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ELSPA AND LADBROKES UNVEIL CHRISTMAS NO 1

The UK’s Favourite Game This Christmas Revealed

Tuesday 21 December 2004/... ELSPA, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association, and Ladbrokes, the UK's favourite bookmaker, have today announced that the official computer and video games Christmas Number One is Need for Speed: Underground 2 from EA Games.

Despite fierce competition from titles such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Call of Duty: Finest Hour and The Incredibles, the chart-topping Need for Speed: Underground 2 has remained the nation's favourite for four consecutive weeks. This success caps an amazing 12 months for Electronic Arts, which also took the Christmas top spot in 2003 with Medal of HonorTM Rising Sun and dominated this year's festive chart with three titles in the top ten.

Roger Bennett, director general of ELSPA, said: "The competition for the Christmas Number One this year has been tough, with an abundance of top notch games vying for the prime position. The UK games industry has enjoyed an immensely busy festive period, with games at the top of many Christmas lists. ELSPA would like to congratulate Electronic Arts on its success."

David McMorrow, marketing manager, Ladbrokes, commented: "From the off, this year's battle for the Number One stop was difficult to call, with several top titles in with a genuine shout. To win the Christmas Number One once is an achievement, but for EA to grab it two years in a row - amongst such stiff competition - is a real triumph."

The Official UK Leisure Software Charts ® ELSPA compiled by Chart-Track for w/e 18th December (multi-format) is:

1 - Need for Speed: Underground 2, EA Games (Final odds 6/4)

2 - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rockstar (3/1)

3 - Call of Duty: Finest Hour, Activision (4/1)

4 - The Incredibles, Disney Interactive (5/1)

5 - FIFA 2005, EA Sports (12/1)

6 - Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Ubisoft (25/1)

7 - Pro Evolution Soccer 4, Konami (25/1)

8 - Goldeneye: Rogue Agent, EA Games (7/1)

9 - The Getaway: Black Monday, Sony Computer Entertainment (33/1)

10 - The Simpsons: Hit and Run, Platinum (50/1)

Information on the top five games is listed below, while images can be found at www.bhpress.co.uk or at www.gamespress.co.uk:

Need for Speed: Underground 2

The deepest, most authentic tuner experience ever. Discover the living, breathing world of tuner culture in Need for Speed Underground 2, the sequel to the best-selling racing game of 2003, and the latest blockbuster instalment in the legendary Need for Speed franchise.

GTA: San Andreas

The free-roaming, 80's action of Vice City is brought forward to the early 1990s and expanded from a mere giant city, to fill an entire state - San Andreas. As small-time hood Carl Johnson, it's up to you to kick off your one-man crimewave, recruit a gang and climb the ladder of criminal success until you are lord of all you survey.

Call of Duty: Finest Hour

Head to the frontlines of World War II's epic battles, including the Russian charge of Stalingrad, British PPA Commando raids in North Africa and America-led tank battles in Belgium.

The Incredibles

The Incredibles videogame features intense superhero action and adventure combined with the unique graphical style and humour. The Incredibles tells the story of a family of undercover superheroes who are trying to live a quiet, suburban life, but are forced back into action in order to save the world.

FIFA 2005

The FIFA Soccer franchise continues to set the standard as the most comprehensive soccer simulation ever created, with an all-new animation system, first touch control, deeper Dynasty ModeTM and EA SPORTS Online features.

EDITORS NOTES

About ELSPA - http://www.elspa.com

ELSPA (The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

ELSPA's activities include: Official Chart and Industry Reports, Anti-Piracy UK and EU, PR and Communication, Events. More information on all these activities can be found at http://www.elspa.com.

For further information on ELSPA or to arrange interviews, please contact:

SIMON BYRON/EMMA COWIE

BARRINGTON HARVEY

Tel: 01462 456780

Fax: 01462 456781

Email: simon.byron@bhpr.co.uk/ emma.cowie@bhpr.co.uk

Issued by: Barrington Harvey, Trooper's Yard, Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1JW

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