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Electronic Arts Announces Acquisition of PlayNation; Online Entertainment Developer Adds to EA's Internet Content.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 8, 1999--

Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS), the world's largest interactive entertainment software company, today announced the acquisition of PlayNation, a developer of online entertainment, headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif.

Under the agreement, PlayNation becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Electronic Arts. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The acquisition is part of Electronic Arts' strategy to create new online entertainment experiences and extend its brands and franchise properties to the Internet. PlayNation specializes in the design and development of online entertainment delivered directly to consumers over the Internet.

Most recently, PlayNation designed the EA SPORTS(TM) Tiger Woods 99 Internet Viewer, allowing spectators to view cyber golf tournaments in real-time over the Internet.

"PlayNation is a cutting-edge online entertainment studio with experienced industry management and a highly talented team of developers, programmers and artists," said John Riccitiello, president and chief operating officer of Electronic Arts. "PlayNation will play an important role in Electronic Arts' strategy to continue to be a leading player in the online entertainment market."

"We are delighted to become part of the Electronic Arts family," said Tom Casey, president and chief executive officer of PlayNation. "We are confident that our development strengths will greatly contribute to EA's continuing worldwide leadership in the online entertainment market."

PlayNation was founded in 1997 by Tom Casey and Phil Sorger, veterans in the consumer software and electronic games industries. The nine-person company, which plans to aggressively seek new talent over the next 12-18 months, has developed a strong foundation of network game technology that can be leveraged to create compelling online experiences in such diverse categories as sports, action and simulation.

In addition to the EA SPORTS Tiger Woods 99 Internet Viewer, PlayNation developed other online products such as SportsCorps, an online trading card system that brings together the fun of collectible card trading with the competition of multiplayer games for the sports enthusiast.

Collectors buy packs of trading cards online, build dream teams with their favorite players and challenge other collectors from around the world in a game of baseball, football, basketball or hockey. PlayNation leveraged the same core technology to develop BattleCorps, a system that is similar to SportsCorps but targets users who have an interest in futuristic, gadget-intensive combat.

Instead of collecting sports trading cards, BattleCorp users collect and trade vehicles and weapons. The company also developed the Classic Arcade Network (C.A.N.), an entertainment system centered on a library of classic arcade games that delivers downloadable online games, information and commerce into consumer's homes via the Internet.

Electronic Arts pioneered the massively multiplayer online game market with its groundbreaking Ultima(TM) Online. Originally released in 1997, Ultima Online is the world's best-selling Internet-only game and has an international subscriber base of more than 130,000.

Other EA(TM)online properties include simcity.com, home of the huge online community associated with the game SimCity 3000(TM), with more than 130,000 North American visitors each month, and EASPORTS.com(TM), currently under development as the ultimate online sports interactive entertainment destination.

Electronic Arts, headquartered in Redwood City, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.2 billion for fiscal 1999. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for personal computers and video game systems.

Electronic Arts markets its products under seven brand names: Electronic Arts, EA SPORTS(TM), Maxis(TM), ORIGIN(TM), Bullfrog(TM) Productions, Westwood Studios(TM) and Jane's(R) Combat Simulations. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.ea.com.

Note to Editors: Electronic Arts, EA, ORIGIN, Bullfrog, Maxis, EA SPORTS, EASPORTS.com, SimCity 3000, and Westwood Studios are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts. Jane's is a registered trademark of Jane's Information Group Ltd. The name of Tiger Woods is the exclusive property of Tiger Woods and/or ETW Corp. and may not be used, in whole or in part, without their written consents. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Business Wire
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 8, 1999
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