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'Master of Orion II(TM): Battle at Antares(TM)' From MicroProse Goes Gold

The Highly Anticipated CD-ROM Sequel Will Hit Retail Shelves Nationwide
 Before Thanksgiving


`Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM)' Joins Company's Chart-Topping Lineup of Sequel Product Releases Including Sid Meier's `Civilization II(TM),'

`Grand Prix II' and the Recent Debut of Sid Meier's `Civilization II
 Scenarios(TM)'


ALAMEDA, Calif., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- There will be more aliens to conquer and great galactic missions to accomplish, just in time for the holiday season. Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. (Nasdaq-NNM: SBYT) announced today that Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM) will arrive in retail stores prior to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Developed by MicroProse's Studio in Austin, Texas, Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM), will be marketed under the MicroProse(R) brand and distributed worldwide.

Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM) joins the company's expansive strategy category, continuing the original Master of Orion's exciting theme of space exploration, colonization and combat. Master of Orion,(TM) II: Battle at Antares(TM) offers never-before-seen challenges and opportunities, including SVGA graphics, enhanced cinematics, an original musical score and sound effects. The series continues to probe players of all levels with new gameplay that is easy to learn and entertaining, but remains a challenge to "master."

"In developing this sequel, we listened to our customers. We know they wanted more special effects so we've added more and updated the technology. The fans wanted more to explore, so planets and colonies have been added to the star systems. And players wanted control over their spaceships. Now, in fact, they can custom build their own. And, of course, they wanted the addition of multiplayer capabilities. In Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM) the depth of gameplay is in the choices we give the players. Players can ask themselves: 'Should I research advances in weapons or production technology; should I immediately attack the first opponent I see or is it better to trade with the opponent?' Furthermore, the different races add replayability. Each race requires a different style of play to succeed, and when we added the ability to custom design a race, the possibilities for game strategies became nearly endless," said Steve Barcia, designer and programmer at the MicroProse Studio in Austin, Texas.

Derek McLeish, senior vice president of marketing, said, "We set out to create a product that refined the original top-selling game Master of Orion. It was our intent to build upon the success of the already established 'Master of...' brand. We also recognize the hot trend of science-fiction in the entertainment industry and especially believe this game targets the general consumer's interest while also satisfying our many Master of Orion die-hard enthusiasts." McLeish continued, "As a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, Spectrum HoloByte continues to expand its extensive lineup of sequels focusing on the already successful and established brands: Sid Meier's Civilization II, Grand Prix II and the recent launch of Sid Meier's Civilization II Scenarios."

For a more challenging and competitive experience, Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM) will be a stand-alone game that includes multiplayer features such as local area network, modem and hot-seat play. Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM) players will be able to research more technology, view new art in SVGA graphics, choose from more alien races (Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM) will have 13 alien races whereas Master of Orion had 10), customize their own race, and enjoy a more detailed tactical ship combat and colony development.

In Master of Orion(TM)II: Battle at Antares(TM), population growth has outstripped planetary resources and the need for galactic expansion has become a necessity. Acting as mighty emperors, users start with one colony and control how resources are allocated, where fleets are deployed, which galactic neighbors to wage war on and which to befriend. Then, players lead their people into other star systems, quickly securing the space and resources that will guarantee their supremacy. Players encounter various obstacles, including a race of fanatic xenophobes (the Antarans) from another dimension that wants to annihilate all intelligent life in the galaxy.

Category: Strategy

Era: Future

Format: IBM PC and compatibles; CD-ROM only; Windows 95 or MS-DOS 5.0 or later.

Min. Requirements: IBM PC 66MHz 80486 or faster; double-speed CD-ROM drive; MSCDEX 2.1 or higher; 8MB RAM or 16MB RAM if running under Windows 95; 75MB hard drive space free; SVGA (VESA required) for 640 x 480 x 256 colors; mouse and keyboard.

Supports: Sound Blaster/Sound Blaster Pro, ProAudio Spectrum.

Required for Multiplayer Option: 100% Hayes-compatible 9600 modem or faster (2 players), null-modem serial cable (2 player) and IPX network (2 to 8 players).

Product information is available for download from the MicroProse World Wide Web site at http://www.microprose.com. For consumer orders, call 800-695-GAME in the United States and Canada and call 619-693-1200 outside the United States and Canada.

Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for use on CD-ROM-based personal computer systems and next generation console machines, under the MicroProse brand name. The company's five development studios are located in Alameda, California; Hunt Valley, Maryland; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Chipping Sodbury, England and Austin, Texas. Products are available nationally and internationally through major distributors, retailers and mass merchants. The company's World Wide Web address is http://www.microprose.com.

NOTE: Master of Orion(TM) II: Battle at Antares(TM) was named the Number One Strategy Game in Computer Gaming World's Holiday Hot 100 List in the December 1996 issue. Master of Orion was named Strategy Game of the Year, 1993 by Strategy Plus magazine; Premiere Game of the Year, 1993 by Computer Gaming World; received a Golden Triad Award, 1993 from Computer Game Review; and has entered Computer Gaming World's Hall of Fame. Master of Magic was named Runner-up Strategy Game of the Year by Strategy Plus magazine.

SOURCE Spectrum HoloByte Inc.
 -0- 11/19/96


/CONTACT: Holly Hartz, VP Corporate Communication of Spectrum HoloByte Inc., 510-522-3584; or Elizabeth Loer, 212-371-0798, or elizabeth_loer@bghny.com, or Carol Della Penna, 212-371-0798, or carol_della penna@bghny.com, both of Bender, Goldman & Helper for Spectrum HoloByte/

(SBYT)

CO: Spectrum HoloByte Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU:

EQ-RN -- SFTU014 -- 4050 11/19/96 14:00 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1996
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