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Portsmouth, October the 27th

French on-line game producer, Variations-R, are developing a unique sailing simulation game called Res Nautica, for Europe-wide launch early 2005.

Res Nautica is a maritime role-playing game that invites players to pit their wits against thousands of other online 'Captains' in a unique seafaring adventure. Developed from extensive historical research and working closely with naval experts, the game accurately recreates adventure on the high seas in the 18th and 19th Century. The game also incorporates a unique meteorological model creating realistic climatic and weather conditions across the globe.

For the confident captain a choice of famous ships are available, including HMS Victory, the Cutty Sark and the French clipper, The Belem. Development partnerships between the games producers, the Belem Foundation and the French Marine Nationale have resulted in the most technically accurate simulation of its kind. In addition to the skill and judgement required for sailing, players must also successfully negotiate naval battles, engage in lucrative trading and steer a course away from mutiny..

The new game will appeal to young and old, those interested in the practical challenges of piloting and navigating a real-time tallship simulation, and those interested in the historical content of the maritime adventures. To maintain fresh challenges and adventures for dedicated players, the game will be updated every quarter, giving Res Nautica a future lifespan of up to 5 years. The first instalment to be made available will locate the action between the West Indies and Europe at the end of the nineteenth century.

"The first online adventure will require players to master the art of sailing across the ocean and trading goods" explains Guillaume Rosquin, Managing Director. "The second instalment will involve tactical sea battles and allow players to take part in famous naval campaigns".

Variations-R are looking for British sponsors and affiliates to get onboard with the development of this pioneering product. A variety of packages are available to potential sponsors, including branding in the game and directory, game credits, listings on sponsors page, and CD-Rom and press collateral. New associates will join existing French support from, CNC (Centre National de la Cinematographie),MINEFI (Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances) and Caisse Nationale Caisses d'Epargne.

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Variations-R "Production d'oeuvres de l'esprit"

Variations-R offer a host of creative abilities and experience from writers, programmers and illustrators to digital design and interactive developments from headquarters in Lyon, France. The company is the executive producer of Res Nautica and developed all creative content and digital imagery. Res Nautica is their second online game launch, following the successful; Feudy, The Fiefs' legend, in 2003.

History of the Belem

The Belem was launched on June 16th 1896 at Chantenay-on-Loire and began her working life running cocoa, rum and sugar between Europe and South America. By the outbreak of the First World War the Belem had successfully completed 32 transatlantic voyages between Brazil and France.

In 1914 the ship was turned into a private yacht for the Duke of Westminster. Sir Alan Guinness next took ownership of the vessel, renaming her Fantome II and sailing around the globe between 1923 and 1924. In 1952, the Belem was sold to the Cini Foundation in Italy. She was renamed Giorgio Cini and converted into a training ship.

Today, the Belem is owned and operated by the 'Fondation Belem', launched by the Caisses d'Epargne in 1979. The Foundation is dedicated to keeping the ship seaworthy and operating her as a training vessel open to the general public. The ship received historic monument status in 1984. Between February and July 2002, the Belem undertook a series of historic voyages, 'The Atlantic Odyssey of the Belem' including her first visit to Brazil since 1902. On May 8th she commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the Montagne Pelée volcano eruption where she made a famous escape from certain disaster.

For further information and images, please contact:

Jools Moore at Cancan Communications

T 020 7395 0509


Andrea Benn at Cancan Communications

T 020 7395 0507

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