REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 13, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT) and Electronic Arts (EA) (Nasdaq “ERTS”), the leading video games software publisher and developer, today announced that EA will bring its world-renowned games to the Xbox™ video game system, Microsoft’s highly anticipated, future-generation video game console scheduled to launch in fall 2001. Famous for titles such as “Madden NFL™ Football,” “NASCAR® 2000,” “FIFA” and “F1 2000” racing, EA will make use of the unsurpassed graphics, audio and multiplayer capabilities of Xbox to create breakthrough gaming experiences for consumers.
Under the terms of the multiyear agreement, EA will commit its worldwide studios to Xbox games development; the company expects to publish up to 10 titles in support of the system’s launch. To get started immediately on Xbox games development, EA has ordered 500 Xbox Development Kits (XDKs) from Microsoft.
“We’re excited about Xbox and Microsoft’s commitment to the platform,” said Larry Probst, EA’s chairman, and CEO. “Microsoft has the vision, the technology and the resources required to make a significant impact on our industry.”
Robbie Bach, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Games Division and chief Xbox officer (CXO), said, “EA is recognized as the world leader in game software. With them onboard, it further ensures gamers around the world that the best and brightest developers will be delivering previously unforeseen possibilities in gameplay on Xbox.”
EA has worked closely with Microsoft, providing feedback on the development of Xbox as an ideal platform for developers, a compelling business for publishers and an unrivaled gaming experience for consumers. EA was a founding member of Microsoft’s Xbox Advisory Board, a group dedicated to helping Xbox become the ultimate development platform that delivers groundbreaking experiences.
“When we saw the hardware specification and talked to the Xbox team, we knew that this console was going to be popular with novice and hardcore gamers alike,” said Don Mattrick, president of EA Worldwide Studio Operations. “Titles like ‘Madden NFL 2001, ‘SSX’ snowboarding and ‘Knockout Kings’ boxing are going to look great on Xbox.”
The alliance between Microsoft and EA represents another key Xbox milestone. To date, Microsoft has secured more than 200 of the world’s top game companies to develop and publish content for Xbox. In addition, more than 18 developers have committed to making exclusive Xbox titles to be published under the Microsoft label. All companies working on Xbox games will benefit from Microsoft’s commitment to a $500 million Xbox marketing budget.
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