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Finalists chosen for Namco's i-mode mobile tournament

Grand Final taking place in central London

The regional heats have drawn to a close for Namco Europe's 'first of a kind' mobile tournament, with finalists from five different countries selected for the Grand Final in London on November 18th.

The Pac-Man tournament, which spanned multiple carriers in France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and the UK, challenged gamers to submit their highest scores on retro classic Pac-Man, using the i-mode mobile internet service. The competition has been running throughout September in each of the five countries, and regional heats closed on October 31st.

The tournament, which has been organised by Namco Europe's web and mobile content division, is a unique event in that it not only spanned multiple countries but multiple service carriers too. The UK entry into the tournament was granted by mobile phone operator O2, following the launch of i-mode in the UK in August.

The five finalists will travel to London to battle it out at the Namco Station near Westminster Bridge, using authentic arcade units in front of a crowd of industry professionals, media and gamers. The ultimate champion will win a genuine limited edition 25th Anniversary Pac-Man arcade machine and the title of Pac-Man Tournament Champion 2005.

Namco Europe's head of business development for web and mobile content, Pramesh Chauhan, stated: "We're proud at Namco to have been one of the first ever to have run this type of mobile gaming tournament, starting with mobile, and going full circle back to our arcade roots."

"We've been thrilled by the response to the competition across all of the competing countries and we're looking forward to actually meeting our most ardent fans, the finalists."

The i-mode service, created by Japan's NTT DoCoMo, is a fast and intuitive alternative to the traditional WAP internet service for mobile phones. Using compact HTML coding, the creation of fluid and user-friendly mobile internet sites is both simple and cost effective for content providers and a straightforward billing procedure makes it a viable and popular service for mobile phone users.

Namco operates its Pac-Man Arcade on i-mode, offering a subscription based service for games, ringtones and personalisation products that cover a range of classic and current Namco characters from Pac-Man through to Tekken.

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