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Bit Blot's Aquaria Wins $20,000 Grand Prize At 9th Annual Independent Games Festival

SAN FRANCISCO - Mar. 8, 2007- Bit Blot's dreamlike 2D underwater adventure game Aquaria won top honors, collecting the $20,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game, at the 2007 Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards. The winners were announced tonight at the 9th Annual IGF Awards ceremony, hosted by the Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

The IGF awards have been described as the Sundance Festival of the videogame industry, and offer both global exposure and over $50,000 in cash prizes to the lucky winners. Other major award recipients included Queasy Games' abstract shoot-em-up, Everyday Shooter, which grabbed the awards for Design Innovation and Excellence In Audio, upcoming Xbox 360 Live Arcade title Castle Crashers, which won for Excellence In Visual Art, Three Rings' online title Bang! Howdy, which came out on top in the Technical Excellence category, and stylish Flash-based point-and-click puzzle adventure Samorost 2, which triumphed in the Best Web Game category.

There were two other notable Main Competition awards given out on the night - the Audience Award, adjudicated from public voting at major consumer game website GameSpot, was won by The Behemoth's Castle Crashers which received 396 of a record 1726 votes, and IGF Platinum Sponsor GameTap gave out $20,000 in advances for indie games to appear on its PC subscription download service, as part of its special GameTap Indie Award - with Everyday Shooter getting a $10,000 advance and $5,000 advances going to Cryptic Sea's Blast Miner and Naked Sky Entertainment's RoboBlitz.

In addition, the IGF Student Showcase recognized ten student-designed games and, for the first time ever, awarded a $2,500 Best Student Game prize. The award went to DigiPen Institute of Technology's fast-paced capture the flag game, Toblo.

The IGF Mod Competition, now in its second year, celebrated the best amateur mods of existing videogames with a new $5,000 award for Best Mod Game. Cut Corner Company Productions took home the Best Mod award for Weekday Warrior, their corporate office adventure mod for Half-Life 2, also the Best Singleplayer FPS Mod.

"We're delighted to help support the originality of indie developers as they take risks to advance their field and help shift the paradigms of gaming," said Simon Carless, chairman, IGF. "This year's Independent Games Festival winners are taking indie games to an even higher level, with their blend of smart design decisions, stylish art, and adorable gameplay mechanisms."

The IGF awarded the following games in each category in the main competition - each received a cash prize of $2,500 as well as sponsor-related prizes, apart from the Grand Prize ($20,000):

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

Aquaria - Bit Blot

Design Innovation

Everyday Shooter - Queasy Games

Excellence In Visual Art

Castle Crashers - The Behemoth

Best Web Browser Game

Samorost 2 - Amanita Design

Excellence In Audio

Everyday Shooter - Queasy Games

Technical Excellence

Bang! Howdy - Three Rings Design

Audience Award

Castle Crashers - The Behemoth

GameTap Awards

Everyday Shooter - Queasy Games - $10,000 advance

Blast Miner - Cryptic Sea - $5,000 advance

RoboBlitz - Naked Sky Entertainment - $5,000 advance

The IGF was established in 1998 by the CMP Game Group to encourage innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers, in the way the Sundance Film Festival honors the independent film community. With a record-breaking 141 entries from all over the world entered in the Main Competition, and over 275 entries overall, the 2007 IGF reflects how global the game development community has become.

The 9th annual Independent Games Festival was supported by: platinum sponsor GameTap, gold sponsors Microsoft and Sony, silver sponsor Moondance Games, Student Showcase platinum sponsor Digipen Institute of Technology, Mod Competition sponsor Ageia, premier media sponsor GameSpot, and media sponsor Manifesto Games.

For more information about the IGF, the finalists and the winners, please visit http://www.igf.com/.

About the CMP Game Group ( www.cmpgame.com)

A core provider of essential information to the professional game industry, the CMP Game Group offers market-defining content, and drives community through its award winning lineup of print, online and event products. These include Game Developer magazine, the Webby Award-winning Gamasutra.com, SeriousGamesSource.com, GameCareerGuide.com, the Game Developers Conference, the Austin Game Developers Conference, GDC China, GDC Mobile, the Serious Games Summit, the Hollywood and Games Summit, the Game Career Seminars, the Independent Games Festival, and the Game Developers Choice Awards. For more information, please visit www.cmpgame.com.

About CMP Technology ( www.cmp.com)

CMP Technology is a marketing solutions company serving the technology industry. Through its market-leading portfolio of trusted information brands, CMP has earned the confidence of more technology professionals than any other media company. As a result, CMP is the premier provider of access, insight and actionable programs designed to connect sellers and buyers in ways that yield superior return on investment. CMP Technology is a subsidiary of United Business Media ( www.unitedbusinessmedia.com), a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $3 billion.

CONTACT:

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Tara Gibb

CMP Game Group

415.947.6219

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