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Press release from PR Newswire

Sony Online Entertainment Launches Revolutionary SOEmote? Today In EverQuest® II

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Sony Online Entertainment Launches Revolutionary SOEmote? Today In EverQuest® II14:14 EDT Tuesday, August 07, 2012SOE Puts the Role-Playing Back Into MMOs with SOEmote, Allowing Players to Control Their Avatars' Faces and Change Their VoicesSAN DIEGO, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Online Entertainment, LLC (SOE) today announced that the groundbreaking technology, SOEmote, is now available for free to all EverQuest II (EQII) players. The in-game feature will revolutionize role-playing games (RPGs) by truly putting the 'role-play' back into role-playing games. By bringing the unique personalities of each player to life through their characters, both visually and audibly in real-time, SOEmote provides an unparalleled immersive experience. The feature is compatible with most PCs and webcams."SOEmote gives EverQuest II players direct access to the kind of facial animation technology which has been perfected for Hollywood, and we cannot wait to see what our community will create with it," said Dave Georgeson, executive director of development for the EverQuest franchise. "The EverQuest franchise continues to break new ground, and we are proud to bring new depth to the franchise by giving players unprecedented tools for personal expression and interaction."Beginning today, EverQuest II players will have access to SOEmote, which features:Live Driver, Image Metrics' proprietary, real-time facial analysis, expression tracking and animation technology, uses standard web cams to analyze thousands of expression measurements per second and then transfer that data so that the character's expressions precisely reflect the player's in real time. Voice fonts that allow players to sound like any character that they play as. For example, if a player is playing as a Ratonga and speaks into a microphone to play, their in-game voice will resemble that of their character or a voice of their choice.  "For gamers ? and especially role-players ? the more immersive the experience, the better the game. SOE is using Liver Driver in SOEmote to unlock levels of expression and interaction between EQII players that simply haven't been possible until now," said Robert Gehorsam, CEO of Image Metrics. "Live Driver lets players simply be themselves and inhabit their character in a completely natural way. With it, SOEmote captures and reflects the slightest nuances of expression and emotion, allowing for the kinds of social experiences that players and developers have sought to create for years." In celebration of the launch of SOEmote, SOE is inviting players to create :30 videos that demonstrate the depth and creativity that the new innovative feature will bring to the EverQuest II gameplay experience. From August 8, 2012 to September 8, 2012, players are invited to submit :30 videos that showcase SOEmote in original, creative, and expressive ways. Qualifying videos will be entered to win a grand prize trip for two to SOE Live, SOE's annual player celebration in Las Vegas, and the opportunity to have their video broadcast to fellow EverQuest II gamers at the EverQuest II role-playing-themed panel at SOE Live. For more information on the SOEmote contest, please visit www.SOEmote.com. For assets, please visit: http://bhimpact.gamespress.com/product_page.asp?i=1135 About SOESony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games. Best known for its blockbuster hits and franchises, including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, PlanetSide®, Free Realms®,Star Wars®: Clone Wars Adventures?, Vanguard® Saga of Heroes?, and DC Universe?Online, SOE creates, develops and provides compelling online entertainment for a variety of platforms. SOE is building on its proven legacy and pioneering the future of online worlds through creative development and inspired gameplay design for audiences of all ages. To learn more, visit www.soe.com. About Image MetricsFounded in 2000, Image Metrics is a pioneer in the field of computer vision with numerous patents held in facial recognition, analysis and animation technologies. The company's proprietary algorithms capture, recognize and analyze nuanced facial expressions and emotions in real-time using nothing more than a standard webcam, allowing companies to add compelling new consumer experiences to their products. Image Metrics also licenses powerful SDKs, including Live Driver, its real-time facial animation technology, and PortableYou, its avatar creation platform. The company's integrations include Sony Online Entertainment's MMORPG EverQuest II. Image Metrics is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., with a Research Lab in Manchester, U.K.  For more information or to request a demo, please visit www.Image-Metrics.com. SOURCE Sony Online Entertainment, LLCFor further information: Amelia Lukiman/ Michele Sturdivant, Sony Online Entertainment, +1-858-577-3407/ +1-858-577-3167, alukiman@soe.sony.com / msturdivant@soe.sony.com, or Stacy Miles, Bender/Helper Impact, +1-415-847-4400, stacy_miles@bhimpact.com