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“Rise of the Ultimate Champion” Tournament to Decide Top Gaming General

“Rise of Legends” players finally have their moment to shine and prove their rank. Beginning Sept. 15, 2006, gamers can square off against the world’s best real-time strategy (RTS) players in the “Rise of the Ultimate Champion” tournament, sponsored by Intel, ATI and Logitech. With $100,000 on the line, when the dust settles, the Ultimate Champion will take the lion’s share of $40,000. Equipment from supporting sponsors ATI and Logitech will also be randomly awarded throughout the tournament.

All gamers will compete on the latest installment of the award-winning RTS “Rise of Nations” franchise for Windows, the critically acclaimed “Rise of Legends.”

Participants can play in one of three preliminary events that will take place beginning Sept. 15, Oct 13, and Nov. 17, 2006. Results from the first three events will be used to determine seeding for the Ultimate Championship, which kicks off Jan. 12, 2007. The top eight will win a trip to the finals where they will battle it out for the title of Ultimate Champion! For a complete set of rules and more information on “Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends,” please visit http://www.bighugegames.com/100k/.

The RTS gameplay of “Rise of Legends” thrusts gamers into a fierce battle between technology and magic. As the guiding force of vast armies, gamers must command their way through fantastic landscapes with towering cities, flame-swept deserts and brutal ice plains in battles filled with mystic creatures, impossible machines and stunning acts of magic.

“Rise of Legends” is available in stores across North America at the suggested retail price of $49.99 (U.S.). “Rise of Legends” is rated “T” for Teen by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).

Developed by Big Huge Games, “Rise of Legends” continues the innovative gameplay tradition established by the critically acclaimed and best-selling, “Rise of Nations,” the best-selling RTS released in 2003 that garnered numerous Game of the Year awards, including GameSpot’s Best PC Game of 2003 and PC Gamer’s Best RTS of 2003.

About Big Huge Games

Big Huge Games was founded in February 2000 by four veteran game developers: Tim Train, David Inscore, Jason Coleman and Brian Reynolds. These founding partners, who together have brought strategy gamers such classic hits as “Civilization II®,” “Colonization®” and “Alpha Centauri®,” share a common vision that they believe will enable them to surpass even these outstanding achievements.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® and Xbox 360™ video game systems, 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 (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon®;” Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as the upcoming “Gears of War” and franchises such as “Halo®,” “Fable®,” “Project Gotham Racing®” and “Forza Motorsport™”; and MSN® Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “Hexic®.”

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