Champions: Return to Arms™ Goes Gold!

- Sony Online Entertainment's Highly Anticipated Action RPG Ships February 7, 2005 -


Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming, today announced that Champions: Return to Arms™, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Action/RPG, Champions of Norrath™, has gone gold. Champions: Return to Arms, available exclusively on the PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system, will ship to U.S. and Canadian retail stores on February 7, 2005.

"With the first game, Champions of Norrath, achieving 'Greatest Hits' status on the PlayStation 2, the popularity of this series just keeps growing and we expect the momentum to continue with the launch of the second edition, Champions: Return to Arms," said Michael Lustenberger, vice president of marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. "Champions: Return to Arms builds upon the features that made Champions of Norrath such a great game by offering players two new races, competitive play for both online and offline modes, a whole new storyline and much, much more content for players to enjoy."

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 environments. 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, an 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 up to 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: the Vah Shir Berserker and the Iksar Shaman

   *  New competitive online and offline gameplay modes allow 2 to 4 players
      to battle for ultimate supremacy

   *  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

   *  Secret Epic items of incredible power found through unlockable side

   *  The ability to import characters from the original game and start on 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

   *  Import and download characters via Memory Card

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  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 800,000 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®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath 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. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Sony Online Entertainment Inc.

CONTACT: Tamara Sanderson, +1-858-577-3362,, or
Sean Kauppinen, +1-858-577-3387,, both of Sony Online

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