Company News

Free Realms™ Online Video Game Nears Completion as it Enters Closed Beta

Sony Online Entertainment - 02/26/2009

Free Realms™ a free online virtual world developed for kids and families by Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), has entered the closed beta stage of development. SOE is currently accepting early registration for open beta, set to start in early April. To be considered for participation in the open beta, players of all ages can register at www.freerealms.com.

Free Realms is currently in a critical stage of development known as beta. Beta testing is the last step of game development and the first chance for a few selected players outside of the company to experience the game.

"The beta testing phase is integral to the success of any video game, and we are asking that kids, parents, video game fans of all ages sign up to help us during these final weeks before Free Realms launches," said John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment. "Ten years ago, SOE introduced EverQuest, the genre-defining online video game, and this spring, we will introduce Free Realms, a game I believe will expand and enrich the kids' online gaming genre which really shows the rapid evolution of the online game space."

Free Realms brings to life a whimsical virtual world where gamers can explore, compete, raise pets and socialize. This exciting game is a new way for PC gamers to connect online in a safe, online, family-friendly environment. Free Realms offers a wide variety of gameplay mechanics, including exploration, combat, race car driving, pet raising, mini-games and social networking.

  Free Realms offers a variety of features, including:
  --  Free Gameplay: Free Realms is free to play, however additional content
      can be accessed through a membership or micro transaction.
  --  Rich Character Creation: With thousands of customizations and
      combinations, you can blend fantasy and reality to create your perfect
      avatar.
  --  Be Whoever You Want: Characters aren't locked into classes or jobs -
      you can be a wizard one minute and a race car driver the next.
  --  Kid-Safe: Parental controls allow for the customization of safety
      options, including pre-canned chat, reporting and filters for younger
      players.
  --  Something for Everyone: Players can take care of pets, sort mail, race
      go-karts, battle goblins or cook meals for their friends.
  --  Vibrant, Deep Environment: Adventurous gamers can spend hours
      exploring towns, bustling cities, beaches, forests, snowy mountaintops
      and more.
  --  Connect with Friends: Whether you're meeting up with old friends or
      finding new ones, Free Realms allows players to stay connected through
      its social networking page.  Just log in, see what your friends have
      been up to, click their avatar and join them in Free Realms.
  --  Everyone Can Access: Free Realms is designed to run on nearly all PCs.
      The game will stream to your PC as you play, so Free Realms will not
      take up a lot of memory and will download quickly.



  Press assets:  http://www.soepress.com/product.asp?s=72
                 http://bhimpact.gamespress.com/product_page.asp?i=914

  About Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends™, and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies™, SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX; Seattle, WA; Denver, CO; Tucson, AZ and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development.

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SOURCE: Sony Online Entertainment LLC

CONTACT: Katie Hanson of Sony Online Entertainment, +1-858-577-3167,
khanson@soe.sony.com; or Stacy Miles of Bender/Helper Impact, +1-310-694-3106,
stacy_miles@bhimpact.com, for Sony Online Entertainment

Web Site: http:/// www.freerealms.com