Rise of Nations Successor Joins Premier Lineup of Microsoft Games for Windows at E3

Big Huge News! Rise of Nations
Successor Joins Premier Lineup of Microsoft Games for Windows at E3

Microsoft Game Studios Also
Announces Exciting Expansion to the Award-winning Hit, Zoo Tycoon 2

Microsoft Game Studios is proud to
announce the stunning, all-new successor to Rise of Nations, which won multiple
awards for Real-Time Strategy Game of the Year in 2003. The new game, Rise of
Nations: Rise of Legends, promises to reinvent the RTS genre once again with a
game that immerses players in an epic fantasy war between the forces of Magic
and Technology. Gamers fight through towering cities, flame-swept deserts and
brutal ice plains in battles filled with mystical creatures, devastating
machines and incredible acts of magic. Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends will
raise the bar in the RTS genre with jaw-dropping graphics from an all-new 3-D
engine, immersive in-game cinematics, integrated story-driven gameplay, a
multiplayer mode for fast-paced games and clan support to build online
communities.

Today Microsoft Game Studios is also
announcing an exciting expansion to the wildly popular, award-winning Zoo Tycoon
2. Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species will let zookeepers adopt and raise some of
the world’s rarest animals, such as the Giant Galapagos Tortoise and the
Scimitar Horned Oryx. The upcoming expansion will bring zookeepers and their
guests closer than ever to these amazing animals, thanks to new transportation
options including sky trams and vehicle tours. With more than a dozen exotic new
animals, innovative new people-movers and new challenges in the Campaign and
Freeform modes, players and their families will have a huge variety of new
options for building their dream zoo.

In addition to these titles,
Microsoft Game Studios will showcase Age of Empires III, Vanguard: Saga of
Heroes, Dungeon Siege II and Fable: The Lost Chapters at this year’s Electronic
Entertainment Expo (E3). These breakthrough titles once again demonstrate that
some of the best and most innovative gaming experiences are on the Windows
platform. Today’s announcement underscores Microsoft’s continued commitment to
delivering top-notch games for Windows – a platform that boasts an installed
base of more than 81 million home computers in North America, which is larger
than all three major gaming consoles combined. This killer lineup of Windows
games means that 2005 and 2006 promise to be great years for Windows gamers.

Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends

Developed by Big Huge Games – the
veteran design team responsible for such hits as Civilization II, Colonization
and Alpha Centauri – Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends will evolve the
franchise’s trademark features such as borders, large-scale battles and
city-building in innovative ways. Players will be able to transform small
villages into powerful civilizations and lead vast fantasy armies into strategic
battles using formations, unit control and heroic abilities to destroy the
enemy. The immensely popular Conquer the World (CTW) Campaign returns in Rise of
Nations: Rise of Legends with exciting updates. The new CTW Campaign will guide
players through a new world of heroes, monsters, loyalty and betrayal. Gamers
will follow a gripping story through multiple campaigns with fascinating
subplots and heroic characters. The campaigns will immerse players in an
ever-changing three-dimensional world with terrain and cities that evolve as
civilizations grow. For more information, visit
www.riseofnations.com 
or www.bighugegames.com/ 

Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species

Calling all zookeepers: Some of the
rarest and most exotic species are now up for adoption! Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered
Species will put players’ zookeeper skills to the test caring for endangered
animals like the playful Orangutan, elusive Gray Wolves, mysterious Florida
panther and fearsome Komodo Dragons. Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species will
challenge players of all ages to nurture and raise these rapidly disappearing
animals to save them from extinction. Zookeepers will be able to get closer than
ever to their prized animals with observation decks and bridges over exhibits,
as well as sky trams and vehicle tours that afford guests an outstanding view
while preserving the animals’ delicate habitats. For more information, visit
www.zootycoon2.com 

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

One of the most visually spectacular
and ambitious MMOs ever conceived, Vanguard is being developed by one of the
world’s most talented and experienced online game design studios: Sigil Games
Online. Vanguard will be the premier, third-generation MMO on the Windows
platform by featuring a full spectrum of life in a fantasy world, from crafting
to combat, all the way up to politics and city building. Vanguard will combine
next-generation 3-D graphics with a vast, majestic and detailed fantasy world,
passionately designed by award-winning artist Keith Parkinson.

The design team at Sigil Games has
more than 150 man-years of MMO experience that encompasses such titles as
EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies and Planetside. Vanguard will let players embark
on a wild journey of unlimited imagination where they can make their mark on a
world and shape its future. For more information, visit
www.vanguardsoh.com/ 

Age of Empires III

All hail the return of the real-time
strategy king! Age of Empires III is the latest landmark game in the
award-winning series that has sold an amazing 16 million copies worldwide. Age
of Empires III will rock the L.A. Convention Center with its unprecedented
graphics and revolutionary gameplay features, including the all-new Home City.
Players will forge alliances with Native Americans, bombard enemies with
artillery and naval armadas, and use cavalry and bayonet charges to break up
enemy lines. For more information, visit
www.ensemblestudios.com

Dungeon Siege II

Chris Taylor and his team at Gas
Powered Games return players to the lush, interactive world of Aranna in Dungeon
Siege II, with a new special effects engine, cinematic storytelling, Hero
Powers, and exotic pets that will grow with the player’s combat party. The new
game features a deep story, an extensive new character development system,
gigantic monsters, dazzling special effects and more. For more information,
visit www.dungeonsiege.com 

Fable: The Lost Chapters

Fable: The Lost Chapters is the
groundbreaking role-playing adventure game from Lionhead Studios based on the
award-winning Xbox game that sold more than 1.5 million copies. Now on the
Windows platform, Fable looks better than ever and features a wealth of new
content including exciting quests and new armor, weapons, spells, areas and
enemies. Fable: The Lost Chapters is scheduled to be released this fall. For
more information, visit

www.microsoft.com/games/fable/default.asp
 

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 (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such
franchises as Age of Empires®, Flight Simulator and Zoo Tycoon®; Xbox
http://www.xbox.com
including such games as Fable® and franchises such as Halo®, Project Gotham
Racing® and MechAssault®; 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™.”