EverQuest® II Ships to North American Retail Stores

- A New Adventure Begins With More Than 100,000 Players Expected In-Game by the Weekend -


Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming, today announced that EverQuest II has shipped to North American retail stores. EverQuest II is the highly-anticipated follow-up to Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest, the most successful and longest-running 3D MMO role-playing game in North America. More than 100,000 people have already pre-ordered EverQuest II in hopes of being among the first to experience this massive gaming phenomenon. The CD and DVD versions of the game carry an SRP of $49.99 and include the game, an in-game item and an exclusive in-box item. Limited quantities of the EverQuest II Collector's Edition (DVD) are available at an SRP of $89.99.

"Today is a proud day as we open our new online world to people around the globe," said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. "Over the past five years, we've worked hard to ensure EverQuest II is fun, and meaningful to our players. We've spared no expense and we're confident players will agree that EverQuest II is an amazing interactive online gaming experience."

Sony Online Entertainment is delivering a truly groundbreaking MMO game in EverQuest II with pioneering firsts in advanced 3D graphics, storyline, voiceover, production values, and gameplay. EverQuest II features the most realistic graphics of any MMO game ever created, with a next-generation 3D graphics engine designed to keep pace with hardware developed over the next few years. Players can hear more than 70,000 lines of spoken dialogue in EverQuest II as non-player characters are given voiceover for the first time ever in an MMO game, bringing the story of EverQuest II to life. EverQuest II also features gameplay innovations that make EverQuest II fun and exciting for all types of players and play styles, from hardcore gamers, to new MMO players, to those who play in groups, and solo players.

EverQuest II comes in three retail versions, all of which include a 30-day subscription (excluding SOE Station Access subscriptions) to the game's online world. The Collector's Edition includes a number of in-game items, an exclusive art book, bonus DVD with trailers, gameplay videos and behind-the- scenes footage, a soundtrack CD, a collector's coin with a velvet pouch, a cloth map of Norrath, and two posters. Pre-order numbers have been so high that very few copies of the Collector's Edition will be available at launch.

EverQuest II carries a monthly subscription fee of $14.99 for continuing access to the game world. Players can subscribe using a credit card, or purchase 30-day and 90-day SOE Game Cards, which open the new world of Norrath to those who choose not to use a credit card. Additonally, EverQuest II is included as part of the Station Access subscription, which includes all SOE-published games, for only $21.99 per month. Titles included as part of the Station Access subscription include: EverQuest, PlanetSide, EverQuest Online Adventures, Infantry Online, Tanarus, Cosmic Rift, and EverQuest II (all game software sold separately).

NVIDIA is the preferred graphics card provider for EverQuest II, helping to deliver the dramatic visual impact of the game's advanced 3D engine. EverQuest II runs great on computers using the Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with HT Technology.

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 more than 70,000 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, skauppinen@soe.sony.com, or
Chris Kramer, +1-858-577-3481, ckramer@soe.sony.com, both of Sony Online