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Electronic Arts Announces Agreement to Acquire News Corp. Online Game Unit, Kesmai.

EA Adds Kesmai and Selected Fox Interactive Properties to Its

Growing Internet Content Portfolio

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), the world's largest interactive entertainment software company, today announced the acquisition of Kesmai Corporation, a developer and publisher of multiplayer online entertainment. The Charlottesville, Virginia-based Kesmai Corporation is a unit of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS/A). Under the agreement, Kesmai will become a wholly owned subsidiary of EA.com, Electronic Arts' newly created Internet division. In addition, EA and Newscorp have concluded a nonexclusive distribution agreement for Fox interactive online games through the EA.com network. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Kesmai Corporation specializes in the design and development of multiplayer games delivered directly to consumers over the Internet and is a major provider of game content to the Games Channel on the America Online service. Kesmai also provides game content to various other online communities including Excite, EarthLink, GolfWeb, Fox World and Fujitsu. Kesmai Studios launched the world's first graphic multiplayer online game, Air Warrior(R), which remains one of the industry's benchmarks for online entertainment. Other popular titles from Kesmai include Aliens Online(TM), Starship Troopers(TM), and Multiplayer Battletech(R).

"Kesmai is a strong online entertainment company with a highly talented team of developers and programmers and strong relationships in the Internet community," said John Riccitiello, president and chief operating officer of Electronic Arts. "Kesmai's impressive experience in online game design and operation will play an important role in Electronic Arts' strategy to be the number one player in the online entertainment market."

"We're excited to be a strategic partner in Electronic Arts' new online endeavor," said James Murdoch, Executive Vice President of News Corporation. "We're confident the development strengths of Kesmai will greatly contribute to EA's future as a leader in the online entertainment market."

The Kesmai acquisition is the third online content agreement Electronic Arts has announced in the last three months and adds another building block in EA's strategy to bring to market new online entertainment experiences and extend its brands and franchise properties on the Internet. The other Internet content deals EA announced were the acquisition of Carlsbad, Calif.-based PlayNation in September and a minority investment in New York-based Bottle Rocket, announced in October.

Electronic Arts, headquartered in Redwood City, California, 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/.

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. Air Warrior, ARIES Online Games, GameStorm, Kesmai and Kesmai Studios are trademarks or registered trademarks of Kesmai Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1999
Words:546
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