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Emergence Day Revealed: Critically Acclaimed Xbox 360 Title “Gears of War” to Surface Nov. 12, 2006

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 3, 2006 — Since the first frightening images appeared a little over a year ago, gamers worldwide have felt the ominous rumblings of something approaching that defies all convention. Sightings as recent as at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2006 have confirmed its existence, leaving gamers breathless. Microsoft Corp. today announced what anxious players have been eagerly awaiting: Emergence Day 2006. Available exclusively for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the highly anticipated title “Gears of War” will be available in North America on Nov. 12, 2006.

Developed by Epic Games Inc. and published by Microsoft Game Studios, “Gears of War” tells the harrowing story of mankind’s struggle against the monstrous Locust Horde through stunning high-definition graphics and an intense storyline on the scale of a blockbuster movie.

One of the most anticipated next-generation console titles of 2006 and the critic’s choice winner for the E3 2006 Best Console Game, “Gears of War” will explode onto store shelves with a standard edition available for $59.99* and a limited collector’s edition available for $69.99. The limited edition will offer an even deeper look into the graphically stunning and frightening world of “Gears of War,” providing an official “Destroyed Beauty” art book and a bonus DVD featuring an inside look at the making of the game — all enclosed in a highly collectible metal box.

“‘Gears of War’ represents the emergence of a thrilling new franchise for Xbox 360 and is the must-have game of 2006,” said Shane Kim, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios. “Combining the best in innovative gameplay, next-generation graphics and interactive storytelling, Epic has harnessed the extraordinary power of Xbox 360 to create an extremely powerful and immersive entertainment experience.”

“Our vision is to deliver a one-two punch of cinematic action paired with a thrilling and compelling interactive experience,” said Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer at Epic. “With ‘Gears of War’ we’ve created a title that will place gamers directly in the shadows of a ravaged world, surrounded by the beautiful remnants of a destroyed city and the horrific dangers that hide in the rubble.”

“Gears of War” thrusts gamers into humankind’s epic battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet. Blending the best of tactical action games with the best of survival horror titles, “Gears of War” features cinematic, beautifully rendered interactive environments with high-definition visuals.

Demand for the game is high as retailers anticipate the one-two punch of “Gears of War” and Xbox 360 appearing in quantity on store shelves this holiday season. “The interest and buzz on this game has been intense,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop Corp. “Certainly gamers are counting the days until Emergence Day arrives, as pre-orders have been very strong.”

About Epic Games

Epic Games Inc., based in Raleigh, N.C., and established in 1991, is a developer of cutting-edge computer and video games. The company is best known as the creator of hit PC 3-D action games “Unreal” and “Unreal Tournament,” both award-winning blockbuster hits having sold more than 1 million units each. Epic is also well-known as creator of the Unreal Engine, which it has licensed to several major game developers. To date over 10,000,000 games have been sold that utilized Epic’s Unreal Engine technology, and the number is growing steadily each year. Before its 3-D success, Epic Games was well-known for the hit shareware games “Jill of the Jungle,” “Jazz Jackrabbit” and “Epic Pinball.” Additional information can be obtained through Epic’s Web site at http://www.epicgames.com.

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 Microsoft® 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®.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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