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Acrophobia, New Online Multiplayer Word Game, Debuts on Berkeley Systems' beZerk Network; Get Over Your Fears, It's Time To Put Your Creativity On The Line!

BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 3, 1997--Berkeley Systems, a leader in online entertainment and consumer software, today announced that Acrophobia, the hilarious new multiplayer word game, is now in open pilot on beZerk (www.bezerk.com), the free online entertainment network.

Acrophobia's open pilot (public beta) runs until November 17th at which time the game will officially go live on beZerk. Launching initially for Windows 95, a Macintosh version of Acrophobia is due out after the first of the year. The award-winning beZerk network, recently honored as "Cool Site of the Year," also features You Don't Know Jack the netshow and a sports-themed netshow.

"Acrophobia is an insanely addicting gaming experience," stated Jim Stoner, product marketing manager for Berkeley Systems. "The fast-pace of the game play, original music, cool graphics and chat feature combine to create a completely immersing experience that is not offered anywhere else on the 'Net except for beZerk!"

Acrophobia pits your creative energies against the clock and other players in true multiplayer gaming fashion. Up to 14 people meet in a game room where they must come up with witty, creative phrases based on the group of letters (ranging from 3 to 7 in length) and category displayed on the screen.

Players have only seconds to enter a phrase matching both the letters and category (there are hundreds of categories, ranging from sports to poetry and food to current events). Gamers vote on their favorite phrases and points are awarded for speed and humor. Acrophobia also offers an innovative chat feature that allows players to converse during the game.

Acrophobia enthusiasts can also take advantage of the Acro-Lounge where gamers can find information on a variety of Acro-related topics, including hints and tips on how to play, the "A-Files newsletter," Acro Player of the Week, a listing of Acro champions, links to fan pages and more! In addition to the Acro-Lounge, gamers can sign up to receive beZerkNews, a weekly email newsletter that offers the latest news and contest information on Acrophobia and You Don't Know Jack the netshow.

To celebrate the debut of Acrophobia, Berkeley Systems is sponsoring the "Acro-Mail" contest which offers a Grand Prize of $1,000.00 for the winning entry! Following the game play of Acrophobia, "Acro-Mail" asks for groups of 10 people to submit humorous, creative phrases that match the 10 letters in Acrophobia.

The first person in the Acro-Mail group starts by picking a word for "A" (i.e., Always), then emails it to the next person in the group who chooses a letter for "C" (i.e. choose) and so on. The Acro-Mail zips around the globe being forwarded from friend to friend, each adding their contributions to the acronym one letter at a time, until the final member of the Acro-Mail team finishes the phrase with the last word beginning with "A."

Entries are submitted to acromail@berksys.com . For details on how to play and rules for the contest, go to http://www.berksys.com/acromail .

Acrophobia also utilizes beZerk's interstitial advertising, the first true television-like ads on the Internet. Interstitials combine audio and animation in dynamic, full-screen ads. Featuring some of the hottest names in advertising, beZerk's line-up includes Sony Pictures for 'Starship Troopers,' US Robotics, Gramercy Pictures for 'Bean,' Infoseek, Twentieth Century Fox for 'Alien Resurrection,' Westwood Studios and Amstel among others.

Berkeley Systems, Inc., a division of Sierra On-Line located in Berkeley, CA, develops and markets multimedia entertainment software for grown-ups such as After Dark and You Don't Know Jack. Sierra On-Line is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment, productivity and educational software.

The company recently merged with CUC Int'l, a technology-driven, membership-services company that provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining, home improvement, financial and other services to 70 million consumers worldwide. The company's common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol CU. Sierra's corporate headquarters are located in Bellevue, WA. -0-

Note to Editors: Video b-roll footage, color slides and electronic images of Acrophobia are available upon request. For more information, please contact DeEtte Christie at 510/540-5535 ext. 254 or Monica Granados, ext. 204, or pr@berksys.com .

CONTACT: Berkeley Systems, Inc.

DeEtte Christie/Monica Granados, 510/540-5535

pr@berksys.com

http://www.berkeleysystems.com
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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