Microsoft Invests in Another Game Company

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to an exclusive distribution deal with Maryland-based strategy games developer Big Huge Games Inc., the companies announced Wednesday. Microsoft has also made an equity investment of unspecified size in the company.

According to a statement from Big Huge Games, the deal gives Microsoft exclusive rights to publish and distribute three software titles -- although the six-month-old company has yet to release a game.

Big Huge Games was formed in February by four developers previously involved in the creation of the PC games Civilization II, Colonization and Alpha Centauri.

This is the latest in a series of games distribution deals for Microsoft. Other agreements have been struck with developers Digital Anvil, Ensemble Studios, Gas Powered Games, and Relic Entertainment. Such moves have been widely seen as building a portfolio of titles prior to the introduction of Microsoft's Xbox gaming console, but in the case of Big Huge Games, Microsoft said that the two companies would work together on development of titles for the PC platform.

Big Huge Games, in Hunt Valley, Maryland, can be reached at +1-410-683-0411, or found on the Web at http://www.bighugegames.com/. Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080 or online at http://www.microsoft.com/.

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