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Author: Miyuu
Date:Apr 13 1999

Company Press Release Electronic Arts' Ultima Online, the Best-selling
Internet-Only Game in  History, Redefines the Meaning of Online Trading

Bidding for UO accounts on Popular Internet Auction Site Reaching Into the
Thousands of Dollars

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 13, 1999-- Electronic Arts(TM) 
(Nasdaq:ERTS - news), the world's largest interactive entertainment software 
company, appears to be breaking new ground once again with its popular virtual
world Ultima(TM) Online. In recent weeks, people have been flocking to one of 
the Internet's best-known auction sites, eBay, to bid on Ultima Online (UO) 
accounts, being sold by UO players. Several of the accounts have traded at 
more than $2,000 and two accounts have sold for $3,000 each. 

Thousands of people come each day to live an alternate fantasy life in  the
medieval-based online community known as Ultima Online. The Internet-only 
world is the creation of ORIGIN Systems(TM), Electronic Arts' Austin, 
Texas-based subsidiary. Currently there are 125,000 active players in  Ultima
Online, which has received critical acclaim from publications ranging  from
The New York Times to Next Generation magazine and ``Online Game of the 
Year'' awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and Cnet 
Gamecenter. Gamecenter. 

``In Ultima Online, we're providing the perfect medium for people to live an 
alternate life in a virtual world,'' said Richard Garriott, senior vice
president  at ORIGIN(TM) and the creator of the Ultima series. ``People are
spending hundreds  of hours a month developing characters and assets that now
have real monetary  value. Real world money is being used to purchase virtual
real estate. Once  again the world of Ultima Online has grown and evolved in
ways we could have never imagined. I can't wait to see what the future

Dave Turner, a firefighter in Texas, was one of the first to sell his UO 
account in early March. He made $521 on the sale. ``I had to take on a second 
job, but hated to see my character go away for good. I'd spent more than a 
year building up his online assets and felt there was value in those assets.''

But Turner couldn't stay away. Three weeks after selling his account, he went
to the store and purchased another copy of Ultima Online to begin another life
in  UO's virtual world of Britannia(TM). He now logs on to UO and spends
several hours a week with the person who purchased his first account, teaching
him  the ways of Ultima Online. ``Working with newer players is one of the
most  satisfying aspects of UO,'' says Turner. 

Jonathan Caputo is the CEO of Sumo Inc. (, an 
Internet directory and resource company located in Florida. He recently spent
$1750 on an Ultima Online account, which will be installed at the company  to
provide after-hours entertainment for his employees. ``I knew we  would have a
great time playing the account and taking advantage of  all the gold (more
than 2,000,000 pieces) that came with it. You cannot  account for the
efficiency you get from happy employees.'' 

The fantasy world of Britannia has continued to develop and grow since  Ultima
Online first shipped in September 1997. In the fall of 1998, ORIGIN shipped
Ultima Online: The Second Age(TM), which adds new worlds, monsters  and an
extremely flexible in-game chat feature to the already rich Ultima  Online
landscape. UO was designed from its inception to be scaleable, enabling  the
game to provide an enjoyable and engaging experience for thousands of  players
at the same time. On average, approximately 14,000 people are in  the game at
any one time and players in Ultima Online are logging on to the game an
average of 17 hours each week. Half of the people who play  Ultima Online
enter the fantasy world every single day. 

Ultima Online: The Second Age is currently available for US$39.95. After the 
first 30-days of free gametime, players are charged $9.95 per month. An 
Internet connection (not included) is required to play. The game is available 
from the EA Store, and EA Direct Sales at
800/245-4525, or through your local computer game retailer. More information 
on Ultima Online can be found at or you can take a virtual 
tour of the game from a real player at 

Electronic Arts 

Electronic Arts, headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's
leading  interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982,
Electronic Arts ... BLAH BLAH BLAH... (end)