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GAME REPUBLIC INTRODUCES BRAVE NEW MODEL FOR GAME PROTOTYPE PRODUCTION

Sony, Microsoft and Nokia To Work With Take2, SCi Games, Konami, HIP Interactive and Zoo Digital To Offer Innovative Route To Market

Wednesday 10 November 2004/... Yorkshire-based games trade alliance Game Republic and Regional Screen Agency Screen Yorkshire have today unveiled an ambitious and innovative model for game prototype development which for the first time has united format holders Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Microsoft Europe and Nokia - with other formats confirming their intention to join the pilot scheme early next year. In addition, publishers Take2, SCi Games, Konami, HIP Interactive and Zoo Digital Publishing have joined as partners - with many more to follow.

The programme - called the Game Republic Integrated Prototype Production (GRIPP) - aims to provide developers with format holder concept approval and guidance prior to full development.

Game development is often an unpredictable business. GRIPP will remove some of the risk associated with obtaining publishing agreements. In the past, developers and publishers have had to rely on format holder approval towards the latter-stages of development, after a significant budget has been expended. This agreement marks the first time console format holders will commit to concept approval at such an early stage.

GRIPP offers developers and investors more security than ever before. Games are submitted to the programme prior to any development taking place through a simple process which is standardised for all formats. If it receives approval at this stage, it will be eligible for funding through a unique partnership with Game Republic, Screen Yorkshire and Publishers supporting development to the prototype stage.

The programme offers a host of additional benefits, all of which are designed to drive game development forward. Game Republic and Screen Yorkshire will provide additional support for attending trade events, R&D support and training throughout the project.

"Video game production needs the same level of support that is available for film and television production if it is to thrive, grow and fulfil its true potential," says Michael Crampton, general manager, Game Republic. "The Game Republic Integrated Prototype Production is a significant step forward in the development and production of interactive entertainment, and can revolutionise the way developers, publishers and format holders conduct business."

Andrew Parsons, General Manager of Third Party Relations, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe commented: "SCEE is keen to actively encourage the spirit of innovation and imagination within the development community and are very happy to be able to support this initiative by Game Republic in creating an opportunity to nurture the creation of new experiences for PlayStation consumers."

Adrian Curry, Xbox Account Manager added: "Microsoft is a keen supporter of the Integrated Prototype Production Pilot. It's something the industry has needed for years, and we're delighted to be one of the launch partners. It's important for the Xbox that ideas are given the opportunity and backing to reach fruition and it's important for the development community that they have the confidence in their projects at an early stage. GRIPP does all this and more and we're confident it will be an unqualified success.

Pasi Pölönen, Director, Games Publishing, Nokia, said: "We want to make it easy for developers to turn their game concepts into workable N-Gage demos with a minimum of risk to them. Working with Game Republic and the other participants to launch this new service will bring benefits for developers, publishers and platform holders alike."

Those interested in joining the project please contact Game Republic:

Michael Crampton

General manager

Game Republic

Tel: +44 (0) 113 294 4410

Fax: +44 (0) 113 294 4989

Email: michael@gamerepublic.co.uk

Craig Albeck

Administrator

Game Republic

Tel: +44 (0) 113 294 4410

Fax: +44 (0) 113 294 4989

Email: craig@gamerepublic.co.uk

Notes to editor:

Please include this statement where appropriate/possible:

Game Republic receives funding from Yorkshire Forward and is part financed by The European Union.

For more information on Screen Yorkshire, please contact:

Jacky Dickins

Marketing & Communications Manager

Screen Yorkshire

t. (+44) 113 294 4410

f. (+44) 113 294 4989

e. jacky@screenyorkshire.co.uk

For more information on Yorkshire Forward, please contact:

Keith Crane

Senior Media Relations Officer

Yorkshire Forward

Tel 0113 394 9710

Fax 0113 234 9211

e-mail keith.crane@yorkshire-forward.com

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