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Artifact Entertainment Selects NTT/VERIO Hosting to Manage Its Online Game Environment [12th November]

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Nov 12, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Working with viaVerio(R) Channel Partner Venicom, Artifact Teams with NTT/VERIO Solutions to Deliver Managed Hosting Solution for Its Massively Multiplayer Game, "Horizons"

Verio, a subsidiary of NTT Communications and a leading global IP solutions provider, today announced it will manage a new massive multiplayer, online gaming (MMOG) hosting environment for Artifact Entertainment, a worldwide provider of interactive entertainment content, media, delivery and technology.

Artifact is launching the world's first turnkey interactive entertainment production system in Fall 2003, known as, "Horizons: Empire of Istaria," a cinematic quality massively multi-player online game, built using Artifact's proprietary interactive simulation technology, Evolution Engine(TM). The game delivers adventure in the form of lost civilizations, buried treasures and new frontiers.

The market potential for massive multiplayer online entertainment is enormous. Horizons and the Artifact Entertainment Network are targeted at a potential 50 million worldwide consumers that are currently playing online games. The initial consumer focus will be geared towards the existing MMOG consumer, which is estimated at over 14 million worldwide subscribers according to a recent report by Datamonitor.

To support the estimated market penetration and level of anticipated demand on the network, Artifact Entertainment has teamed with Verio to provide a fully managed, highly scalable and redundant multi-server configuration with load-balancing and managed security services.

"With the volume and growth we are expecting, as well as the type of dynamic content experience we are delivering, and rapid increases in game user volume requiring immediate managed hosting infrastructure changes with less than 15 days notice, we needed a solutions provider that could meet the performance and infrastructure requirements our complex massive multiplayer game demands," said James Jones, co-president of Artifact Entertainment. "Because of Verio's experience in the industry, and the knowledge of their technical team, we have worked hand in hand to construct a solution that will be scaleable, secure, and above all, deliver high availability for our customers."

The Artifact Entertainment Horizons' solution leverages the full redundancy and global capability of the NTT/VERIO IP network. "Network capacity and bandwidth is certainly a big consideration given the business we are in," added Jones. "We found that the infrastructure and support systems in place at Verio will help deliver an on-demand solution to meet our anticipated but periodic massive traffic spikes."

The debut of Horizons has already seen Artifact partnering with industry leaders such as Atari and in Europe, Digital Brothers.

Early beta reviews of Horizons in industry sources show it is already a contender to lead the pack of new MMOGs. IGN's Vault Network, a top rated gaming website stated that, "When you add together everything Artifact Entertainment has put into Horizons: a deep and immersive crafting system, nine playable races including Dragons, player owned property, and player built cities, Horizons is the game to get this year." Horizons won this year's "Game of Show" from IGN's Vault Network, and also received recognition in areas including Best Sound, Developer of the Year and Best of Show: RPG from Daily Game at the 2003 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

"Artifact Entertainment is poised to become the next leading online gaming provider as it takes advantage of its proprietary technology engine and product delivery, and as we see increasing use of broadband capability in households in both the US and worldwide," said Isabel Ehringer, president of Verio Enterprise Hosting. "In addition to preparing for a successful launch this fall, Artifact is already at work planning for the development of new titles and products. With this ongoing expansion, Verio will work closely with Artifact to ensure we continue to offer the premium solutions that a growing company like Artifact Entertainment demands."

About Artifact Entertainment

Artifact Entertainment, Inc. is a privately held developer of Online Interactive Entertainment Environments and revolutionary Multi-User Networked Simulations for the gaming and military communities. Artifact strives to provide quality entertainment experiences using superior technology, proven design methods, broad market appeal, customer satisfaction and the highest quality staff. Artifact is currently developing the highly anticipated, fantasy based Massively Multiplayer Game called "Horizons: Empire of Istaria". More information on Artifact Entertainment, Inc. can be found at http://www.artifact-entertainment.com or on Horizons at http://www.istaria.com.

About Venicom

Venicom created its carrier neutral relationships with multiple Tier One backbones to become a unique, single source bandwidth consulting and procurement company. Venicom acts as a single point of contact for its clients concerning all of their connectivity needs including data, voice, and local services as well as consultation for purchasing services such as co-location, web hosting, hardware and dark fiber. By procuring contracts directly from each carrier for clients, not only does Venicom provide the lowest prices possible, but insures the highest level of direct carrier support and customer service.

About Verio

Verio Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications (NTT Com), which provides long distance and international telecommunications reaching over 200 countries worldwide. Verio is the world's largest operator of Web sites for businesses and a leading provider of global IP solutions. NTT Com and Verio market their global IP solutions under the NTT/VERIO brand. The company offers businesses a broad range of Internet services, including Web hosting, dedicated access, virtual private networks, and managed service offerings, among other enhanced services. Verio supports its operations with highly reliable and scalable global infrastructure and systems including the NTT/VERIO Global IP Network, and provides Web hosting services to customers in more than 170 countries. The combination of Verio and NTT Com offers services to meet the growing and diverse needs of all businesses, including small to medium businesses, large global enterprises and multi-national corporations. More information can be found at www.verio.com and www.ntt.com/index-e.html.

Evolution Engine is a registered trademark of Artifact Entertainment. Verio, viaVerio and the Verio logo are trademarks and/or service marks of Verio Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other names are trademarks or registered marks of their respective owners.


Artifact Entertainment
Steve Escalante, 480-218-1223 x234
Verio Inc.
Mona Peloquin, 303-645-1961




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