Worldwide EverQuest® II Beta Testing Program Going Strong

- North American and European Beta Test Programs in Full Swing -


Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming, today announced that the external stages of Beta testing for EverQuest® II began in July and thousands of testers are currently providing feedback to the development team. Additionally, the German and French closed Beta tests for EverQuest II have now begun as localized versions of the game open up for the first time, with open Beta expected to start soon. EverQuest II is scheduled for a simultaneous release in North America and Europe later in the year.

"The feedback we've already received in the U.S. Beta has been phenomenal and has allowed us to see what has worked and what hasn't, ensuring we deliver a solid game on day one," said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. "We're confident players will find that EverQuest II has raised the bar for the MMO genre when it's released later this year."

"Now that the U.S. Beta is in full swing, the development team is ready to receive feedback on the German and French versions of the game as well," said Matt Sivertson, director of international operations, Sony Online Entertainment. "We're using native language actors to provide the translation and voiceover for the localized versions in order to provide a truly immersive experience for our French and German players."

Certain subscribers to SOE's EverQuest Legends service were recently invited into the U.S. Beta. In the coming weeks, players that fulfilled the requirements of the Lords of EverQuest™ special offer, as well as those who received and registered Beta keys from the July issue of PC Gamer Magazine, are expected to receive their invitations as well. Additional Beta testers for North American and European Beta programs will be selected from applications received through the EverQuest II website for the later rounds of Beta. SOE will continue to notify qualified Beta applicants in stages over the coming months for the North American and European Beta programs.

SOE also announced that at launch, players in North America and Europe will be able to play on any of SOE's EverQuest II servers, providing a high level of service worldwide. At launch there will be English, French and German localized servers, each in the corresponding language.

About EverQuest II

EverQuest II is the next generation of massively multiplayer gaming, a huge online world where thousands of players come together for adventure and community. Featuring breathtaking graphics and a vast, beautiful game world to explore, as well as voices for almost all non-player characters, EverQuest II sets new standards in gameplay and immersion. EverQuest II brings players into its world with a powerful epic storyline and gives them the power to be the hero or villain in their personal adventure. Players enter this world by creating their own unique character, choosing from 16 races and 24 classes. Players will encounter hundreds of creatures as they travel across majestic landscapes of rolling hills, barren deserts, dense forests, and bustling cities. Thousands of items, hundreds of spells, and unlimited adventure await all who enter the world of EverQuest II. EverQuest II also features:

   *  A new, massive online world for thousands of players to explore,
      filled with danger, adventure and mystery
   *  Voices for most non-player characters (NPCs) in the game, a huge
      project encompassing almost 100,000 lines and 130 hours of dialog
   *  Unparalleled character customization capabilities.  In addition to
      thousands of armor, weapons and items users can equip, players will be
      able to customize their character's facial appearance to an incredible
      level of detail and personalization
   *  16 races, dozens of levels and 24 classes with a branching system that
      allows players to choose their class as they advance
   *  Player-owned real estate (such as apartments, homes, and guild houses)
   *  No race/class combination limitations, allowing players to truly
      choose who they want to be in game
   *  New user friendly game mechanics with reduced learning curve for both
      new and seasoned players
   *  More than 160 unique creature types, from Orcs and Goblins to huge
      dragons and menacing Living Statues
   *  Incentives for current EverQuest subscribers
   *  A state-of-the-art, cinematic quality 3D graphics engine capable of
      improving as hardware technology advances
   *  State-of-the art combat, spell and skill systems
   *  Trade skills available to all player classes

  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: Sean Kauppinen, +1-858-577-3387,, or
Chris Kramer, +1-858-577-3481,, both of Sony Online