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Award-winning Designers Sid Meier and Richard Garfield Work Together on the Product

Los Angeles, May 16, 1996 - Magic: The Gathering is the collectible card phenomenon that's taken the world by storm. Now its creator, Richard Garfield of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., and the award-winning PC strategy game designer Sid Meier of the MicroProse studio of Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBYT) have teamed up to bring Magic: The Gathering to CD-ROM as a native Windows 95 title. The game will be developed under the MicroProse brand and distributed worldwide.

"By pairing MicroProse, which is a leader in the interactive entertainment industry, and Wizards of the Coast, Inc., which is a leader in the paper trading card industry, we can develop a computer version of Magic: The Gathering that appeals to gamers of all types," said Louis Gioia, Jr., chief marketing officer for Spectrum HoloByte, Inc.

Magic: The Gathering software is based on the popular Wizards of the Coast trading card game of the same name, which has sold more than one billion cards worldwide in seven languages. The game is filled with wizards, spell-casting and strategy.

"Magic: The Gathering is a fun card game, and I want to design a complete adventure game around it to bring Magic: The Gathering to life in an animated world," said Sid Meier, vice president of creative development at the MicroProse studio in Maryland and award-winning designer of such software hits as Sid Meier's Civilization and F-15 Strike Eagle.

Richard Garfield is the award-winning creator of the original Magic: The Gathering and other successful games, including RoboRally, Netrunner and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, at Wizards of the Coast.

Game Concepts

Meier is programming a new adventure game segment that is based on the original card game. In this exotic fantasy world, players interact with AI (artificial intelligence) opponents that personify many of the Magic: The Gathering cards.

Players will use green, red, blue, black and white Magic to defeat more than 100 mystical creatures. Gamers will be able to bludgeon a Beastmaster, vex a Vampire Lord, control fantastic beings like the virtuous Serra Angel, build impenetrable defenses using a combination of supernatural spells and rare artifacts, and much more.

Meier is also programming a stand-alone duel segment in which players can challenge the computer's AI outside the adventure world. This duel interface mode allows players to jump right in and go head-to-head against a variety of creatures.

Game players may choose to duel against the computer's specially themed decks or against decks that they create.

Windows 95 Features

The AutoPlay feature, which is an automatic configuration, enables the computer to automatically install the game and run under Windows 95. For the player, this means less tweaking to get the game to run.

Windows 95 allows for faster gameplay, higher quality audio and better resolution. The operating system will enable all users to see the Magic: The Gathering card art in whatever screen resolution they currently use. MicroProse will use 24-bit images as the basis of its art to take full advantage of the capabilities of each user's display hardware. Although the game will run easily on a high-end 24-bit or 16-bit graphics card, it will also look brilliant in 256-color mode.

The interface is a natural with Magic: The Gathering because the look of Windows 95 enables the programmers to duplicate how the paper card version looks and acts. The fantasy-style format takes the player into a Magic: The Gathering universe.

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Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for use on CD-ROM based personal computer systems. The company is also developing software for next generation console machines. The company's four development studios are Spectrum HoloByte, Alameda, California; MicroProse Software, Hunt Valley, Maryland; MicroProse Limited, Chipping Sodbury, England; and SimTex Software Corporation, Austin, Texas. Products are available nationally and internationally through major distributors, retailers and mass merchants.

Wizards of the Coast is a game manufacturer based in Seattle, Wash. In August 1993, the company released its first trading card game, Magic: The Gathering. To date, more than one billion cards have sold worldwide in seven languages. Wizards of the Coast has branches in Glasgow, Scotland; Antwerp, Belgium; and Paris, France. Wizards of the Coast currently employees more than 225 people among its four locations.

MAGIC: THE GATHERING is a registered trademark of Wizards of the Coast. All brands, products and service names are trademarks or registered service marks of their respective owners.

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