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Konami Hosts Yu-Gi-Oh! U.S. Finals and World Championship 2004 Tournaments

Thousands of Fans From Around The World To Participate in the Largest Yu-Gi-Oh! Events in History

U.S. Finals Take Place in San Diego, Calif. July 22 and 23; World Championship 2004 Tournament Event in Anaheim, Calif. on July 25

Konami Digital Entertainment – America, a subsidiary of Konami Corporation, today announced details on the two concluding tournaments that will result in the ultimate crowning of the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2004 Tournament champions. For the past few months, Konami and Upper Deck Entertainment have hosted tournaments around the world using their respective video game and trading card game products to find the best Yu-Gi-Oh! players. The two final tournaments are the Yu-Gi-Oh! U.S. Finals at the Comic-Con International Consumer Expo in San Diego, Calif. on July 22 and 23 and the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2004 Tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. on July 25.

Konami has hosted tournaments in the United States, Japan and Europe, using the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament 2004 video game for Nintendo’s Game Boy® Advance, to find the best Yu-Gi-Oh! video game players in the world. Those who qualified in their respective regional tournaments advanced to the finals in their own country for a chance to move on to the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2004 Tournament in Anaheim and compete for the title of 2004 Yu-Gi-Oh! World Video Game Champion.

"The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise is an important cornerstone in Konami’s outstanding video game library," said Mr. Kazumi Kitaue, Chief Executive Officer of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "Through these tournaments, we extend the reach of the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand, create broader awareness for the product and give fans of the series the opportunity to meet one another and share their experiences."

As a part of Upper Deck Entertainment’s Premier Tournament series, Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME finalists are determined through Regional and National Tournaments held throughout the world. Winners of Regional tournaments are awarded entry to National Tournaments. The top selected players are then awarded entry into the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME World Championship tournament in Anaheim and compete for the coveted title of 2004 Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME Champion.

"The Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME is arguably the world’s most popular TCG," said Jerry Bennington, VP of Upper Deck Entertainment. "The Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament is the perfect format to showcase the talents of those players who have helped to make this game a multicultural success."

Yu-Gi-Oh! U.S. Finals - July 22 and 23
Sixteen people will compete in the U.S. Finals. Fifteen of these people have already been selected after having competed in regional tournaments across the U.S. The sixteenth player will be selected via a special Wildcard tournament, which will be open to the public, and will be hosted at Konami’s booth (#3929) at the Comic-Con International Consumer Expo in San Diego, Calif. on Saturday, July 22. People interested in competing can register and receive a free one-day pass to Comic-Con by visiting: http://www.konami.com/yugiohtournament2004/finals. Those who participate in the tournament will also receive exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards and other special gifts.

On Friday, July 23 all 16 finalists will compete in a bracketed tournament for the opportunity to claim the Yu-Gi-Oh! U.S. Video Game Champion title, an outstanding prize package, and a spot to duel in the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2004 Tournament in Anaheim. Spectators are welcome to watch the U.S. Finals as the top Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelists go head-to-head beginning at 12:00 p.m. at Konami’s booth.

To learn more about the Wildcard Tournament, the U.S. Finals and the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament 2004 video game, please visit: http://www.konami.com/yugiohtournament2004/.

Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2004 - July 25
Konami will host the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2004 Tournament on July 25 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center (Halls A&B). In front of a crowd of more than 10,000 fans, 12 finalists from eight countries (USA, Japan, France, Germany, UK, Italy, Holland and Spain) will compete for the highly coveted Yu-Gi-Oh! trophy and the honor of being the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Video Game Champion.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME fans can also watch some of the world’s best Duelists engage in fierce competition as they battle for the title of 2004 Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME Champion.

In addition to watching these talented players, attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! video games, trading cards, toys, and will also receive a sneak peek of Warner Brothers’ upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! motion picture due out in August 2004. For those who wish to try their hand at Yu-Gi-Oh! video games or TRADING CARD GAME, there will be a free Duel corner available to the public during the tournament.

Yu-Gi-Oh! fans will also have a chance to get a sneak-peek at the never-before-seen Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Exclusive Pack as Upper Deck Entertainment will release the new trading card set at the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG World Championship event. The exclusive pack will be available for sale at the event and is playable in tournaments and with previously released cards. This is the only set that will feature the signature monster, Anubis, as well as additional monsters, and cards, appearing in the movie.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of the strongest brands in children’s entertainment. The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise includes video games by Konami, trading cards distributed by Upper Deck, a television show on the Kids WB!, a line of toys produced by Mattel and a comic series published by VIZ, LLC.

VIZ, LLC recently announced several changes to the frequency and continuity of its popular Yu-Gi-Oh! title under its SHONEN JUMP brand. Yu-Gi-Oh! appears in both a serialized form in the monthly manga magazine, SHONEN JUMP, and also as a self-contained graphic novel.

Beginning in February 2005, VIZ will release a new Yu-Gi-Oh! graphic novel each month, beginning with volume eight. Previously, new graphic novel editions only appeared every three months. The subsequent content of volumes 8-31 are already well known to North American audiences in the form of the popular anime series that airs on the Kids WB and the Cartoon Network. SHONEN JUMP magazine will present stories that have not yet been seen in any form in these markets, starting with volume 32 of the graphic novel series. The new chapters will begin to appear in the January 5, 2005 issue, which goes on sale December 7, 2004.

These changes were announced because of the massive popularity of the title in North America, and also to help satisfy growing demand for new Yu-Gi-Oh! stories that have yet to appear in English-language markets.

Source: The Upper Deck Co, LLC
Date: July 7, 2004

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