SONY ONLINE ENTERTAINMENT BREAKS NEW GROUND WITH FIRST ‘WIKIA OFFICIAL COMMUNITY’ FOR UPCOMING MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER VIDEO GAME PLANETSIDE 2

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Powered by the Fans, New Official Wiki Takes Community Collaboration to New Level with Tools that Support and Empower Players

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – Oct. 10, 2012 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, has joined forces with Wikia, the collaborative media company, home to some of the largest fan communities on the Web, to launch the first-ever ‘Wikia Official Community’ for the highly-anticipated MMO first-person-shooter (FPS) PlanetSide®2. Under the new partnership, SOE and Wikia will collaborate with the player base through official Wikia communities to empower players to help each other succeed in games, and offer them another direct line of communication and support to SOE’s Community and Development teams. PlanetSide 2 players and Wikia users will also be offered a wide range of exclusive and unique official content, such as videos, interviews, chats, game guides, and more.

“Teaming up with Wikia was the natural next step for us in providing the necessary tools to further embrace and empower our players,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. “This new partnership is truly about community collaboration, and Wikia’s reputation and respect for its dedicated global network of players offered the ideal platform for SOE to further support its players and the community. We are excited and looking forward to the creative and compelling ways fans will utilize this custom channel to expand community engagement outside of the game.”

By publishing official and community driven content alongside actual game development, SOE is forging new territory by endorsing fan communities to create, engage and collaborate around their favorite game with the developers throughout production. SOE and Wikia are working together to develop and design the official PlanetSide 2 wiki that will allow fans and gaming enthusiasts to contribute unique and valuable content on a regular basis to be seen by the community at large. The partnership and official fan wiki will allow both companies to embrace and further empower their communities by creating a meaningful two-way flow of valuable information.

“We are thrilled that SOE, which understands the power of the community, is launching their first of many official communities amidst our very enthusiastic and knowledgeable network of fans,” said Craig Palmer, CEO for Wikia. “As our lifestyle, gaming and entertainment communities continue to grow and populate, we look forward to an active PlanetSide 2 community as a model for the best user generated collaborative content on the web.”

As part of its dedication to supporting existing community efforts, SOE has also designated EQ2i, one of the longest-running and well-populated Wikia sites, as its official Wiki for the popular MMO EverQuest® II.

“We want to work with vibrant, existing Wikia communities at the grass-roots level,” said Linda Carlson, Director of Global Community Relations, Sony Online Entertainment. “Partnering with sites such as EQ2i serves to recognize and support the efforts of thousands of dedicated fans on Wikia, be they individuals, guilds or fan-sites. It’s about time, and we can hardly wait to get started!”

The Official Communities will complement Wikia’s already recognized 250,000+ wikis on the site, ranging in subjects from pop culture, fashion, TV to sports. Wikia Video Games is the leading source of global video game content on the Web today and is home to some of the largest video game communities, accounting for over 50,000 gaming wikis and 2.48 million pages of gaming content, averaging over 25,000 user edits each day. The Wikia Official Community will utilize new curation features, while continuing to engage players in traditional wiki formats around large-scale and social video gaming.

THE DESTINY OF VELIOUS SAGA CONTINUES IN LATEST EVERQUEST II GAME UPDATE – SKYSHRINE

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WHAT: Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) EverQuest® II (EQII) brings players Skyshrine! In the latest game update, players are introduced to the huge citadel of Skyshrine and the vast Withered Lands. Skyshrine arrives with a ton of new content and many other additions for fans of its most recent expansions – Destiny of Velious and Age of Discovery.

For players that have the Destiny of Velious expansion, Skyshrine is packed with content updates including a level cap raised to 92, an outdoor zone in Withered Lands that includes more than 100 quests, solo, small groups, and raid content, and epic storyline events with Heroic Group and Raid endgame instances. Players can now experience an all new Drake mount, new tradeskill quests and new items that have been woven into the story arc.

Players with the Age of Discovery expansion will be treated to new additions including a Poet’s Palace Dungeon Maker theme and items, new Dungeon Maker adventurers, Tradeskill apprentices with new recipes including an Elite recipe, new creatures to tame for Beastlords, and for the first time, three new quested mercenaries, including an Elite mercenary.

For more information on Skyshrine for EverQuest II, visit: http://everquest2.com/.

WHEN: Skyshrine is now available.

Skyshrine Lore:
The Destiny of Velious saga continues as adventurers breach the barriers of the Withered Lands seeking entrance to Skyshrine, the glorious ancient dragon city.

The great citadel of Skyshrine has long housed the Claws of Veeshan dragons behind its massive walls and arcane protections.  Now, the unthinkable has happened — it has become besieged by powerful forces. Players must battle and befriend dragons and their wurmkin in the forbidden city of Dracur, and explore the past to unravel mysterious events that transformed the formidable draconic city into a battlefield full of daunting challenges, fearful foes and unimaginable treasures!

