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Sony Online Entertainment and Verant Interactive Announce New Massively Multiplayer Strategy Game, Sovereign.

NEW YORK--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--July 28, 1999--

Sovereign to be shown at GenCon

August 5th through the 9th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Sony Online Entertainment Inc. together with Verant Interactive, Inc. a premier developer of online games, announce the development of Sovereign, the first ever massively multiplayer real time strategy game scheduled to launch exclusively on The Station@sony.com in the 2nd half of 2000. The game will debut to the public at the GenCon Game Fair, in the Midwest Express Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin from August 5th through the 9th. Further information can be obtained at The Station at http://www.station.sony.com/sovereign. Sovereign will join 989 Studios' EverQuest as the second Verant game on The Station@sony.com's game roster.

Sovereign is a real time strategy game played on a grand scale, allowing up to 500 people to gather online simultaneously in a single game. Built to take advantage of cutting edge Internet technology, Sovereign, a game of empire conquest, is similar in structure to classics such as Diplomacy, Command & Conquer, and Civilization and features diplomacy and persistence as characteristics crucial to success. In a stunningly rendered game environment, players can roam an entire planet constructing cities, airbases and seaports, building and deploying massive armies, launching air and land attacks with nuclear or chemical weapons and spying on enemy empires via orbital satellites.

"We pushed the envelope of massively multiplayer gaming with 989 Studios' EverQuest and created an entirely new set of expectations for the fantasy role player. Building on what we've learned and applying it to a strategy game will result in an incredible new product. Sovereign is this product, " stated John Smedley, President and CEO of Verant Interactive.

The persistent nature of the Sovereign world allows strategy gamers to spend every waking moment online playing out their dreams of conquest. But for those who must occasionally sleep, Sovereign offers options for allowing empires to remain operational while the player is logged off, to be run by allies, the computer, or simply be shielded from attack.

The game also delivers on a unique roleplaying element to offer the ability to develop and roleplay custom characters (or personas). Each persona, ranging from soldier to spy, from scientist to theologian, continues from one game to the next, thereby allowing players to advance in rank over an extended period of time by gradually building technology and experience points.

Like EverQuest, Sovereign will be sold at retail and played exclusively online at The Station@sony.com (www.station.sony.com). The first month will be free, and thereafter, unlimited play is available for a flat monthly subscription fee. Subscriptions can be purchased by the month, or for multiple months at a discounted rate.

"Sony Online Entertainment is thrilled to present this groundbreaking title as part of The Station's commitment to the serious online gamer," said Robert Gehorsam, SOE's Senior Vice President, Programming and Platform Development. "It's our goal to revolutionize the strategy gamer space as successfully as we've done with our mainstream titles such as JEOPARDY! Online and Wheel of Fortune Online."

"With Sovereign, Verant continues in the tradition of creating outstanding games that support massive online communities," stated Brad McQuaid, Vice President of Verant Interactive. "The development of Sovereign promises to further define Verant as one of the leading developers of online games and propel a new and revolutionary era in strategy gaming. The incredible success of 989 Studio's EverQuest on The Station has excited us to partner with Sony Online Entertainment again to offer the serious gamer the best online game experience possible."

Sony Online Entertainment produces and distributes online games and gameshows targeted to mainstream consumers and game enthusiasts. SOE's site, The Station@sony.com (located at http://www.station.sony.com), is one of the leading online game destinations. The Station distributes online games and gameshows from Sony Pictures Entertainment, 989 Studios, and third-party developers. SOE's advertising sales and partnership marketing team also works with Sony Music Online and Sony Pictures Entertainment Online to offer integrated marketing and sponsorship opportunities for online advertisers across the SOE network of premiere branded entertainment-based Web sites. SOE is a joint venture of Sony Corporation of America and Sony Pictures Entertainment, and is located in New York City and Los Angeles as well as additional advertising offices in Chicago and San Francisco.

Verant Interactive is an independent development studio that develops cutting-edge online games. Based in San Diego, California, Verant Interactive has a staff of over 70 employees who consist of the development teams responsible for the online games Tanarus, EverQuest and Sovereign.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 28, 1999
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