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Astraware joins forces with Game Republic to enhance their GRIPP programme.

The Game Republic Integrated Prototype Production (GRIPP) programme aims to provide developers with guidance and support from publishers, format-holders and development agencies prior to committing to full development, thus helping businesses in the Yorkshire and Humber region working in the videogames industry better manage the financial risk associated with creating computer games.

Astraware's involvement with the GRIPP programme will take the form of help for developers of games for handheld devices running Palm OS®, Windows MobileTM software and Symbian. Astraware's expertise in this field is well established, with 7 years experience in the area of handheld game development and publishing. In addition to helping develop the games for these platforms, Astraware will offer extensive knowledge of publishing and selling games internationally, with a particular emphasis on the American market.

"We're pleased to be involved with the GRIPP programme, to continue to help other companies who are trying to establish a position in the handheld and mobile space," said Howard Tomlinson, CEO and co-founder of Astraware. "This new kind of collaboration, pioneered by Game Republic, is a sign that the British games industry is moving forwards and naturally, we're extremely proud to be part of it."

The programme has been put together by Yorkshire-based Game Republic in conjunction with Screen Yorkshire. GRIPP will remove some of the risk associated with obtaining publishing agreements. This offers developers and investors more security than ever before. Games are submitted to the programme prior to any development taking place through a simple process which is standardised for all consoles and handsets. If it receives approval at this stage, it will be eligible for support and funding through to prototype stage.

"We are very pleased to work so closely with Astraware," added Michael Crampton, General Manager, Game Republic. "Their experience in development and publishing on handheld devices and the presence they have in this market, especially internationally, will be very valuable to the members of GRIPP."

In joining GRIPP, Astraware Limited is added to the ranks of high profile companies such as Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Microsoft Europe and Nokia, who have already committed to the GRIPP programme.

About Astraware Limited

Founded in 1994, Astraware Limited develops, publishes and distributes games for mobile devices. Some of the company's best known handheld titles include Bejeweled, Cubis, Zuma, Insaniquarium and Zap!2000/2016. Handango have presented awards to Astraware twice in recent years, with Game of The Year in 2003 for Bejeweled, and Palm OS® Developer of the Year in 2004. Mobile gaming enthusiasts have downloaded more than 30 million copies of Astraware's products, and the company has customers in over 100 countries. For more information, contact Alison Barclay at alison@astraware.com, or visit http://www.astraware.com.

About Game Republic

Game Republic is an Independent Trade Alliance that supports, encourages and promotes video game development in the Yorkshire and Humber region. More information about Game Republic can be found at http://www.gamerepublic.co.uk.

Contact: Alison Barclay

PR & Marketing Co-Ordinator

www.astraware.com - the home of handheld entertainment

Tel: +44 (0)1782 667826

Cell: + 44 (0)7802 447078

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