3DO Releases Meridian 59 Update:

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New, Free Trial Demo Now Available For Download

Redwood City, CA, March 17, 1997 -- The 3DO Company today announced that its award-winning Meridian 59, the Internet's first next generation Internet-based role-playing game, will debut its largest update yet with the release of Vale of Sorrow on March 18. Meridian 59 will undergo rapid change as users download Vale of Sorrow, introducing vast new areas, new monsters and non-player characters, new spells, additional quests, character customizations, as well as updated graphics to augment the look of the entire world. In addition to the update, a new, free trial demo is now available as a five megabyte download

"This update is highly anticipated by our current users, but is also designed to help introduce this unique gaming and social experience to all potential new players," said Richard Theige, vice president Internet Division, The 3DO Company. "Vale of Sorrow exemplifies our commitment to keeping the world fresh with new game play consistent with the growth and evolution within the player community."

Places To Go, Things To Do, People To Meet, Monsters To Maim

The Vale of Sorrow name is derived from a new and mysterious forest inhabited by an enchanting, but deadly, dichotomy of Faeries. A battle between good and evil is waiting to erupt and immerse the entire world of Meridian in what could be a constant struggle for power. Players will choose to side with the noble Elhai or the sinister Dirhai and engage in this magical war, ultimately searching to discover a secret source of mystic power.

Other new areas lurk deep in the heart of the sewers where players will encounter a dangerous addition to its depths known as the Lupogg. This two-footed nasty is all mouth and ready to chomp all that dare to enter his domain. Players can also descend into the dark and dangerous crypt to challenge hordes of evil mummies.

For Meridian players tempted by the illicit thrill of player killing but wary of its consequences, the deadly game of Meridian Assassin, where stealth and skill can prevail over brute force, will provide a whole new aspect to the game.

The Meridian Social Scene

Socializing is a favorite pastime in Meridian. When players aren't out on a quest, bonding with a mana node, or fighting a monster, they are likely to be found exploring the towns in search of new friendships, role-playing with other players, or attending guild meetings. To enrich social interactions within the game, expanded aliases and improved guild communications are now available to keep players in touch with their allies and friends. There is also a new text filter that players can personally customize to fit their needs.

A new spring line sparks a trend in Meridian fashion with colorful new avatar and clothing options. In addition, players will encounter strange, new non-player-characters who have much advice, wisdom, and challenges to bestow.

Free Trial Demo

The Meridian 59 demo takes place in the town of Hazar, built to allow new players, also known as "newbies", the opportunity to get acquainted with the game while remaining sheltered from the more experienced player population. All broadcasts and messages from a currently populated world can be viewed real-time from the town, providing a sneak peek at some of the activities taking place in the "real" world. Signs are posted throughout Hazar to provide a guided tour through its surroundings, acquainting new players with the many facets of Meridian 59.

The Vale of Sorrow update is free to all current Meridian 59 users via FTP download beginning March 18. A collector's edition of the Vale of Sorrow disc can be pre-ordered for $4.99 at https://meridian.3do.com/meridian/update. The new free trial demo version of Meridian 59: Vale of Sorrow will also be available for download on March 18.

New customers wishing to purchase the original game can go through retail and download the Vale of Sorrow update for free via the Internet. The retail version, with an estimated street price of $24.95, includes the original Meridian 59 CD-ROM, the added value of Netscape Navigator Personal Edition client software free of charge, 30 days of free game time, CD audio tracks, and a special edition map of the Meridian 59 world. It can also be purchased through 3DO Direct Sales by calling 1-800-336-3506. The complete Meridian 59 download product is available by connecting to 3DO's FTP site and has a $14.95 activation fee. Both products include a monthly subscription fee of $9.95 for unlimited play.

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The 3DO Company (NASDAQ: THDO) is headquartered in Redwood City, CA. With offices in North America and Europe, the company creates and publishes advanced entertainment software titles for personal computers, the Internet, and 32-bit and 64-bit video game platforms.

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