Sony Online Entertaiment Announces Champions: Return to Arms™ for the PlayStation® 2

- 2004's Critically Acclaimed Action/RPG Gets a Sequel Packed With New Features, More Online Options and Two New Playable Races -


Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming, today announced Champions: Return to Arms™, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Action/RPG, Champions of Norrath™. Champions: Return to Arms, developed by Snowblind Studios (the creators of Baldur's Gate™: Dark Alliance™ and developers Champions of Norrath) and published by Sony Online Entertainment, will be available exclusively for the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system in the first quarter of 2005.

"Champions of Norrath was an incredible success and left PlayStation 2 gamers definitely wanting more," said Donald Vercelli, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "Champions: Return to Arms will build upon the progressive features of the first edition with more single-player adventures, a deeper online and multiplayer experience, plus new characters, monsters, weapons and items."

Champions: Return to Arms combines the creative talent of Snowblind Studios with SOE's expertise in developing fantasy worlds to create a unique visual style, immersive storylines, and highly interactive worlds. Champions: Return to Arms introduces two new playable races, more character customization options, thousands of items, weapons and spells, beautifully detailed environments, the ability to import characters from the original game, a whole new storyline, innovative medal system which unlocks secret gameplay modes, more online and multiplayer options and much more.

Champions: Return to Arms offers an online multiplayer component for no additional cost to players (players are responsible for providing a broadband internet connection and PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor for online play). Up to four players per game can adventure in Norrath via their broadband internet connection, using the PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor (sold separately). Players have the freedom to join an existing game or host their own through SOE's matchmaking service, Champions: Return to Arms has both USB headset voice and keyboard chat support, allowing players to plan strategies during online play (USB headset/keyboard optional, each sold separately). Alternately, up to four players can use the Multitap (sold separately) to play together on a single PlayStation 2.

About Champions: Return to Arms

The Champions of Norrath have destroyed the god Innoruuk, shattering his body into shards of hate. Innoruuk's followers and allies have taken it upon themselves to gather these shards in order to resurrect their fallen prince. Firiona Vie has called upon the champions to take up the crusade against evil to rid Norrath of this evil threat once and for all. The game is designed to offer more than 100 hours of gameplay per character, unlimited battles, deadly missions and the ability to import characters from the original game.

   The game also features:
   *  A continuation of the engrossing fantasy storyline of Champions of
      Norrath, with exciting twists and turns that require the player to
      choose his or her fate
   *  Two new playable races
   *  Earn medals based on gameplay performance, which can then be used to
      unlock secret levels
   *  Thousands of new items, weapons, armor and magical artifacts to
   *  All-new and beautifully detailed environments
   *  New spells and abilities for all classes
   *  A host of new monsters to battle and non-player characters to
   *  Innovative medal system which unlocks secret gameplay modes
   *  Secret Epic items of incredible power found through unlockable side
   *  The ability to import characters from the original game and start at a

      higher difficulty level
   *  Increased level limits -- take characters to level 80!
   *  More than 50 gameplay areas along with a mission system containing
      non-linear side quests
   *  Multitap support for up to 4 players
   *  Superior online multiplayer options for up to 4 players via Network
      Adaptor -- no additional subscription fees required (players must
      provide their own internet connection and PlayStation 2 Network
      Adaptor for online gameplay modes)
   *  All new multiplayer and online gameplay options

   For more information, visit

  About EverQuest

Developed and published by Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), EverQuest launched in 1999 and has since become both a gaming and cultural phenomenon. The game has sold more than 2 million copies while continuing to grow with award-winning expansions The Ruins of Kunark®, The Scars of Velious®, The Shadows of Luclin™, The Planes of Power™, The Legacy of Ykesha™, Lost Dungeons of Norrath™ and Gates of Discord™, making it the largest online 3D fantasy world ever created. During peak periods, more than 118,000 simultaneous adventurers have explored the fully detailed world of Norrath, filled with monsters, magic, adventure and more. Sony Online is committed to bringing EverQuest to various entertainment platforms, releasing titles such as EverQuest Online Adventures for the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system, EverQuest for the Pocket PC and EverQuest: Hero's Call for wireless phones. In 2004, SOE plans to launch the highly-anticipated EverQuest II on PCs around the globe.

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 750,000 active accounts 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 an additional development studio in Austin, TX, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development.

EverQuest is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. SOE, the SOE logo and PlanetSide are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Sony Online Entertainment Inc.

CONTACT: Tamara Sanderson, +1-858-577-3362,, or
Chris Kramer, +1-858-577-3481,, both of Sony Online

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