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Midway Delivers Sci-Fi Thriller Area 51 to Retail Outlets

Midway Games Inc. has shipped action thriller videogame, AREA 51, to retail outlets in the U.S. for the PlayStation2 and Xbox. The version for PC will ship on May 23, 2005. AREA 51 is an action/thriller featuring an intense storyline packed with scripted events, an arsenal of both human and alien weapons, and powerful multiplayer modes that allow up to 16 players to battle it out online.

AREA 51 features a top lineup of Hollywood voice talent. David Duchovny, star of the ultimate conspiracy-theory television show, The X-Files, brings his instantly recognizable voice to AREA 51's lead character Specialist Ethan Cole, a special forces soldier specializing in hazardous materials investigations. Powers Boothe, who currently appears in the HBO mini-series Deadwood, provides the voice of Major Bridges, while shock-rocker Marilyn Manson performs as Edgar, the gray alien.

Paramount Pictures has acquiring the worldwide film rights to AREA 51.

Players will take on the role of Cole, who has been sent to investigate a distress signal from Area 51 where a viral outbreak shuts down the research facility, automatically locking all scientific and military personnel inside for quarantine. With a multitude of human and alien weapons, players explore chilling conspiracies such as the extraterrestrial crash at Roswell and the faked lunar landing, in order to solve the enigma of Area 51 before the viral mutagen is released and irrevocably mutates all life on Earth.

"Midway is a company with a deep vault of classic gaming franchises and reinventing some of those, such as AREA 51, is a core part of Midway's strategy for 2005 and beyond," said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. "Delivering riveting and suspenseful gameplay that no console or PC owner should pass by, AREA 51 is the only first-person action thriller to be set within the confines of the U.S.'s most secret military base."

AREA 51 is being promoted with a national television advertising campaign on multiple mainstream broadcast and cable networks including MTV, E!, Comedy Central, WWE and Fox, Fox Sports Network, Sci-Fi, FX and more. Additionally, there is also an aggressive online campaign to top-tier enthusiast and mainstream consumer sites including Gamespot.com, IGN.com, UGO.com. There are also pre-sell programs at select game retailers, where gamers can pre-order a copy of AREA 51 and receive a copy of Midway Arcade Treasures 2, for free.

Headquartered in Chicago, with offices in San Diego, Seattle, Austin, Los Angeles, Munich and London, Midway Games (www.midway.com) is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for major videogame systems.

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