”
PC game, which puts players in charge of creating and managing the ultimate zoo.

“Zoo Tycoon”
players will be able to download Magnet into the game and try their hand at caring for the 800-pound predator. Players will be challenged to build the ultimate zoo habitat for Magnet while ensuring that he is fed and cared for. The game will feature photographs and facts about Magnet, such as his enthusiasm for smelt and his talent for swimming on his back.

Icing out nine other animals nominated by enthusiastic zoo supporters nationwide, 13-year-old Magnet emerged victorious after two weeks of ferocious competition. The Baltimore Zoo, the third oldest zoo in the nation, will use the $20,000 Microsoft donation to defray some of the costs of updating its 54-year-old polar bear habitat. Similarly,
“Zoo Tycoon”
players will be able to undertake designing and building Magnets new habitat when the polar bears likeness is made available for download into the PC game.

“With this incredible donation from Microsoft, we will be able to incorporate additional benefits for Magnet that will not only enrich his life, but create a beautiful habitat for visitors to enjoy as well,”
said Melanie Wentz, senior manager of Public Relations and Special Events at The Baltimore Zoo.

Animal lovers across the country voted online for the Beast in Show by logging on to the
“Zoo Tycoon”
site, Magnet captured thousands of votes from across the country, triumphing over his bestial competition:

  • “Colliet”
    koalas, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland

  • “Farrah,”
    fossa, Dallas Zoo, Dallas

  • “Hansa,”
    Asian elephant, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle

  • “Kubi,”
    silverback gorilla, San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco

  • “Liberty,”
    southern bald eagle, Houston Zoo, Houston

  • “Jewel,”
    hippopotamus, Sacramento Zoo, Sacramento, Calif.

  • “Starlet OHara,”
    African elephant, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta

  • “Shere”
    “Shaka Khan,”
    twin Siberian tigers, Virginia Zoological Park, Norfolk, Va.

  • “Tombi,”
    rhinoceros, Memphis Zoo, Memphis, Tenn.

“Magnets warm personality and overall happiness are the result of excellent work by The Baltimore Zoo to create a thriving environment for its animals the very type of zoo players strive to create in the Zoo Tycoon game,”
said Chuck Frizelle,
“Zoo Tycoon”
product manager at Microsoft.
“This, and Magnets overwhelming nationwide support, made him the undisputed Beast in Show.”

“Zoo Tycoon”
Beast in Show campaign was a nationwide search for Americas favorite zoo animal superstar. Animals are the stars of every zoo, and the Beast in Show campaign provided an opportunity for zoos, zoo members and visitors, and animal fans everywhere to give their favorite animal a chance at the star treatment. Official rules and additional information can be found on the
“Zoo Tycoon”
Web site at .


Zoo Tycoon

Simple to learn, yet challenging to master,
“Zoo Tycoon”
is a new simulation PC game from Microsoft that offers engaging gameplay for animal lovers and simulation game fans of all ages. The fun of
“Zoo Tycoon”
is building a thriving zoo business, where zoo popularity and profitability depend on proper animal care, construction of appropriate habitats, diverse and entertaining attractions, an affordable entry price, and a satisfying number of zoo amenities, ranging from gift shops and food options to benches and bathrooms. Ultimate success depends on a players ability to keep both the guests and the animals happy.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide games company with three core businesses: game development and publishing, the Microsoft Xbox video game system, and ( ) is the Internets 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, Zoo Tycoon 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 Microsofts corporate information pages.

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