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Empire Earth Beta Test CDs Available in Retail Stores

Pre-Order Program Allows Thousands to Experience Revolutionary Real-Time Strategy Game Months Before Release

Sierra and Stainless Steel Studios, Inc. today announced that the second phase of Empire Earth's beta-testing program has begun, with tens of thousands of beta CDs available at retail stores across the country. Consumers interested in beta testing Empire Earth(tm) need only pre-order the game at their local Best Buy, CompUSA, Electronics Boutique, Fry's, GameStop, Software Etc. or Babbage's retail store. All beta testers will get a pre-release version of the game, and have access to a private message board to communicate directly with the developers at Stainless Steel Studios, Inc.

The first phase of the beta test, underway since mid-August, saw over 15,000 online applications. Of those, only 1,000 were chosen, but with phase-two the companies expect to see that population rise to over 20,000 eager participants.

Empire Earth is due to be released in mid-November. More information about Empire Earth and the beta test program can be found at

About Empire Earth >From Prehistory to the Nano Age of the 22nd Century, Empire Earth serves up gaming on an epic scale. Empire Earth is an epic real-time strategy (RTS) game that covers 500,000 years of human history, from the discovery of fire to the laser battles of the future. Each player takes control of a fledgling civilization and strives to forge the greatest of all empires. Rick Goodman, Lead Designer of the acclaimed game Age of Empires(r), catapults the RTS genre into a bold new era.

About Stainless Steel Studios, Inc. Stainless Steel Studios, Inc. headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a game design and development organization. Founded in 1998 by Rick Goodman, lead designer of Microsoft's Age of Empires, SSSI will produce advanced real-time strategy titles for the new millennium. Goodman was the winner of the 1998 Computer Game Developer Conference's "Annual Achievement Award for Game Design and Development."

About Sierra Sierra On-Line, Inc., a studio of Vivendi Universal Publishing and part of its Games division, is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment and productivity software. Sierra is renowned for releasing critically acclaimed and award winning titles that represent a wide variety of computer entertainment on both next generation console and PC platforms.

About Vivendi Universal Publishing Vivendi Universal Publishing is a world leader in mass-market multimedia communications. The Company has 22,000 employees and 300 brands in 40 countries and aims to become the unchallenged leader in each of its operating sectors - Games, Education, Literature, Health and Information. VU Publishing had 2000 pro-forma revenues of 3.6 billion euros. A leading publisher of online and PC and Console-based interactive content, the Company's portfolio of entertainment software brands includes Blizzard Entertainment,, Sierra and Universal Interactive Studios. Interactive entertainment is one of parent company Vivendi Universal's key content areas, along with movies, music and other publishing activities.

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