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Big Improvements In Rugby Gaming


News release:

30 April 2003

EA SPORTS KICKS OFF BIG IMPROVEMENTS IN RUGBY GAMING

New Zealand rugby video game fans can expect a significantly improved, faster and more realistic offering from Electronic Arts New Zealand when it launches its EA Sports Rugby 2004 in time for the Rugby World Cup.

EA held an advanced preview of the game in Auckland, on April 29, to showcase developments achieved by the company in its flagship rugby title, which is scheduled for launch in September 2003.

EA Sports Rugby 2004 uses motion-capture technology that enables the game to capture real-time rugby player movements, resulting in a game with a superior level of detail, movement and animation.

"I like to think that EA Sports Rugby 2004 is three times the game our last offering Rugby 2001 was," says EA Sports Rugby 2004 Development Manager Andrew Wilson.

"We have improved and upgraded every element of the game from the intro movie to end game celebrations. The key things to look out for in the game are new motion capture and animations, a new ruck and maul system, and enhanced gameplay."

This is the first rugby video game to carry the Super 12 licence and features New Zealand, Australian, South African and European national competitions as well as an international World competition.

EA Sports Rugby 2004 reinforces EA's commitment to developing local sporting titles that cater specifically to a New Zealand audience says General Manager of EA New Zealand Mike Wynands.

"Rugby has a special place in New Zealand and by developing this game we are not only answering a local demand, but adding depth and variety to EA Sport's list of international sports titles," Mr Wynands says.

The game, which features more than 1500 players, 20 international teams including the All Blacks and Super 12 teams, has also received endorsement from the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU).

"With the World Cup being held in Australia this year, we're going to be closer to the action than ever before so there's no better time to introduce the game of rugby to local audiences. We are always looking for new ways to promote the growth of our sport, particularly through new and exciting mediums such as interactive entertainment," says Trevor McKewen, NZRU General Manager, Commercial.

EA Sports Rugby 2004 will be exclusive to PlayStation2 (PS2) and PC formats.

"We are extremely excited that EA has chosen PS2 as the exclusive console format for EA Sports Rugby 2004. Many New Zealanders will not get the chance to attend an international rugby game but with EA Sports Rugby 2004, gamers all over the world have the chance to feel the excitement in their own home," says Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand Steve Dykes.

Gamers can compete in their favourite competitions, selecting to play in more than 75 stadiums from across the globe. Expert play-by-play commentary by world-renowned commentators, will help bring the game calls alive.

EA Sports Rugby 2004 will feature licences from the New Zealand Rugby Union, the Australian Rugby Union, South African Rugby Football Union, Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby Union and the Federation Francaise de Rugby. It will also include a selection of famous All Black players as well as legendary sports personalities from international rugby teams.

ENDS

For further information contact: Mike Burgess mburgess@ppr.co.nz Ph (09) 979 2032 Cell 027 295 6782

EA SPORTS, (www.easports.com), is the leading interactive sports software brand in the world. Its top-selling franchises and titles include FIFA Soccer, John Madden Football(tm), NHL(r) Hockey, Knockout Kings(tm), NBA LIVE Basketball, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(r) Golf, Triple Play Baseball(tm) and NASCAR(r) 2000.

Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), headquartered in Redwood City,California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts (EA) posted revenues of more than US$1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under three brand names: EA SPORTS(tm), EA GAMES(tm) and EA.COMSM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.ea.com.

# # # ELECTRONIC ARTS, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, EA GAMES, EA STORE, ORIGIN, BULLFROG, MAXIS and WESTWOOD STUDIOS and all associated logos are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA.COM is a service mark of EA.com Inc. The SRU logo is the copyright of Scottish Rugby Union plc.

The SRU logo and "Murrayfield" are trademarks of Scottish Rugby Union plc. The FFR and the XV France logos are trademarks of Federation Francaise de Rugby. The Silver Fern Device, ALL BLACKS and ALL BLACK are trade marks owned by the NZRU and are used under license from NZRU. The Australian Rugby and Wallaby logos are trademarks owned by Australian Rugby Union Ltd., and are used under license. The SA Rugby logo is a trademark of the South African Rugby Football Union and is used under exclusive license. The England Rose, alone and used in conjunction with the England Rugby logo and or "Twickenham" are trademarks of the Rugby Football Union Ltd. Exclusively licensed to and published by Electronic Arts. PlayStation is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

# # #


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