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EA Sports Presents NASCAR Thunder 2002

Re-Launches the NASCAR Franchise (July 10, 2001)
Electronic Arts (EA) today announced the re-launch of its NASCAR franchise, NASCAR Thunder 2002, with its relocation to EA's Tiburon Studio.

Tiburon Studio, known for its development of EA's Madden NFL franchise, has added depth, innovation and deeper gameplay modes for the NASCAR experience. NASCAR Thunder 2002 is scheduled to ship on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the PlayStation this fall and for the Xbox video game system during the first wave of Xbox titles.


"We feel that we have made a strategic move with our NASCAR franchise," said Chip Lange, vice president of marketing, Electronic Arts. "We are committed to capturing the complete NASCAR package with its larger than life action, superstars, strategy and excitement. With over 60 drivers to choose from, all 23 Cup Series tracks and one of the largest pack of cars available on console, we are confident that we have assembled a team that can deliver just that at EA's Tiburon studio."

The NASCAR development team is comprised of veteran NASCAR video game developers from the industry, members of the Madden Football graphics team and NASCAR fanatics. Working with the graphic engine from the acclaimed Madden NFL franchise, NASCAR Thunder 2002 will feature a huge pack of cars in EA SPORTS NASCAR environments. The graphic engine's horsepower allows the team to incorporate an accurate damage model, with cars that dent and crumple and lose auto parts as they collide with other cars and track barriers. When car damage is repaired the cars morph back to there original state. Other damage effects will include tire donuts on body panels, tire smoke, particle effects and contained oil fires.

NASCAR Thunder 2002 features every track found in the Cup Series including the new, Chicagoland and Kansas Speedways as well as more than 60 of the top drivers and cars with all four manufacturers' cars represented in game. Take the wheel as any of your favorite drivers including, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Bill Elliot, Michael Waltrip and Steve Park, or develop your own team.

"EA SPORTS really has captured the NASCAR experience," said Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR Cup Series star. "The game is so real, I can use it to practice before I get to the race track. I can get a sense of where I can get on the gas, and how much patience I'll need. Just watch that you don't get out of the draft or you'll get freight trained!"

"I came on board at EA SPORTS to do one thing," said Ed Martin, director of NASCAR production. "To produce the deepest, most compelling and entertaining NASCAR game ever developed and we are on track to deliver that this fall. The entire NASCAR team at EA has committed to making NASCAR Thunder 2002 the most exciting and fun experience for all racing fans."

The new career mode allows gamers to race for the championship over multiple seasons. Choose a manufacturer, paint your car, and then earn offers and decals from new sponsors based on your performance. Use your race winnings to equip your crew and vehicle, increasing horsepower, handling and pit crew performance. You can even earn the right to race for an existing NASCAR team.

Electronic Arts, headquartered in Redwood City, California, is a leading independent interactive entertainment software company. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA GAMES(TM), EA SPORTS BIG(TM) and EA.COM(SM). More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

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