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Tuesday, November 28, 2006 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Nov. 28, 2006 @ 9:54 a.m. PST

Another day, another batch of games shipped to stores. Instead of giving them all their own posts, we grouped them, and so far there are announcements for:

The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Rise of the Witch-king (PC)

The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, this Real-time Strategy (RTS) game enhances every existing feature and offers players the chance to command the rise of evil in Middle-earth while experiencing the epic battles that took place before those depicted in the films from New Line Cinema.

Full of exciting content, including an entirely new faction, completely new single player campaign, and additional units for all six existing factions, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Rise of the Witch-king, allows players to explore the evil side of Middle-earth. The all new single player campaign tells the story of the evil Witch-king's rise to power and invasion of the great kingdom of Arnor, home to Aragorn's ancestors. To fully experience the evil side of Middle-earth, gamers can now play as the Angmar faction in skirmish, multiplayer, and War of the Ring modes. Create-A-Hero's entirely new and unique Troll class grants players more creative freedom for their heroes in addition to new weapons and armor that will allow players to have even more choices in customizing their favorite heroes. War of the Ring, a risk-style meta-game, offers upgraded army persistence, a new siege dynamic on the Living World Map, and unified territories that serve as major control points.

An EA Los Angeles (EALA) game developed exclusively for the PC under the EA brand, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Rise of the Witch-king includes all new content from J.R.R. Tolkien's original fiction, and allows the player to delve deeper than ever before engaging in battles that go beyond the award-winning movie trilogy. EALA brings The Lord of the Rings world to life in accordance with an agreement with The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises that grants EA the rights to develop games based on the books, in addition to a separate agreement that allows for games based on the New Line Cinema films.

The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Rise of the Witch-king requires The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the PC in order to play.

This game is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB, has a US MSRP of $29.99, and will be on North American store shelves November 30, 2006 for the PC.

MapleStory (PC)

MapleStory is establishing a new category of online games in North America called casual massively multiplayer online games. Free-to-download and subscription-free, MapleStory utilizes a cash shop system, also known as micro-transactions or item-selling, where players can purchase a wide array of items to customize, personalize and enhance their characters and game play experiences.

"MapleStory is driving a new market segment of casual online games that has experienced great success in Asia and is ripe for North America," said Min Kim, director of game operations for Nexon America. "Our game combines classic console game elements with a fantastic massively multiplayer experience that is both easy to learn and fun to play. With the free-to-play model, rich content, and highly customizable characters, we think MapleStory's pint-sized heroes will be a big hit with a broad range of gamers!"

With localized versions in South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, MapleStory has achieved great success throughout Asia. The game's mass-market appeal has led to marketing deals in Asia with top companies such as Coca-Cola. MapleStory's free-to-download, subscription-free service is supported by revenue generated through its micro-transaction business model where players can opt to spend real money on character customizations and game enhancements. In 2005, Nexon Corporation reported $230 million in revenue, driven primarily from millions of micro-transactions.

Filled with vibrant backgrounds and charming characters, MapleStory is an online adventure game that centers around the "Maple World," allowing players to combat monsters and develop their characters' skills and abilities in an immense platform-inspired persistent world. Players interact with each other online through chatting, trading, and playing mini-games. Groups of players can also ally together in parties or guilds to socialize, hunt monsters, and adventure through the immersive lands on exciting quests.

MapleStory's innovative cash shop offers players the option to use real currency to pay for game enhancements -- from cosmetic items such as haircuts and plastic surgery coupons to virtual pets that can be trained to sit, stand, and breathe fire. This feature is purely optional and players can try out items prior to purchase in a virtual dressing room. Through avatar customizations, players can create truly unique identities in MapleStory. As a pioneer in the "item-selling" arena, Nexon has sold millions of virtual items worldwide through MapleStory and other hit titles such as KartRider, BnB: Crazy Arcade, and others.

Providing endless variety for its online game players, MapleStory offers monthly content updates and events. Free monthly patch updates provide new items, monsters, quests, maps, and events to keep the experience fresh. In-game events supported by dynamic content updates take place throughout the year to celebrate holidays and other occasions. Special content is being created specifically for the North American version that reflects gamers' tastes and pop culture trends.

MapleStory is available exclusively for Windows PC via free online download at www.nexon.net, or intro.mapleglobal.com

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