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Edinburgh ’05 backed by major players

Sony and Nintendo line up to back this year’s festival

LONDON Thursday 24th March 2005: The industry's biggest players, a new venue and a brand new look have all been revealed for the launch of the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival 2005.

Formerly known as the Edinburgh International Games Festival, the event has already gained the support of Sony and Nintendo and will be taking place under one roof at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) from 10th - 14th August 2005. Further major industry partners will be announced over the coming weeks.

This year's event will be attended by the industry's most influential thought leaders and has been developed to showcase the evolution, convergence and impact of interactive entertainment on popular culture and to encourage debate on the future vision of the industry.

Following the success of last year's format, Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival again features the following industry and consumer focused attractions:

'Edinburgh Interactive' (11th and 12th August)

The industry focussed conference element of Edinburgh. This year's event will see delegates and speakers from the TV, film, music and telecoms industries come together to discuss and debate the shape of tomorrow's interactive entertainment industry. Confirmed names for 2005 include SCE (UK)'s Alan Duncan, Dave Clarke from Bravo and Adam Singer Group ceo of MCPS/PRS alliance.

'Go Play Games' (10th-14th August)

Edinburgh's consumer event. This year's consumer area is spread over 1185 sq metres and promises to deliver an experience that Entertains, Inspires and Informs. Last year's event situated at the city's Royal Museum was one of the venue's most successful attractions of the year. 2005's Go Play Games is set to build on that success with an all new challenge stage and opportunities to get interactive with the latest and greatest in new games and technology located at the EICC right in the heart of Edinburgh.

'Game Screenings' (11th-14th August)

The innovative Game Screenings are back following last years highly successful 'premieres' of Electronic Arts' The SimsTM2, Sports Interactive's Football Manager 2005 and Giant's LEGO® Star WarsTM. Designed to provide an exclusive preview of forthcoming releases the screenings remain a highly popular ingredient of the Festival, featuring various fascinating presentations such as 'Made in Scotland', a platform for the local industry, 'Culture' - a series of screenings examining cultural developments in the industry and 'Insider's Guides' that are designed to demystify the industry.

Commenting on this year's event, Chair Greg Ingham said "Edinburgh is a unique event. It's the only international forum that celebrates the cultural impact of the games industry. It's vital for this industry's overall development to recognise our diversity, challenge preconceptions and debate the future of the interactive entertainment industry.

Edinburgh is not an E3 or an EGN. Nor is it a trade show or sales focussed talking shop. It is an opportunity for the industry to present innovative new developments, challenge preconceptions and look further than next year's slate. And it's the only place where representatives from the TV, film, games and interactive industries can come together and learn from each other and network. Our new name reflects the cross over appeal of the event and the fact that our industry is about much more than games".

Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian Chief Executive Jim MacFarlane, said "We are delighted to welcome the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival back to our city for a third year. Scotland is a hotbed of talent for the interactive entertainment industry and as such it is fitting that a festival of this international significance comes to Edinburgh".

The Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival is a jointly owned venture between the Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) www.tiga.org and the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) www.elspa.com. The event is financially supported by Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian.

EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE. The forum for the future of the international interactive entertainment industry' 'Leading. Learning. Networking.'

For further information and to book a delegate place for the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival please visit www.eief.co.uk

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Alison Peters at Taylor Herring Brand Communications on

0208 206 5151 alison.peters@taylorherring.com

Notes to Editors

The Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival is managed by a committee drawn from all areas of the business, including publishers, developers and two industry trade bodies; The Independent Game Developers Association (TIGA) www.tiga.org and the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) www.elspa.com. The EIGF is financially supported by Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian and by sponsorship from some of the biggest names in interactive entertainment, telecoms and retail with BT, GameStation, McDonald's, Nintendo, Nokia N-GageTM, NVIDIATM, Orange, PlayStation®2 and Xbox® supporting the event in 2004.

The Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival's aim is to increase the awareness and understanding of interactive entertainment and it's place at the heart of popular culture, highlighting the growing bond between video games and other entertainment industries notably music, literature, television and film.

Greg Ingham, Chief Executive, Future plc. Greg began his publishing career as a journalist at Reed International plc in 1983. Having left to edit CTW for four years he then joined Future in 1988 as publisher. He successfully drove growth in computing and games where Future became clear market leaders. He was appointed managing director in 1996 and subsequently chief executive of in 1999, leading the company through its IPO in June that year. He is Chairman of the DTI Games Industry Forum, is a director of the Periodical Publishers' Association and a trustee of the Entertainment Software Charity. He is also a director of the Theatre Royal Bath.

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