Thursday, March 27th (2pm GMT/UK) – Strengthening its casual entertainment portfolio Codemasters®, a leading creator and publisher of video games, today announced that it has secured the rights to introduce Bella Sara™, the award-winning trading cards and online world for girls, to the video game market.
In a worldwide licensing agreement with Granada Ventures, the merchandise, licensing and publishing division of the UK's largest commercial broadcaster ITVplc, and Hidden City Games, Inc., the Seattle-based game and entertainment company, Codemasters will publish Bella Sara video games for Nintendo DS™ and PC in Q4, 2008.
Bella Sara is a phenomenon amongst 5–12-year old girls and has sold over 40 million trading cards worldwide since the series debuted in 2007. Each Bella Sara card features a fairytale-like illustration of a horse along with a positive and inspirational message for young girls, such as "Beauty comes from within" or "Be the hero in your own story". A unique code on every card activates a virtual horse that can be cared for in the Bella Sara online world at www.bellasara.com. The site, which features hundreds of virtual horses, a variety of age-appropriate casual games, customizable cottages, puzzles, colouring books, interactive stories and more has amassed more than 2 million registered users from 240 countries.
"As the leading card and online property for young girls, Bella Sara is a proven success and the perfect addition to Codemasters' casual entertainment category," said Leon Sanders, Brand Manager, Casual Entertainment, Codemasters.
"Signing Bella Sara extends our portfolio to the young female gaming market and, with the immensely popular online world of Bella Sara, the property brings an established computer-friendly audience that already understands its unique, creative playing experience."
"We're delighted to be working with Codemasters on this exceptional brand", commented Melanie Beer, Head of Licensing, Granada Ventures. "We look forward to seeing the world of Bella Sara come alive as console and PC games."
As Nintendo DS and PC titles, the Bella Sara games will immerse players in an interactive world of fantasy horses. Players will be able to ride, care for, accessorise and trade the horses with friends whilst discovering secret items and exclusive cards to activate on the official website. For more information on Bella Sara, please visit www.bellasara.comENDS #
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UK PR Executive
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Codemasters is a leading developer and publisher of best-selling interactive entertainment products for a global audience across multiple gaming platforms and channels. Established in 1986, the company's dominant brands include Colin McRae: DiRT, Overlord, Race Driver: GRID and Operation Flashpoint. Codemasters is headquartered in Warwickshire UK, with North American operations based in Universal City, Calif. The company also maintains operations in Germany, France, Spain, Benelux and Malaysia. Codemasters receives over two million visitors to its site every month, discover why at www.codemasters.com
ABOUT GRANADA VENTURES
Granada Ventures is the consumer products division within ITV Plc. Ventures currently works with 250 licensees throughout 70 countries, with more than 1,000 product lines across Children's, Entertainment, Sports, Comedy, Drama and Film properties. Specialist licensing and marketing teams are based in London and LA, with group offices in Germany, Australia, Brazil and Hong Kong. As well as representing the core ITV brands such as Coronation Street, I'm a Celebrity..Get Me Out of Here and kids' favourite Pocoyo, Granada Ventures also works with other broadcasters, production houses and intellectual property owners, to help fully develop their licensing potential. Recent acquisitions include internet based horse-themed brand Bella Sara, Cbeebies hit Numberjacks, one of the hottest pre-school properties this year, as well as long running representation of the iconic Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show, and evergreen classic Thunderbirds. Granada Ventures also acts as the media and licensing partner for big name sport brands including Arsenal football club.
ABOUT HIDDEN CITY GAMES
Hidden City Games, Inc., a venture-backed games and entertainment publisher headquartered in Seattle, develops and markets games to interactively engage players and collectors of all ages. The company is best known as the exclusive licensor of Bella Sara, the inspirational, horse-themed trading cards and magical online world launched nationwide in the United States in March of 2007. Bella Sara, the most successful trading card product ever developed for girls, links to a safe, fun-filled virtual world for kids at www.bellasara.com. Founder and CEO Peter D. Adkison formerly founded Wizards of the Coast, Inc., which created the world's first trading card game, Magic: The Gathering, and introduced the Pokémon trading card phenomenon to North America.
ASK ABOUT GAMES
Codemasters supports askaboutgames.com www.askaboutgames.com - a UK initiative designed to help parents understand the age ratings system for computer and video games so that they can make more informed choices when choosing games for their children.
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