“Age of Empires III” Expansion Pack to Storm Windows PCs in 2006


Newest Addition to Best-Selling Franchise Introduces Playable Native American Civilizations...

The incredible momentum behind "Age of Empires III" continues as Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios announced their plans for delivering an expansion pack to gamers in 2006.

The new expansion pack will build off of the exciting real-time-strategy gameplay of "Age of Empires III," providing players with the ability to lead one of three proud Native American civilizations, including the Iroquois Confederation, to expand their empire and fight for control of the Americas.

The expansion pack, which is due on store shelves in the Fall of 2006, will provide new ways to play and win, introducing new gameplay elements and content including new civilizations, a new single player campaign, Home City enhancements and additional maps and units. Additional content will be added to all existing European civilizations as well.

"Age of Empires III," which launched in October 2005, is the fastest selling title in the franchise's history, placing gamers in the position of a European power struggling to explore, colonize and conquer North and South America, roughly during the time period of 1500 to 1850. The game has garnered numerous awards, including GameSpy's 2005 Top Ten PC Games of the Year and PC Gamer's RTS Game of the Year. It has sold more than one and a half million copies to date and is currently among the top selling games for Windows titles.

For images and more information about "Age of Empires III," please visit www.ageofempires3.com and www.agecommunity.com.

Ensemble Studios (http://www.ensemblestudios.com) is one of the world's premier entertainment software developers. Ensemble Studios is known for its blockbuster "Age of Empires" and "Age of Mythology" game series. Ensemble's titles are distinguished by the highest-quality art and gameplay dynamics applied in familiar historical settings, and appeal to hard-core gamers and mass audiences. Ensemble Studios is based in Dallas, Texas.

About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® and Xbox 360™ video game systems, the Windows® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as "Age of Empires®," "Flight Simulator" and "Zoo Tycoon®;" Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as the upcoming "Gears of War" and franchises such as "Halo®," "Fable®," "Project Gotham Racing®" and "Forza Motorsport™"; and MSN® Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "Hexic®."