Microsoft Game Studios Highlights “Halo,” “Mythica” for PC at E3

LOS ANGELES May 9, 2003 Vanquishing a strange alien race on a distant ring-shaped world, battling against the end of creation as a Norse immortal, rewriting the worlds past by prolonging Roman rule another thousand years, or re-creating Orville and Wilbur Wrights first flight: Microsoft®
Game Studios takes gamers on a gripping journey through the history of the world to distant lands with its PC games lineup at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E 3 ) next week in Los Angeles, May 1416.

E 3 attendees will have a first look at both the highly anticipated PC version of
“Halo® ”
and the recently announced
“Mythica™ ,”
which uses cutting-edge technology to make massively multiplayer online gaming a more personalized experience than ever before. Microsofts PC lineup also features new titles in the
“Age of Mythology® ”
and world-renowned
“Flight Simulator”
franchises, as well as the highly anticipated
“Rise of Nations® .”

Microsofts E 3 PC games lineup is a combination of titles that will hit store shelves this summer and holiday, as well as games that will be available next year. As 2003 marks the centennial of the Wright Brothers first powered flight and the 20th anniversary of Microsofts
“Flight Simulator”
line, Microsoft plans a July debut of the new
“Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight.”
The soon-to-be-released
“Rise of Nations,”
a historical real-time strategy game accessible to all levels of players, is expected to be a popular choice when it becomes available nationwide on May 20.

“Microsoft is committed to infusing a high level of quality into our PC games portfolio,”
said Stuart Moulder, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios.
“With top-notch titles like Halo for the PC, Mythica, Rise of Nations and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight, we continue to look for opportunities to showcase the strength, innovation, online capabilities and possibilities within the $1.4 billion PC games industry.*”

Experience PC Combat Evolved in


Halo

The PC edition of
“Halo” is an enhanced version of the critically acclaimed Xbox®
launch title. Named 2001s Game of the Year by Electronic Gaming Monthly, IGN.com and the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences,
“Halo”
makes its highly anticipated move to the PC, through the work of developers Bungie Studios and Gearbox Software LLC.

Now optimized for mouse and keyboard,
“Halo”
delivers a rich sci-fi experience set against an intense battle to save the human race from extinction. Armed with new multiplayer maps, weapons and vehicles,
“Halo”
brings the battle online in a variety of individual and team-based multiplayer games.
“Halo”
will be available for the PC late this summer.

Rule a Private Midgard Serpent in


Mythica

“Mythica”
is a new breed of massively multiplayer online game that uses Private Realms Technology to ensure that players have an experience uniquely their own in a virtual world populated with gamers from around the globe. Once individual players or small groups enter a Private Realm, they become the central focus of the story.

As fallen heroes who have ascended to the afterlife in the mythological world of the Norse gods,
“Mythica”
players embark on an epic quest to ascend to godhood by battling hordes of fantastic creatures or facing off against gigantic creatures of legend, such as the Midgard Serpent. Combining the depth of gameplay from single-player RPGs with the larger social environment of an MMORPG,
“Mythica”
will be available in spring 2004.

Witness the Return of a Fabled City in


Age of Mythology: The Titans

The lost civilization of Atlantis returns in
“Age of Mythology: The Titans,”
Microsoft Game Studios expansion pack to the blockbuster game
“Age of Mythology.”
Players delve into a world of gods and monsters with a new single-player campaign, scores of new mythological creatures and the ability to promote units to heroes. Players work to influence and harness the awesome powers of the Titan gods as the Atlanteans surface and battle their way through
“Age of Mythology: The Titans,”
due in stores this fall.

Celebrate 100 Years of Flight
in


Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight

Scheduled to land on store shelves July 29,
“Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight”
allows flight enthusiasts to experience the history of aviation and take the controls in 24 aircraft, including nine historic planes. Record-breakers, workhorses and innovators such as Charles Lindberghs Ryan NYP
“Spirit of St. Louis,”
the Douglas DC-3, and even Wilbur and Orvilles 1903 Wright Flyer are ready for takeoff in
“Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight.”

Engaging, interactive multimedia content helps players discover aviation history and explore the depth of
“Flight Simulator”
and its full fleet of aircraft.
“Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight”
also introduces an updated, dynamic weather system, enhanced and automatically generated scenery, and detailed visual effects.

Remember When the Mayans Repelled the Germans at Stalingrad?


Rise of Nations

From acclaimed game maker Brian Reynolds, designer of
“Civilization II”
and
“Alpha Centauri,”
comes
“Rise of Nations,”
combining the epic scope of
“Civilization”
with the fast-paced action of real-time strategy games. Expected to arrive at retail stores May 20,
“Rise of Nations”
allows players to create new cities, improve their infrastructure and expand national borders without a major time investment; games are quick enough to be played over a lunch break.

“Rise of Nations”
brings to life 6,000 years of history from the ancient age to the information age not just in warfare but in city building, trade and diplomacy. Players can choose from 18 nations, each with its own distinctive national powers and special units, to use in a wide variety of streamlined multiplayer games or the in-depth Conquer The World campaign.

Take Command of a Steam-Breathing Iron Horse in


Microsoft Train Simulator 2

Next year, its
“All aboard!”
for the continuation of the top-selling
“Train Simulator”
line. PC owners of all ages can command a 5,000-ton modern diesel locomotive or engineer a steam-breathing behemoth from the past in
“Microsoft Train Simulator 2.”
The follow-up to the No. 1 best-selling train simulation game,** this newest edition of Microsofts
“Train Simulator”
series charges full steam ahead with new trains, five world-famous routes from around the globe and realistic landscapes, all brought to life with populated train stations, moving cars and animals that roam the countryside.
“Microsoft Train Simulator 2”
is expected to be on shelves in January 2004.

In addition to titles on display at E 3 , Microsoft Game Studios plans additional releases in 2003, such as
“Zoo Tycoon™ : Complete Collection.”

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 ( http://www.microsoft.com/games/ ), including such franchises as
“Age of Empires® ,” “Flight Simulator”
and
“Zoo Tycoon”
; Xbox ( http://www.xbox.com/ ), including such franchises as
“Halo,” “Project Gotham Racing™ ”
and
“NFL Fever”
; and Zone.com ( http://www.zone.com/ ), the official games channel for the MSN®
network and home to such hits as
“Bejeweled”
and
“OutSmart™ .”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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.

* The NPD Group/NPD Techworld®
, CY 2002, based on total U.S. retail sales

** The NPD Group/NPD Techworld, May 2001February 2003, based on total U.S. retail sales

The information contained in this press release relates to prerelease products that may be substantially modified before first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the products when first commercially released. This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with regard to the press release or the information contained within it.

Microsoft, Halo, Mythica, Age of Mythology, Rise of Nations, Xbox, Bungie, Zoo Tycoon, Age of Empires, 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.

For online information beginning May 12:

http://www.microsoft.com/games/press/

For more information at E
3
:

Visit Microsofts booth in the South Hall, No. 1246.

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 Microsofts 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 Microsofts Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

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