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Microsoft To Acquire Gaming Company Digital Anvil

Microsoft Corp. announced it has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire Digital

Anvil Inc., a Austin, Texas games developer. Under the terms of the

deal, Microsoft would gain the rights to Digital Anvil titles, such

as FREELANCER, the highly anticipated space-combat simulation game.

This deal gives Microsoft more leverage in game development for its

forthcoming Xbox console. Microsoft and Digital Anvil have worked

together on PC games since 1997. Microsoft has recently acquired such

gaming firms as FASA Interactive Technologies Inc., creators of the

best-selling MECHWARRIOR franchise; Access Software Inc., creators of

LINKS golf simulation games; and Bungie Software Products Corp.,

creators of the upcoming HALO. "The acquisition of Digital Anvil will

strengthen our commitment to producing top-quality PC and Xbox

titles," said Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at

Microsoft." FREELANCER is a true expression of Digital Anvil's

innovative spirit. By combining our internal resources with the

Digital Anvil team's development talent, we will ensure the

realization of their creative visions." Moreover, Chris Roberts,

founder and CEO of Digital Anvil, will leave the company to pursue

other creative endeavors. However, he will continue to serve as an

advisor until the completion of FREELANCER. "This acquisition is a

positive growth opportunity for Digital Anvil," Roberts said. "Under

the Microsoft umbrella, FREELANCER and other games will be supported

by a strong infrastructure and realized in the spirit in which they

were conceived."

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Rick DeMott
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