EverQuest® Prepares to Captivate Chinese Market

Ubi Soft and Sony Online Entertainment to Launch Localized Version of EverQuest® in Mainland China


Ubi Soft® Entertainment, one of the world's largest video game publishers, and Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in Massively Multiplayer Online gaming, today announced an exclusive publishing agreement to release EverQuest® in Mainland China. SOE will bring its already-acquired technological expertise to the partnership while Ubi Soft's online arm, ubi.com, will provide the necessary local infrastructures to host and operate the game.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20011203/LAM002 )

Ubi Soft sees the move as a great opportunity to reinforce its presence in Asia, which is the number one market when it comes to online gaming. Through this deal, SOE is excited to bring the largest and most beautiful virtual environment to the world's largest population. Chinese gamers have been eager to access EverQuest, the world's most popular MMO game for a long time. Being huge fans of fantasy role-playing games, they will finally be able to immerse themselves in one of the most detailed 3D worlds ever created

At the beginning of 2003, Chinese MMO gamers will join the more than 430,000 players already subscribed around the world to EverQuest and its top-selling expansions The Ruins of Kunark™, The Scars of Velious™ and The Shadows of Luclin™. The latest expansion to the critically acclaimed EverQuest series, EverQuest: The Plains of Power™ launches in the U.S. on October 21, 2002. In line with Ubi Soft's strategy to adapt its games to countries and cultures around the globe, the game will be fully localized, requiring the translation of more than 1.5 million words in Chinese.

"I am delighted to strengthen our already fruitful partnership with SOE by expanding our online presence in Asia," said Gilles Langourieux, managing director of ubi.com. "We are tapping into a significant new source of revenue, and are especially proud to introduce the best 3D MMO game to China."

"As online gaming continues to grow in popularity, EverQuest is truly creating a global online community," said John Smedley, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Sony Online Entertainment. "With localization efforts in Europe, Korea and now mainland China, we are working with leading companies like Ubi Soft to continually expand EverQuest to meet increasing global demand."

Ubi Soft is the leading publisher of video games in China, with more than 230 employees in its Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou offices. With a total of 13 million MMO gamers -- including 5 million already paying for online games on a regular basis* -- China represents enormous market potential for Ubi Soft and SOE.

In a related development, SOE and Ubi Soft are actively preparing a localized version of EverQuest® in Europe, called EverQuest® Renaissance, to be released this fall. In order to better cater to European players, two new Web sites -- http://www.everquest-europe.com/ and http://www.eqloft.com/ -- are being launched in English, French and German this month.

About Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), the online gaming division of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, is a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming that creates, develops and provides online entertainment for the personal computer, console, wireless, and online markets. With more than 13 million registered users, SOE's award-winning website, The Station ® ( http://www.station.com/ ) hosts a variety of entertaining games and player communities spanning numerous genres. In addition to blockbuster hits EverQuest® and Jeopardy! Online, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development such as PlanetSide™, Star Wars® Galaxies™, EverQuest® II, and the world's premier online-only console game for the PlayStation®2, EverQuest® Online Adventures™.

About Ubi Soft Entertainment

Ubi Soft Entertainment is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified line-up has grown considerably, as has Ubi Soft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubi Soft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubi Soft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 22 different countries including the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. To learn more, visit http://www.ubi.com/ .

*Based on 4Q2001 figures provided by Internet Network Information Center.

EverQuest is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. © 2002, Sony Online Entertainment Inc.; portions © 2002, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. All rights reserved.


Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20011203/LAM002

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SOURCE: Ubi Soft Entertainment; Sony Online Entertainment Inc.

CONTACT: Tamara Sanderson of Sony Online Entertainment, +1-858-577-3362,
tsanderson@soe.sony.com; or Jennifer Lansman of Ubi Soft Entertainment,
+ 33 1 48 18 50 04, jlansman@ubisoft.fr

Web site: http://www.everquest-europe.com/

Web site: http://www.eqloft.com/

Web site: http://www.ubi.com/