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Everquest II Shipping November 8

Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), announced that multiplayer online gaming sequel EVERQUEST II is scheduled to simultaneously ship to North American and European retail stores on Nov. 8, 2004. EVERQUEST II is the highly anticipated follow-up to EVERQUEST, the most successful and longest-running 3D MMO role-playing game in North America.

"After more than four years in development, the wait for EVERQUEST II is almost over," said John Smedley, president, Sony Online Ent. "We've invested heavily on development of the game to ensure that EVERQUEST II has the highest production values of any online game produced to date. We want to deliver a game to our players that will provide an experience like nothing they've ever seen."

Sony Online boasts EVERQUEST II has pioneering firsts in advanced 3D graphics, story, voice, production values and gameplay. EVERQUEST II features the most realistic graphics of any MMO game ever created with a next-generation 3D graphics engine designed to keep pace with hardware for the coming years. Players will hear more than 70,000 lines of spoken dialogue in EVERQUEST II as non-player characters are given voice over for the first time ever in an MMO game. EVERQUEST II also features gameplay innovations that make EVERQUEST II is adaptable to players and play styles, from hardcore gamers, to new MMO players, to those who play in groups and solo players.

EVERQUEST II comes in three versions, all of which include a 30-day subscription (excluding SOE All Access subscriptions) to the game's online world. The CD version and DVD versions of the game retail for $49.99 and include the game, an in-game item and an in-box item.

Limited quantities of the EVERQUEST II Collector's Edition (DVD) are available for $89.99. The Collector's Edition includes a number of in-game items, including "paintings" of EVERQUEST II scenery to be hung on the walls of a player's house, magical talking statues of Antonia and Lucan (voiced by Hollywood talent Heather Graham and Christopher Lee), and an exclusive pet baby dragon. The Collector's Edition also includes an exclusive art book, bonus DVD with trailers, gameplay videos and behind-the-scenes footage, a soundtrack CD, a collector's coin with a velvet pouch, a cloth map of Norrath and two posters.

There is a monthly subscription fee of $14.99 for continuing access EVERQUEST II. Players can subscribe using a credit card, or purchase SOE 30-day and 90-day Game Cards, which open the new world of Norrath to those who choose not to use a credit card.

Players enter the EVERQUEST world by creating their own unique character, choosing from 16 races and 24 classes. Players will encounter hundreds of creatures as they travel across majestic landscapes of rolling hills, barren deserts, dense forests and bustling cities, encountering thousands of items, hundreds of spells and adventures.

Features also include:

* A new, massive online world for thousands of players to explore, filled with danger, adventure and mystery

* Voices for most non-player characters (NPCs) in the game, a huge project encompassing more than 70,000 lines and 130 hours of dialog

* Unparalleled character customization capabilities. In addition to thousands of armor, weapons and items users can equip, players will be able to customize their character's facial appearance to an incredible level of detail and personalization

* 16 races, dozens of levels and 24 classes with a branching system that allows players to choose their class as they advance

* Player-owned real estate (such as apartments, homes, and guild houses)

* No race/class combination limitations, allowing players to truly choose who they want to be in game

* New user-friendly game mechanics with reduced learning curve for both new and seasoned players

* More than 160 unique creature types, from Orcs and Goblins to huge dragons and menacing Living Statues

* A state-of-the-art, cinematic quality 3D graphics engine capable of improving as hardware technology advances

* State-of-the art combat, spell and skill systems

* Trade skills available to all player classes

Sony Online Ent. Inc. (SOE), a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Digital Inc., is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with a subscriber base of more than 750,000 active accounts around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Headquartered in San Diego, California, with an additional development studio in Austin, Texas, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development.

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