Microsoft Game Studios Gets “Totally Wild,” Announces Five Finalists in “Zoo Tycoon 2” America’s Favorite Zoo Contest

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 1, 2004 — Microsoft® Game Studios today announced the five finalists in the “Zoo Tycoon®
2” America’s Favorite Zoo contest. The finalists were selected from a pool of 15 semifinalists by zoo lovers across the country who logged on to cast their vote at the official “Zoo Tycoon 2” Web site, . The contest winner will not only boast the title of America’s Favorite Zoo, but also earn a $25,000 grant to fund its animal and habitat care. The winner will be selected by zoo enthusiasts via online voting at from Nov. 1 through Nov. 10. The winner will be announced the week of Nov. 15 to coincide with the launch of “Zoo Tycoon 2,” the sequel to the Windows® based game “Zoo Tycoon,” in retail stores across the country.

  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

  • North Carolina Zoo

  • Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens

  • Toledo Zoo

  • Tulsa Zoo

To further celebrate this milestone and reward animal lovers everywhere, Microsoft Game Studios will launch a limited edition of “Zoo Tycoon 2” that includes a bonus interactive DVD with segments from the National Geographic series “Totally Wild” and a “Zoo Tycoon 2” ballpoint pen. The pens, specially created for “Zoo Tycoon 2,” are hand-painted with one of three animals: koala, tiger or monkey. Only 200,000 limited-edition pens are available, and they are expected to go fast.

“Animal lovers everywhere will enjoy our alliance with National Geographic, which couples great DVD entertainment along with our highly anticipated ‘Zoo Tycoon 2’ game,” said Ben Arndt, product manager at Microsoft Game Studios. “‘Zoo Tycoon’ continues to be one of the highest-selling Windows-based games franchises of all time, and we are committed to providing zoo enthusiasts with the best possible experience with the newest version, ‘Zoo Tycoon 2.'”

Fifty zoos nationwide were invited by a panel of judges to participate in the initial round of the America’s Favorite Zoo contest Aug. 2–27. Judges included Jonathan Gilmour, winner of the 2002 “Zoo Tycoon” Ultimate Zookeeper Challenge; Bill Street, of the National Wildlife Federation; Shane Kim, of Microsoft Game Studios; and Adam Levesque, CEO of Blue Fang Games LLC, which is developing “Zoo Tycoon 2.”

The winning zoo selected from among the five semifinalists will receive a $25,000 (U.S.) grant at the contest’s conclusion the week of Nov. 15.

About “Zoo Tycoon”

Simple to play yet challenging to master, “Zoo Tycoon” offers engaging gameplay for animal lovers and simulation game fans of all ages. The captivating imagery, clever gameplay and interactive tutorials in the vibrant and appealing “Zoo Tycoon” 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. Additional information is available at .

About Blue Fang Games

Blue Fang Games LLC is a computer game development company located outside Boston. The company was founded by Adam Levesque and John Wheeler, two former Papyrus Design Group veterans who led the development of the best-selling and critically acclaimed NASCAR racing series. Formed in July 1998, Blue Fang developed the best-selling game for Windows, “Zoo Tycoon,” as well as the “Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs” and “Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania®
” expansion packs. Blue Fang Games is located on the Internet at .

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox®
video game system, the Windows operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows ( ), including such franchises as Age of Empires®
, Flight Simulator and Zoo Tycoon; Xbox ( ), including such games as Fable and franchises as Halo® , Project Gotham Racing® and MechAssault® ; and MSN®
Games ( ), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “Hexic (TM) .”

About Microsoft

Microsoft, Zoo Tycoon, Windows, Marine Mania, Xbox, Age of Empires, Halo, Project Gotham Racing, MechAssault, MSN and Hexic 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 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 .

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