Far below Skyshrine a different battle rages on. The Withered Lands, once known as the Wakening Land, was a majestic Plane of Growth-touched valley. Today it is oddly overgrown and overrun by a sickly magic. This strange corruption has touched and twisted many of the creatures that thrived here, including the legendary caretakers of the forest. Players must find a way to preserve the heart of the forest against corruption and rally the heart of the once Wakening Lands.

About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games.  Best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including EverQuest®, EverQuest®  II, Champions of Norrath®, PlanetSide®, Free Realms®, Star Wars®: Clone Wars Adventures™, and DC UniverseOnline, SOE creates, develops and provides compelling online entertainment for a variety of platforms.  SOE is building on its proven legacy and pioneering the future of online worlds through creative development and inspired gameplay design for audiences of all ages.  To learn more, visit www.soe.com.

SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest, Champions of Norrath, Free Realms and PlanetSide are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

EVERQUEST II IS NOW FREE-TO-PLAY !

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Age of Discovery Expansion Pack Also Now Available for Online Purchase

SAN DIEGO – December 6, 2011 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) EverQuest®II(EQII) is now free-to-play. Beginning today, all PC users will be able to freely download, install and launch the game without charge. Available free content includes the base game and all expansions up to and including EverQuest II Sentinel’s Fate ® as well as the brand new Freeport Reborn game update. The game’s eighth overall expansion – Age of Discovery – is also now available for purchase as a digital download, and introduces the fan-favorite Beastlord class and Dungeon Maker feature!

“Since EverQuest II’s introduction in 2004, our team’s mission has been to deliver a continuous flow of rich content that is both engaging and accessible,” said Dave Georgeson, executive producer of the EverQuest franchise. “The new membership system, game update and expansion are a direct response to our community interaction, and we’re confident that this will take EverQuest II in an exciting new direction.”

For EverQuest II players, there are now three membership levels: Free, Silver and Gold. Existing Platinum memberships will continue until they expire.

EVERQUEST II NEW MEMBERSHIP BREAKDOWN:

  • Free – All new players or “Bronze” level members from EverQuest II Extended will have two character slots to max out at level 90. Some game features will be restricted, including available races, bag slots, spell tiers, equipment grades and more.
  • Silver – Any player who purchases the Silver Upgrade token for 500 Station Cash (or $5 USD) will have fewer restrictions than “free” users. This level does not expire and includes all of the Free membership features plus additional features including character slots, bag slots, spell tiers, unlimited chat options and more.
  • Gold – Gold membership is available for $14.99 USD per month and provides access to 16 classes, 15 races, seven character slots, six bag slots per character, access to Legendary and Fabled equipment, and more.

A matrix detailing the three new EQII membership levels is available here: http://everquest2.com/free_to_play/game_overview.

The new membership system coincides with the launch of EverQuest II’s 62nd overall game update – Freeport Reborn. Available for free to all players, the new game update follows an aftermath of violence and disorder in Freeport. Here, citizens are called to action by the returning Overlord Lucan D’Lere to help eliminate those who betrayed him, consolidate his hold on the city, and restore Freeport to its rightful place as Norrath’s center of power. Transformed into a single zone with a convenient central commerce hub by the docks, the revamped Freeport features new quests at different levels that allow all players to assist the local citizens and learn more about the Freeport story.

Additionally today, Age of Discovery, EQII’s eighth expansion is now available for purchase. Age of Discovery allows players to make their mark in-game with the Dungeon Maker feature, play as the EverQuest fan-favorite Beastlord class, and hire Mercenaries for help in their heroic battles. For more information on the Age of Discovery expansion pack, please visit: http://everquest2.com/.

Rated T for Teen by the ESRB with the content descriptors for suggestive themes and the use of alcohol and violence, EverQuest II: Age of Discovery is now available worldwide via digital download purchase on PC at the suggested price of $39.99 USD. The Collector’s Edition, which includes several in-game bonus items, is available for $89.99 USD. EverQuest II: Age of Discovery is available for online purchase in North America at Amazon, GameStop, DL Gamer, Direct to Drive and additional participating video game retailers.

The previous expansion, EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious ®,is also available separately for purchase.

For more information about EverQuest II, visit http://everquest2.com/.

EVERQUEST: VEIL OF ALARIS EXPANSION NOW AVAILABLE!

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EVERQUEST®: VEIL OF ALARIS EXPANSION NOW AVAILABLE

SAN DIEGO – November 15, 2011 – Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that EverQuest®: Veil of Alaris – the 18th overall expansion for the highly influential massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) EverQuest (EQ) – is now available at retailers worldwide. Taking off from the storyline set in 2010’s House of Thule, players are invited to journey to the continent of Alaris – a long hidden land of magic where even the Gods are under threat – and witness a side of Norrath they have never seen.

“Having continued for well over a decade, we are very aware of EverQuest’s place of importance not only in the video game world, but also with pop culture in general,” said Thom Terrazas, lead producer of EverQuest. “As the EQ epic continues to expand through new journeys, storyline twists and in-game features with Veil of Alaris, we find it more and more important to keep the content and on-going saga as rich and compelling as possible while also holding true to the expectations of our incredibly loyal community.”

