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Ultima Online: Renaissance (Windows)

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Press Release:
    ELECTRONIC ARTS RELEASES >Ultima Online: Renaissance

    World's Best-Selling Internet-Only Virtual World Enters Golden Age with More Lands, Housing and Players


    AUSTIN, Texas, May 4, 2000-Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS), the world's largest interactive entertainment software company, announces the release of the latest version of its top-selling massively multiplayer virtual world, Ultima Online (UO). Ultima Online: Renaissance adds several new features to UO's fictional world of Britannia including new lands, added housing opportunities and more players. Ultima Online is developed and supported at Electronic Arts' ORIGIN Systems studio located in Austin, Texas.

    Ultima Online is a thriving, persistent, virtual world where more than 185,000 people live and play simultaneously on the Internet. Players can enjoy true social interaction with other participants in real-time, form adventure parties, engage in battles, take on perilous quests or chat in a tavern over a goblet of virtual ale.

    Among the new features in Ultima Online: Renaissance are new lands, equal to the size of the original world and devoted to providing players with an area safe from the attacks of other players. Upon logging-in to the world, new players are given the opportunity to go through the new in-game tutorial. They are immediately taken to the safe town of "Haven" where they can practice in a live game environment and benefit from one-on-one training supplied by more than 2000 volunteer companions.

    The upgraded features will allow expanded opportunities for housing. A doubling of the landmass in Britannia means additional room to build houses, towers and castles, giving more players the chance to live the Britannia dream. In addition, an all-new comprehensive party system makes it easy to adventure with a group of friends by facilitating group communication, combat, and profit and reward sharing. Skill management, a new skill system design feature, allows for more exact control over the development of your character.

    Current Ultima Online subscribers won't be required to purchase a CD to enjoy the updated features of Ultima Online: Renaissance because the features are automatically downloaded to existing accounts.

    "What we're doing with Ultima Online is making the world more accessible to first time players," says Gordon Walton, vice president of online services and operations at ORIGIN Systems. "At the same time, we've added new features that create an even more enjoyable play experience for our veteran players. More than ever before Ultima Online is a virtual world for all styles of play."

    Originally launched in September of 1997, Ultima Online continues to chart new territory in the online gaming space:

  • The more than 185,000 registered users now playing UO represent 125 countries located in each of the world's time zones.
  • Ultima Online is translated into six languages: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Anglicized English.
  • Currently 21 servers located on four continents support UO.
  • Ultima Online players log-in to Britannia an average of 20 hours every week.
  • More than half of UO players log-in every day.

    Ultima Online: Renaissance is currently available at computer retailers at an estimated retail price of US $19.95. After the first 30 days of free game time, players are charged US $9.95 per month. An Internet connection (not included) is required to play. The game is available from the EA Store, http://www.eastore.ea.com and EA Direct Sales at 1-800-245-4525. More information on Ultima Online: Renaissance can be found at http://www.uo.com.

    ORIGIN Systems develops and publishes state-of-the-art entertainment software. To date, the company has released more than 60 titles, including the award winning Ultima, Wing Commander , Privateer and Crusader series of games. ORIGIN is based in Austin, Texas and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Electronic Arts. More information on ORIGIN products can be found on the Internet at http://www.origin.ea.com.

    Electronic Arts, headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.2 billion for fiscal 1999. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under eight brand names: Electronic Arts , EA SPORTS , Maxis , ORIGIN, Bullfrog Productions, Westwood Studios , Gonzo Games and Jane's Combat Simulations. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.ea.com. The official website has more than 1.5 million visitors a month.

    Electronic Arts, ORIGIN Systems, ORIGIN, Ultima, Britannia, Ultima Online Renaissance, Wing Commander, Privateer, EA SPORTS, Maxis, Bullfrog, Westwood Studios and Gonzo Games are trademarks of Electronic Arts in the United States and/or other countries. Jane's is a registered trademark of Jane's Information Group, Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

    Contributed by skl (1140) on Mar 02, 2004.