to Blockbuster PC Strategy Game Hits Retail Software Charts at No. 1 In
the United States, United Kingdom and Germany Heading Into Holiday
Wash. - Nov. 12, 1999 - Microsoft Corp. today announced that
the "Age of Empires® II: The Age of Kings™" game
is topping retail sales charts in the United States, United Kingdom and
Germany. According to market research firm PC Data Inc., Microsoft®
"Age of Empires II" outpaced all other PC games in the United
States for four weeks in October, its first month of retail
availability. In addition to being the best-selling game in the United
States, "Age of Empires II" owned the No. 1 spot across all
retail software categories for three weeks in October.
The success of
"Age of Empires II" has resonated on both sides of the
Atlantic. In Germany the game catapulted to the top of the Media Control
charts, with customers acquiring more than 100,000 copies within three
days of its release, and it is currently leading the United Kingdom's
ELSPA Chart Track for PC games.
"'Age of Empires
II' has received a royal reception by game fans around the world,"
said Ed Fries, general manager for the Games Group at Microsoft.
"We have already shipped 1.4 million units of 'Age of Empires II'
to retailers in the first month, and the game hasn't shipped in every
Sales for "Age
of Empires II" are expected to increase over the holiday season, a
period that accounts for more than 40 percent of yearly PC game sales.
According to Bob McKenzie, director of merchandising for Babbage's Etc.,
"'Age of Empires II' has greatly exceeded our projected sales
forecasts, and weekly sell-through remains strong. We anticipate strong
consumer demand throughout the holidays and expect this to be one of our
top five PC software games of the season."
vice president of merchandising Jerry Madaio agrees. "Electronics
Boutique stores have had a tough time keeping 'Age of Empires II' on the
shelf," he said. "The consistent demand demonstrates the high
quality of the product and its gameplay value. We expect it to be one of
the top titles for the holiday season."
In addition to being
the top-selling PC game, "Age of Empires II" is emerging as
one of the most critically acclaimed games of the year, achieving
perfect and near-perfect review scores in leading game enthusiast
publications. "Age of Empires II" is also one of the most
popular retail games on the MSN™ Gaming Zone (http://www.zone.com/),
attracting up to 35,000 unique users per day since its release.
One of the most
anticipated games to be released this year, "Age of Empires
II" is the sequel to the award-winning strategy game "Age of
Empires." "Age of Empires II" spans 1,000 years, from the
fall of Rome to the Middle Ages, and challenges players to lead one of
13 civilizations into greatness. Developed by Ensemble Studios of
Dallas, "Age of Empires II" retains the epic scope and
accessibility that has helped the "Age of Empires" game series
sell over 3 million licensed units worldwide. Featuring the design
expertise of Bruce Shelley, co-creator of such game classics as
"Civilization" and "Railroad Tycoon," the game
combines stunning graphics with the drama and intrigue of the Middle
"Age of Empires
II" features new and improved design features to quickly engage the
casual player while offering more intense and engrossing gameplay to
satisfy the hard-core audience. Beginning with minimal resources,
players are challenged to build their nations into great civilizations
and defeat the enemy by making strategic decisions throughout the game.
Each of the 13 civilizations represented in "Age of Empires
II," including the Mongols, Celts, Vikings and Japanese, features
distinctive attributes, buildings and technologies and a unique combat
unit based on its historical counterpart. In addition, "Age of
Empires II" features five campaigns based on the adventures of
prominent historical figures, including Joan of Arc, William Wallace and
Ghengis Khan, that draw players deeper into the game as they march
alongside the hero to victory.
"Age of Empires
II: The Age of Kings" supports multiplayer Internet gaming for up
to eight players on the MSN Gaming Zone. The estimated retail price of
"Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings" is $49.95 (U.S.). More
information is available at the official Web site, http://www.microsoft.com/games/age2/,
or on the Ensemble Studios Web site for developers at http://www.ensemblestudios.com/.
and publishes top-quality PC games that excite the imagination of the
casual gamer and appeal to the passions of the hard-core player. The
company works with some of the best game developers in the industry to
create top-selling game titles, including "Flight Simulator,"
"Age of Empires," "Links™" golf simulation, "MechWarrior®"
and the award-winning "Madness" line of racing titles.
Microsoft also supports the largest Internet audience of multiplayer
gamers, via the MSN Gaming Zone at http://www.zone.com/.
Founded in 1975,
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software
for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of
products and services designed to empower people through great software
- any time, any place and on any device.
of Empires," "The Age of Kings," MSN and
"Links" are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
a registered trademark of FASA Corp. and Microsoft Corp. All rights
reserved. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of
their respective owners.
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