With the defeat of Cazic Thule and subsequent loss of his powers behind Alaris’ veil, Norrathian God Morell beckons the heroes of Norrath to journey to Alaris and aid in obtaining Cazic’s former powers. Through 13 raids, 20 missions and over 110 quests, players are challenged to navigate a course filled with new unique Alarin characters and creatures while also taking advantage of hundreds of new spells and alternate advancements.

EXPANSION FEATURES:

  • Go from 90 to 95 – Achieve a new max level of 95 and set a new standard of gameplay
  • New Environments – Visit all spectrums through new environments including Argath (Bastion of Illdaera), Erillion (City of Bronze), Rubak Oseka (Temple of the Sea), Sarith (City of Tides) and the visually spectacular Resplendent Temple.
  • New Guild Halls – Take guild halls to new heights with new customizable guild-based features including multiple exteriors and interiors and an integration of tools and functionality derived from EverQuest‘s robust housing system
  • New Guild Rank-Based Permission System – Personalize your guilds with nameable ranks and customizable permissions
  • Improved Hotbars – Have better control of your characters experience with a revamp of the Hotbar system
  • Parcel & Coin Delivery System – Share profits from your adventures with your friends while they are offline
  • New Guild Trophies – Including varying bonuses!
  • More than 800 AAs – Elevate your power and abilities beyond the norm
  • 13 Raids – Collect valuable rewards from all new adventures
  • 12 Zones – Be the first to discover untouched lands of Norrath
  • 500+ Spells – Exponentially add to your spell arsenal
  • 20 Missions – Experience intriguing lore and immersive missions
  • 110+ Quests – Challenge your skills and gather useful loot
  • Legends of Norrath™ – Five (5) digital booster packs

Honored at this year’s Game Developers Choice Online Awards, EverQuest was selected as the second overall inductee into the GDC Online Hall of Fame for its contribution to the long-term advancement of online gaming and as a pioneer in major shifts in video game development as a whole.

EverQuest: Veil of Alaris is now available worldwide on PC at the suggested retail price of $39.99 USD for an all-in-one package, including all previous EverQuest expansion packs and in-game items such as a Desert Kangon Saddle, Traveler’s Rucksack and Veil of Alaris painting. The Collector’s Edition is available for $89.99 USD and includes several in-game bonus items:

COLLECTOR’S EDITION BONUS ITEMS:

  • Journeyman’s Pocketed Rucksack
  • Forest Kangon Saddle
  • Swinetor Contract
  • Concept Art Painting #1
  • Concept Art Painting #2
  • Sentry Stone Replica

One 30-day game subscription is included with each purchase of the game for new subscribers, with monthly subscriptions available thereafter starting at $14.99 USD, with discounts for longer durations.

EverQuest: Veil of Alaris is rated T for Teen by the ESRB with the content descriptors for suggestive themes and the use of alcohol and violence. EverQuest: Veil of Alaris is available for online purchase in North America at Amazon, GameStop, DL Gamer, Direct to Drive and additional participating video game retailers.

For more information about EverQuest, visit http://everquest.com/everquest.vm.

FREE REALMS PASSES 20 MILLION REGISTERED PLAYER MARK

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Free Realms

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October 20, 2011
FREE REALMS® PASSES 20 MILLION REGISTERED PLAYER MARK

SAN DIEGO, CALIF.October 20, 2011 Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) today announced that more than 20 million users have registered for Free Realms® since its launch in 2009. Free Realms, the free-to-play online world for the PC, Macintosh® and PlayStation®Network,features an endless array of exciting gameplay activities, minigames, and adventures to entertain a wide audience of players.

“This benchmark is an honor and a true testament of SOE’s success with Free-to-Play games,” said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. “Free Realms delivers a truly captivating, quality gameplay experience that keeps our community engaged and continues to attract new players every day.”

To celebrate the rapidly growing community of players, SOE will offer a special promotional in-game varsity letterman jacket to each character, for players that log in at least once from October 21 through October 31, 2011 PDT.

SOE is also hosting a Free Realms Spooktacular in-game event where fun tricks and treats will be available for players to claim when they log in.  From October 24 through November 7, 2011, players can log in to take part in several bone-chilling special events such as the Vampire vs. Werewolf Dance-Off in the Bone Bog Cemetery. Additionally, players will have the opportunity to purchase a new Werewolf mount for haunting in style, as well as new ghoulish Halloween costumes, including a Ghost, Grim Reaper, Mummy outfit, and more.

Set in a fantasy-themed world, Free Realms allows players to do whatever they want, when they want. Players can customize their characters, explore, quest, battle monsters, and play a wide variety of mini-games in a safe, family-friendly world, packed with stunning visuals, distinctive environments and social networking capabilities.

Free Realms is rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and up by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) with content descriptors of Crude Humor and Fantasy Violence.

To play Free Realms now please visit: http://www.FreeRealms.com.