Microsoft Forms New First-Party Publishing Relationship With Australian Developer Micro Forté

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 29, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Micro Fort, which specializes in computer and console video games development, has signed a deal with Microsoft Game Studios to create an exclusive Xbox (TM) game to be published by Microsoft.

“Microsoft Game Studios seeks out the best developers in the world to partner with, and our relationship with Micro Fort adds yet another high-caliber development house to our roster,”
said Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox Game Content at Microsoft.
“I can’t wait to see the results of its extraordinary game development skills combined with the power of the Xbox.”

“With every new project, our goal is to push the envelope in game development. We believe Microsoft shares this philosophy and look forward to working with it to bring gamers even more stellar Xbox titles to enjoy,”
said John De Margheriti, president and CEO of Micro Fort.

Founded in 1985, Micro Fort is responsible for developing such critically acclaimed hits as
“Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel,”
a squad-based, third-person tactical combat game with role-playing elements. In addition to creating the Australian Game Developers Conference and the Game Developers Association of Australia, the company founded the Academy of Interactive Entertainment Ltd. (AIE), one of Australia’s top institutions for aspiring game developers.

After receiving a grant from the Australian government and after years of research, Micro Fort developed BigWorld Technology, a revolutionary system that offers a unique approach to massive multiplayer online gaming. BigWorld provides developers with a solution that can save years of development time. An award-winning, highly scaleable, fully customizable platform, BigWorld Technology allows hundred of thousands of people to play in the same online world at the same time. It also solves the challenges of typical online gaming including bandwidth, load balancing and level of detail. Micro Fort’s first product from Microsoft Game Studios will incorporate Big World Technology. Micro Fort can be found on the Web at .

About Xbox

Xbox ( ) is Microsoft’s future-generation video game system that delivers the most powerful games experiences ever. Xbox empowers game artists by giving them the technology to fulfill their creative visions as never before, creating games that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. Xbox is now available in North America, Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico .

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the PC, Xbox 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 ( ), including such franchises as
“Age of Empires® ,” “Flight Simulator”
“Zoo Tycoon (TM)”
; Xbox ( ), including such franchises as
“Halo (TM) ,” “Project Gotham Racing (TM)”
“NFL Fever”
; and ( ), 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.

Microsoft, Xbox, Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, 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.

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