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2004’s critically acclaimed Action/RPG Gets a sequel packed with new features, 2 new playable races and more online options

London, UK August 30th, 2004 - Ubisoft, one of the world's largest video game publishers today announced that it will be the publisher in PAL territories for Champions: Return to ArmsTM, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Action/RPG, Champions of NorrathTM. Champions: Return to Arms, developed by Snowblind Studios (Baldur's GateTM: Dark AllianceTM and Champions of NorrathTM) by Sony Online Entertainment, will be available exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system in the first quarter of 2005.

"Champions of Norrath was an incredible success and left PlayStation 2 gamers definitely wanting more," said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Entertainment. "Champions: Return to Arms will build upon the progressive features of the first edition with more single-player adventures, a deeper online and multiplayer experience, plus new characters, monsters, weapons and items."

Champions: Return to Arms introduces two new playable races, a whole new non-linear storyline letting the playing chose to team both with the forces of Good or Evil, the ability to import characters from the original game, more character customization options with up to level 80 levelling, thousands of new items, weapons and spells, beautifully detailed environments, innovative medal system which unlocks secret gameplay modes, more online and multiplayer options and much more.

"Champions: Return to ArmsTM will be the very first Action/RPG to let player chose to fight either for Good or Evil," says Florence Alibert, Ubisoft's Marketing Director for Europe, the Asia Pacific region and South America. "With this added to the new non-linear mission system, the 7 playable races and the endless customization possibilities, Champions: Return to ArmsTM is bound to give players even more of what made Champions of NorrathTM a success: innovation, high role-playing depth and intense action-packed challenge"

Champions: Return to Arms offers an online multiplayer component for no additional cost to players (players are responsible for providing a broadband internet connection and PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor for online play). Up to four players per game can adventure in Norrath via their broadband internet connection, using the PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor (sold separately). Players have the freedom to join an existing game or host their own through SOE's matchmaking service, SOEGames.net. Champions: Return to Arms has both USB headset voice and keyboard chat support, allowing players to plan strategies during online play (USB headset/keyboard optional, each sold separately). Alternately, up to four players can use the Multitap (sold separately) to play together on a single PlayStation 2.

About Champions: Return to Arms

The Champions of Norrath have destroyed the god Innoruuk, shattering his body into shards of hate. Innoruuk's followers and allies have taken it upon themselves to gather these shards in order to resurrect their fallen prince. Firiona Vie has called upon the champions to take up the crusade against evil to rid Norrath of this evil threat once and for all. The game is designed to offer more than 100 hours of gameplay per character, unlimited battles, deadly missions and the ability to import characters from the original game.

The game also features:

  • A continuation of the engrossing fantasy storyline of Champions of Norrath, with exciting twists and turns that require the player to choose his or her fate
  • Two new playable races: the Kerran Berserker and the Iksar Shaman
  • Earn medals based on gameplay performance, which can then be used to unlock secret levels
  • Thousands of new items, weapons, armor and magical artifacts to acquire
  • All-new and beautifully detailed environments
  • New spells and abilities for all classes
  • A host of new monsters to battle and non-player characters to encounter
  • Innovative medal system which unlocks secret gameplay modes
  • Secret Epic items of incredible power found through unlockable side quests
  • The ability to import characters from the original game and start at a higher difficulty level
  • Increased level limits-take characters to level 80!
  • More than 50 gameplay areas along with a mission system containing non-linear side quests
  • Multitap support for up to 4 players
  • Superior online multiplayer options for up to 4 players via Network Adaptor - no additional subscription fees required (players must provide their own internet connection and PlayStation 2 Network Adaptor for online gameplay modes)
  • All new multiplayer and online gameplay options

For more information, visit http://www.ChampionsRtA.com

About EverQuest

Developed and published by Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), EverQuest launched in 1999 and has since become both a gaming and cultural phenomenon. The game has sold more than 2 million copies while continuing to grow with award-winning expansions The Ruins of Kunark®, The Scars of Velious®, The Shadows of LuclinTM, The Planes of PowerTM, The Legacy of YkeshaTM, Lost Dungeons of NorrathTM and Gates of DiscordTM, making it the largest online 3D fantasy world ever created. During peak periods, more than 118,000 simultaneous adventurers have explored the fully detailed world of Norrath, filled with monsters, magic, adventure and more. Sony Online is committed to bringing EverQuest to various entertainment platforms, releasing titles such as EverQuest Online Adventures for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, EverQuest for the Pocket PC and EverQuest: Hero's Call for wireless phones. In 2004, SOE plans to launch the highly-anticipated EverQuest II on PCs around the globe.

About Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Digital Inc., is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with a subscriber base of over 750,000 active accounts around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises, EverQuest® and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars GalaxiesTM: An Empire DividedTM, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with an additional development studio in Austin, TX, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development.

About Ubisoft:

Ubisoft is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the multimedia industry, Ubisoft's strong and diversified lineup has grown considerably, as has Ubisoft itself. As well as steadfastly continuing to partner with several high-profile companies, Ubisoft has also confirmed its presence on the global market by developing its own exceptional properties. Founded in 1986 in France, Ubisoft is now present on every continent, both through offices in 21 different countries including the United States, Morocco, Germany and China and through sales of products in over 50 countries. The group is dedicated to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers around the world. Ubisoft generated a turnover of 508 million euros for the 2003/2004 fiscal year, up 22.5% over the previous fiscal year. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

EverQuest is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Published by Ubisoft under licence from Sony Online Entertainment Inc. SOE and the SOE logo are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment Inc.

®2004 Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners

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