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Funcom Introduces “Booster Packs” To PC Market

- First Anarchy Online booster will feature land control -

Zurich, Switzerland—August 12, 2002 – A familiar concept in other genres of gaming, Funcom today announces the first "booster pack" for the PC market. Where "expansion packs" typically offer players additional playfields, new creatures and other large content, a "booster pack" provides tools that enhance the experience within the game world. The first Anarchy Online booster pack is scheduled to be in stores for the holiday buying season of 2002. Pricing is yet to be determined, but should be less than the cost of an expansion pack.

"Booster packs have been standard in card-based games for years," said Trond Arne Aas, Funcom's newly appointed President and CEO. "We're excited about modifying this idea for our players in massively multiplayer games and we're convinced that our competitors will soon come out with booster packs of their own."

Funcom unveiled the Anarchy Online expansion pack, Shadowlands, at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The company hoped to have the product finished in time for this year's holiday buying season. However, the expansive scope of Shadowlands meant the team needed more time and release is now planned for the first half of 2003. Funcom realized several exciting but smaller ideas scheduled to be additions to the expansion pack could still be ready in time.

"These cool features were still too large in megabytes to offer as a regular content patch, but not large enough in content to call an expansion pack. We needed something in-between," said game director Gaute Godager. "We hated the idea of holding stuff back from our players until everything for Shadowlands was done. So, we came up with the idea of booster packs."

Land control is the main feature of the first Anarchy Online booster pack along with additional graphic updates and new sounds. Much larger in scope to Funcom's previously discussed ideas of land control, this feature will be vital for those players taking an active part in the conflict between the planet's two warring sides: Omni-Tek and the clans.

Existing areas of Rubi-Ka will be opened up for control by player organizations. A "controller" is purchased by the organization and placed in the area they wish to hold. The controller then mines notum, the element unique to Rubi-Ka used in advanced nano-technology across the galaxy. Members will gain personal and organizational benefits and advantages from their notum mine, including skill and experience bonuses, land-holder titles, and more.

The exciting part is that a controller can be destroyed by enemies such as other players and creatures within the world. Protection of the controller will be managed through placing permanent towers in the surrounding area. Towers will have both defensive and offensive abilities, and a tower’s attributes will be based on the cumulative skills and abilities of members in the organization. Booster owners can also place personal, temporary towers in almost any area for time-limited bonuses.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks and months, starting with a live chat today at 2pm Pacific Standard Time on the massively multiplayer gaming site Unknownplayer, featuring Anarchy Online Game Director, Gaute Godager.

Funcom now plans to make both booster packs and expansion packs in the future with each serving a separate purpose. As with an expansion pack, a booster pack requires the original game in order to play. It will add benefits for those who own the booster but will still allow non-owners to participate in new gameplay aspects.

About Funcom - As an international games developer and publisher, Funcom has offices in Switzerland, PC development along with marketing in Norway, and a customer support and marketing office in Durham, North Carolina. Formed in 1993, Funcom is best known for The Longest Journey (www.longestjourney.com), voted Adventure Game of the Year 2000 by both PC Gamer and Computer Gaming World. Anarchy Online (www.anarchy-online.com) is the company's most recent success, having been released for the PC in the summer of 2001 and awarded Best Massively Multiplayer Game by PC Gamer. Funcom has had an impressive development track record producing titles for many platforms such as Pocahontas, Casper, Speed Punks, and Championship Motocross. With over 120 employees, the company now publishes and develops massively multi-player online games exclusively for the PC. Tri Synergy Inc. distributes Funcom products in North America. For retail information, please contact Tamra Nestler, tamra@trisynergy.com, mailto:tamra@trisynergy.com, (972) 307-1799 or Robin Frisby, rfrisby@mindspring.com, 214-827-8116. For more details about Funcom, please visit www.funcom.com or contact pr@funcom.com.