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Sierra and America Online announce agreement to launch The Realm; Medieval fantasy adventure world opens up to AOL members.

BELLEVUE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 14, 1996--Sierra On-Line Inc., the marketshare leader of the PC entertainment industry, and America Online, the nation's largest online service, today announced an agreement to develop and launch The Realm, an open-ended online adventure environment.

Scheduled to release this summer, The Realm is a medieval fantasy world that will allow thousands of players to interact with one another in a real-time graphic adventure setting. Combining the social elements of chat with the visual and exploration components of Sierra's adventure and role playing games, The Realm will allow AOL members to embark on a completely new kind of quest.

Unlike the visual chat environments or text-based MUDs (multi-user dungeons) currently available, The Realm will enable players to immerse themselves in an evolving adventure fantasy. Players will create characters by choosing gender, physical attributes, clothing, personality characteristics and special skills.

Once players define their characters, they'll explore a seemingly limitless environment, talking with other players, embarking on adventure-type quests, using magic and spells to combat evil, and gathering inventory objects to be used in puzzle solving. Designed to appeal to both new and seasoned computer users, The Realm promises a new experience every time the user logs on.

"This agreement allows us to bring The Realm to America Online's more than 5 million subscribers, the largest online audience in the world," said Scott Lynch, director of online content at Sierra. "From the ground up, The Realm was designed specifically to take advantage of online environments. One of the really dynamic elements of this game is that it constantly evolves as players interact with their environment and one another. We believe The Realm will set new standards for online gaming."

"This agreement reaffirms our commitment to providing the most entertaining and engaging game content for our members," said Ted Leonsis, president of the America Online Services Co. "Through The Realm, members can express their individuality and further personalize the online experience."

The Realm is currently in beta testing on the Internet and can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.realmserver.com.

America Online Inc., (NASDAQ Symbol: AMER), based in Vienna, Va., is the largest and fastest-growing provider of online services in the world, with more than 5.5 million members. Through its services, AOL offers its subscribers a wide variety of services including electronic mail, conferencing, software, computing support, interactive magazines and newspapers, and online classes, as well as easy and affordable access to services on the Internet.

Founded in 1985, AOL today has a global work force consisting of nearly 5,000 people. Personal computer owners can obtain America Online software at major retailers and bookstores or by calling 800/827-6364.

Founded in 1979, Sierra On-Line is one of the original developers and the current marketshare leader of the interactive entertainment industry. Sierra's product lineup includes entertainment, home productivity and educational titles.

The company's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol SIER. Sierra's corporate headquarters are located in Bellevue. -0-

Sierra press releases are available on the Internet, via the SierraWeb at http://www.sierra.com; or receive facsimiles of recent Sierra product press releases and financial disclosures via Sierra's News-On-Demand at 800/853-7788.

CONTACT: Sierra On-Line

Rebecca F. Buxton, 206/649-9800 x5891
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 14, 1996
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