“Zoo Tycoon” PC Game Seeking America’s Ultimate Zookeeper

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 20, 2002 — What job requires someone to be an entertainer, dietician, housekeeper, veterinarian, public speaker, psychologist and playmate? For zookeepers across the nation, it’s all in a day’s work. In recognition of these beloved heroes, Microsoft Corp. kicked off this week the
“Zoo Tycoon”
Ultimate Zookeeper campaign, searching for America’s pre-eminent zookeeper. Zoo and animal lovers across the country can visit http://www.zootycoon.com/ to vote for one of 12 semifinalists chosen by Microsoft. The five zookeepers with the most votes will compete in the
“Zoo Tycoon”
Ultimate Zookeeper challenge in November, and the winner’s home zoo will receive a $20,000 donation from Microsoft.

“Zookeepers are the lifeblood of any zoo,”
said Chuck Frizelle,
“Zoo Tycoon”
product manager at Microsoft.
“The ‘Zoo Tycoon’ Ultimate Zookeeper campaign is a fun, entertaining and inspiring way to recognize and thank keepers for their countless contributions to proper animal care.”

The campaign invites animal fans everywhere to visit http://www.zootycoon.com/ to discover the capabilities and conservation efforts of the semifinalists and see them pictured with their special zoo animal. The five zookeepers garnering the most votes will compete in the final “Zoo Tycoon” Ultimate Zookeeper challenge to be held at one of the five finalists’ home zoos Nov. 14.

The final challenge will highlight the zookeepers’ abilities and their conservation platforms. Activities will include building the ultimate zoo in the PC game “Zoo Tycoon” and a brief presentation on how the contenders would use the winning donation to enhance their home zoo. Along with the prestigious title of America’s Ultimate Zookeeper, the complete prize package includes a $20,000 donation to fund habitat and animal care efforts in the winner’s home zoo and the opportunity to have the winner’s likeness appear in the
“Zoo Tycoon”

Competitors were nominated by fellow zoo employees and selected as semifinalists through an application process. Representing a wide variety of animal specialties, the semifinalist keepers come from cities across the nation, including Baltimore; Boston; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Knoxville, Tenn.; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tenn.; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento; and San Francisco. A complete list of semifinalists is available at http://www.zootycoon.com/ .


Zoo Tycoon

Simple to play yet challenging to master, Microsoft® “Zoo Tycoon”
offers engaging gameplay for animal lovers and simulation game fans of all ages. A top-selling* PC game title by units for the last three quarters since its release in October 2001, the captivating imagery, clever gameplay and interactive tutorials make it easy to play right out of the box.
“Zoo Tycoon”
has something for everyone, stimulating creativity and imagination as players respond to the needs of the animals and guests. Now players can add prehistoric beasts with
“Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs,”
and in mid-October, players can add aquatic creatures with
“Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania (TM),”
two expansion packs for the original game. Imaginations run wild as players combine land, aquatic and prehistoric animals in a quest to build and manage the ultimate zoo.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox (TM) video game system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse game portfolios for the PC ( http://www.microsoft.com/games/ ), including such franchises as
“Age of Empires® ,” “Flight Simulator”
“Zoo Tycoon”
; Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/ ), including such franchises as
“Halo (TM),” “Project Gotham Racing (TM)”
“NFL Fever”
; and Zone.com ( http://www.zone.com/ ), the official games channel for the MSN®
network and home to such hits as
“OutSmart (TM).”

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.

* NPDTechworldSM, October 2001–March 2002. Based on total U.S. retail sales.

Microsoft, Zoo Tycoon, Marine Mania, Xbox, Age of Empires, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, MSN and OutSmart 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 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

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