“Gears of War 2” Snowblind Game Add-on Unleashes a Flurry of New Multiplayer Maps Today on Xbox LIVE Marketplace

LONDON– 31 March 2009 -“Gears of War 2” fans around the world can engage in even more intense action in treacherous winter settings offered by the latest“Gears of War 2” Add-on, the Snowblind Map Pack. Trudge, crawl and roadie run through the harshest of weather conditions as you and your squadmates dive into four new multiplayer maps.

Spanning tunnels, bridges, courtyards and offices, players can sharpen their skills on the four new maps in the Snowblind Add-on: Grindyard, Under Hill, Courtyard and Fuel Depot. All maps are playable on every“Gears of War 2” multiplayer mode, including the highly popular Horde mode:

• Grindyard is a massive industrial complex located in a junk-processing plant from the days of Sera’s industrial excess. The office, now gutted, serves as a perfect place to fortify, but if you’re not careful, you’ll end up trapped inside the office with no hope of escape.

• Under Hill takes players through snowbound tunnels that were once billed as a feat of Seran engineering. Head for high ground on the bridge and you’ll be rewarded with massive firepower, but be prepared to defend your position and try to escape being cornered.

• Courtyard is a wide-open battle royale containing explosive weapons that once formed the heart of Ephyra’s fashionable Civic Center. Lines of sight are far and clear here, and battles tend to focus around the elevated sniper nest. Watch your back and keep a fresh clip.

• Fuel Depot, back by popular demand, Fuel Depot is a“Gears of War 2” remake of the fan-favorite“Gears of War” map, but winter has set in and the depot is now covered in a blanket of snow. Open and unforgiving, it takes a well-coordinated team to cover all the angles here.

Also added to“Gears of War 2” are nine new Achievements worth 250 points:

Here’s the complete list of achievements, points and descriptions:

•“Rookie Gear” (10 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 5 (Public only).

•“Seasoned Gear” (20 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 15 (Public only).

•“Battle-Tested Gear” (30 points): Earn enough multiplayer experience to reach level 25 (Public only).

•“Battle-Hardened Gear” (50 points): Reach level 50 and play a match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (Public only).

•“Veteran Gear” (75 points): Reach level 100 and win a match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (Public only).

•“Never Eat Red Snow” (20 points): Complete waves 1 through 10 on all Snowblind Map Pack maps in Horde (any difficulty).

•“Icy Dead People” (25 points): Complete waves 1 through 50 on any Snowblind Map Pack map in Horde (any difficulty).

•“Frigid Body Dynamics” (5 points): Play a multiplayer match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (any mode).

•“The Weather Outside Is Lethal” (15 points): Win a multiplayer match on each of the four Snowblind Map Pack maps (any mode).

The“Gears of War 2” Snowblind Map Pack Add-on is available for download on Xbox LIVE Marketplace starting today for 800 MS Points.“Gears of War 2” is available exclusively on Xbox 360 and is rated“18” by the BBFC.

-ends-

For press information, please contact:

Nik Thakkar / 020 3047 4087 / nik_thakkar@jcpr.com

Georgina Edwards / 020 3047 4057 / georgina_edwards@jcpr.com

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a superior video game and entertainment system delivering the best games, unique entertainment features and a unified online gaming network that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 has a portfolio of more than 300 games in nearly 40 countries. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows operating system and online platforms. Comprising anetwork of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows ( http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as“Age of Empires,”“Flight Simulator” and“Zoo Tycoon”; Xbox and Xbox 360 ( http://www.xbox.com), including such games as“Gears of War” and franchises such as“Halo,”“Fable,”“Project Gotham Racing” and“Forza Motorsport”; and MSN Games ( http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as“Bejeweled” and“Hexic.”

About Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE is the first and most comprehensive unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox LIVE connects millions of members across 26 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox LIVE Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, TV shows and movies in the United States as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favourite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.

About Xbox LIVE Arcade

Xbox LIVE Arcade on Xbox 360 is the premier destination for digitally distributed high-definition games. Xbox LIVE Arcade is a fast-growing phenomenon with a diverse library of original development and classic titles from the world’s best independent and established developers and publishers. With a dynamically updated library and free trials for every title, Xbox LIVE Arcade makes it easy for every type of gamer— from casual to hard-core— to get instantly immersed in the fun. Xbox LIVE Arcade also lets friends connect and play these incredible games either from the same room or from around the world via the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/livearcade.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq“MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.