Lords of EverQuest™ Enters Exclusive Closed Beta

- 15,000 Lucky Beta Testers Will Go Hands-On With Sony Online Entertainment's Forthcoming Real-Time Strategy Game and Have the Option to Receive a One-Year Subscription to Computer Gaming World -


Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming, today announced that its next-generation Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game Lords of EverQuest has entered the exclusive closed beta stage of development with 500 fortunate testers getting the first hands-on time with the game. Over the course of beta, up to 15,000 testers will be allowed into the beta program to test and help with balancing the online multiplayer gameplay. Lords of EverQuest is expected to ship to U.S. and Canadian retail stores this fall and carries a suggested retail price of $49.99.

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

As a bonus, Sony Online Entertainment has arranged for Ziff Davis Media to offer those chosen to participate in the Lords of EverQuest beta program a one-year subscription to Computer Gaming World magazine at no cost. Anyone interested in applying to beta test Lords of EverQuest can do so online at: http://lordsofeverquest.station.sony.com/beta/register.jsp

"We've had tens of thousands of applications from beta testers interested in getting their hands on Lords of EverQuest since it was announced in April and 500 lucky people are getting their chance to play the beta version in this first round," said Michael Lustenberger, director of product marketing at Sony Online Entertainment. "Lords of EverQuest is pushing the boundaries of the genre with many new innovations that RTS fans are going to love, in addition to the deep story and background drawn from the EverQuest® universe."

About Lords of EverQuest

Inspired by the world of online gaming phenomenon EverQuest, Lords of EverQuest features an enthralling storyline drawing gamers to the land of Antonica as they control one of 15 Lords and manage massive armies in their quest for domination. Lords of EverQuest will set new standards for the RTS genre with hundreds of items, spells, the ability for all units in the game to gain experience and abilities, and online multiplayer options (Internet connection required for online multiplayer game modes, online connection fees are the responsibility of the user) for up to 12 players per game via Sony Online's forthcoming SOEGames.net service. With three different unique factions with which to do battle and a beautiful game world filled with breathtaking environments, Lords of EverQuest challenges players to command armies comprised of Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Fiends and even Drakes as they shape the past of the EverQuest universe. Lords of EverQuest also features:

   *  An epic story playable from three unique and different perspectives
      that involves over 75 hours of single player gameplay
   *  Three completely different factions, each with their own special units
      and strategies
   *  Hundreds of items and magical artifacts to arm troops with
   *  36 challenging single player maps and dozens of multiplayer maps
   *  Take command of one of 15 different Lords, each with unique spell and
      abilities which become more powerful as they gain experience
   *  Level up Lords and uncover even greater power as all units level up,
      gaining experience and abilities
   *  The ability to carry over key troops from mission to mission
   *  A Spell and Ability system with more than 125 unique properties
   *  Superior online multiplayer options for up to 12 players -- No
      subscription fee required
   *  State of the art custom 3D engine providing cutting-edge 3D graphics
      with more than three levels of zoom, 32 bit color and support for
      1600x1200 resolution for superior detail

   About Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Digital Inc., is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with a subscriber base of over 500,000 active players around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises, EverQuest® and PlanetSide™, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™: An Empire Divided™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX and St. Louis, MO, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development.

EverQuest is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. SOE and the SOE logo are registered trademarks and PlanetSide is a trademark of Sony Online Entertainment Inc.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20011203/LAM002
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

SOURCE: Sony Online Entertainment Inc.

CONTACT: Sean Kauppinen, +1-858-577-3387, skauppinen@soe.sony.com , or
Chris Kramer, +1-858-577-3481, ckramer@soe.sony.com , both of Sony Online

Web site: http://lordsofeverquest.station.sony.com/beta/register.jsp