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Blizzard Prepares To Expand Battle.net features and Global Network

As Battle.net’s on-line popularity continues to soar, Blizzard readies new multiplayer options and partners with international Internet service providers

ATLANTA, June 18, 1997 – Following the hugely successful launch of Battle.net earlier this year, Blizzard Entertainment today announced plans to expand the online gaming service by including additional on-line capabilities and by building a global network of Internet service providers.

Major enhancements to Battle.net expected later this year will include support for unique player IDs. The ability for users to register screen names will allow for a moderated worldwide ranking system, challenge ladders and tournaments. Battle.net will also include the option to create player profiles with information about rank, group affiliation, game statistics and other player data. The profiles will be available to all other players in the Battle.net community.

Additionally, to provide optimal connection for Blizzard’s international customers, the company is partnering with local Internet service providers in major markets around the world such as Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Japan. This month, MultiPlay launched the first local Battle.net server in Australia, and Blizzard expects to collocate with other international ISPs durng the next few months.

Said Allen Adham, Blizzard president and founder, “Blizzard’s goal is to create a gaming service that encompasses the globe. To do so, we must provide a high quality, fast-paced gaming experience for all Battle.net users. By partnering with local Internet service providers worldwide, we will not only achieve unsurpassed performance, but also be able to customize service based on each country’s needs.”

Blizzard will also localize the Battle.net interface for the native languages in major international markets. The move represents Blizzard’s commitment to making Battle.net a global community for Internet gaming.

Battle.net Overview
Since launching in January, 13 million games have been played over Battle.net , and with more than 650,000 registered users, Battle.net is the largest on-line gaming service in the world.

Battle.net provides an arena for Blizzard customers to chat, challenge opponents and initiate multiplayer games. Battle.net is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Blizzard charges no hourly or monthly fees to connect to Battle.net. In order to play via Battle.net, access to the Internet is required, and players are responsible for applicable on-line access fees.

Best known for the number-one selling Warcraft series and the blockbuster hit Diablo, Blizzard Entertainment is a premier publisher of entertainment software, and a division of CUC Software, an operating unit of CUC International Inc. (NYSE: CU).

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