“Age of Mythology” Catapults to Top-Selling Rank

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 17, 2002 — It’s official:
“Age of Mythology(TM)”
is a runaway hit with consumers this holiday season, earning top honors as the best-selling PC game based on retailer revenue in its first three full weeks of release.*

As a top entertainment release this holiday season,
“Age of Mythology”
is backed by a multimillion-dollar global marketing campaign. The efforts include a movie-style trailer being showcased in Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp. theaters nationwide, which offers consumers a chance to win a trip for two to Greece. After little more than a month’s availability on store shelves,
“Age of Mythology”
has garnered more than 30 magazine covers worldwide and has seen consumers flock to its state-of-the-art technology, groundbreaking visual effects and epic story line through Greek, Egyptian and Norse mythologies.

“Age of Mythology”
is the latest extension of Ensemble Studios and Microsoft’s blockbuster
“Age of Empires® ”
series that has now sold more than 11 million licensed units worldwide and garnered countless industry awards.

“We heard fantastic enthusiasm from gamers surrounding last month’s ‘Age of Mythology’ launch, and the continued excitement for this game has been rewarding for all of us involved in its creation,”
said Bruce Shelley, senior designer at Ensemble Studios.
“Early signs show that ‘Age of Mythology’ is the most popular installment in the ‘Age’ series to date and is the must-have PC game for this holiday.”


Age of Mythology

“Age of Mythology”
envelops players in a world where heroes battle mythological creatures and gods meddle in the lives of mortal men. Survival is ensured by harnessing the powers of Greek, Norse and Egyptian gods and more than 40 mythological creatures, such as Cyclopes and Minotaurs. Lush cinematic scenes take
“Age of Mythology”
players on an epic journey of heroism, action and excitement as they delve into an immense 3-D world that features realistic sunlight shimmering across beautiful oceans and verdant forests. Varied game modes and settings suit fans of all ages and experience levels.


“Age of Mythology”
is available for an estimated retail price of $54.95 (U.S.)** and is rated

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 11 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 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(TM)”
; 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

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, three-week period from Nov. 3, 2002, to Nov. 23, 2002. Based on total U.S. retail sales.

** Actual retail prices may vary.

Microsoft, Age of Mythology, Age of Empires, Xbox, 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.

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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