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ITI TECHMEDIA TO CREATE DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM FOR ONLINE GAMES

Industry body taps into $1bn+ gaming market
News release

For general release: Wednesday, 2 November, 2005

ITI Techmedia today announced its latest R&D programme which aims to establish a world-class development platform to facilitate the efficient production and distribution of online PC, console and hand-held games.

ITI Techmedia, the organisation which develops market-driven intellectual property for the benefit of the Scottish economy, is set to create a suite of integrated tools and middleware to address some of the key issues associated with online game development. The programme will investigate and address the requirements of game developers in the key elements of online game design such as story creation, digital asset management, digital property management and workflow. In North America and Europe alone the online games market is currently estimated to be worth $1.5bn, and this is expected to double to $3bn by 2010.

The fourth R&D programme in the ITI Techmedia portfolio, it is expected to last for three years and will involve an investment of £5.35m. This brings the ITI's total investment to date to just over £19m and further adds to the diversity of programmes already underway. ITI Techmedia's programme portfolio already includes activities in Games-Based Learning, Machine-Readable Security Tagging and Ultra-wideband Communications.

Access to a sophisticated toolset will mean that games can be put together more easily and predictably, reducing development time and costs, leaving developers to focus on the more creative, and lucrative, side of game development: design and playability.

ITI Techmedia will engage the services of a number of R&D providers over the lifetime of the programme, including Games Investor Consulting, Slam Games, Operations Management Research (OMR), Teleca and British Internet Broadcasting Company (BiBC). These organisations will carry out the initial work required in the research and system design phase of the programme.

David Creed, CEO of ITI Techmedia commented, "Scotland has a good track record in game development and this is a prime example of an area where the ITI can act as a catalyst to leverage the skills found in Scotland to create a global solution. The ITI will create a platform and a selection of cutting-edge tools for the benefit of the global game development community."

ITI Techmedia Advisory Group Member Dave Jones, Managing Director of Realtime Worlds and creator of Grand Theft Auto, is quick to endorse the ITI's activities in the games world. He said, "The Online Games Development programme offers tremendous potential in providing developers and publishers with the tools and technologies that are needed to build the games of tomorrow. Content and time to market is growing rapidly as entertainment software becomes more and more complex. Strong tools and middleware are badly needed, but the choices are limited. This initiative will provide the best possible foundation for both new and existing companies to build their games and distribute them."

Welcoming the announcement, Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen said, "Online computer games is a hugely significant industry. Through this R&D programme, ITI Techmedia will be at the leading-edge of its development. This important new project will enhance Scotland's standing in this growing global sector. I look forward to this exciting programme delivering long-lasting benefits for Scotland's economy."

-end-

Notes to Editor

About ITI Techmedia

ITI Techmedia is a member-based organisation that identifies, develops and manages commercially driven Intellectual Property for the benefit of Scotland. It acts as a catalyst to create world-class technology in the digital media and communication sectors. Working with its Members and the technology community, ITI Techmedia commissions and funds R&D to the point of commercial viability.

Further information is available on the website: www.ititechmedia.com

About Games Investor Consulting

Games Investor Consulting Limited (GIC) was founded in 2003 to provide independent games research and corporate finance consulting to the games industry and financial community. GIC is run by specialist games industry consultants Nick and Rick Gibson, who with nearly 15 years' consulting experience within the games sector have worked with clients from the UK, European and US games, media and finance industries, typically consulting at board-level on corporate strategy, market entry and development, fund-raising, investment and acquisitions. GIC is one of the games industry's most trusted sources for market intelligence, and has generated a number of industry reports for Screen Digest, including the 2004 Online Games Report and the 2005 State of the UK Games Industry report with European trade body ELSPA.

Further information is available on the website: www.gamesinvestor.com

About Slam Games

Slam Games is an experienced developer of games and software applications acting as main contractors and core technology providers for development projects across a range of formats including PS2, Xbox, GCN, PC, and mobile phones. The company also operates as a consultant design group on interactive toys and non-games entertainment products. It was founded by Andrew McLennan and Linda MacKellar in 2004 with industry veterans Neil Stewart and Alan Grier. David Thomson, formerly of the Games Kitchen and Kevin Bradshaw (Non Executive Chairman) joined the company in 2005. The core team has released games that have sold over 4 million units and has won multiple awards for its designs and received great critical acclaim for its work.

Further information is available on the website: www.slam-games.com

About Teleca

Teleca is an international telecom and IT services company focused on R&D that develops and integrates advanced software and information technology solutions. With in-depth expertise in the latest technology and profound industrial knowledge, Teleca helps technology and software-intensive customers worldwide to strengthen their market positions and shorten their times to market. The company has more than 3,000 employees and operations in 16 countries in Asia, Europe and North America. Teleca is quoted on the Attract40 list of the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

Further information is available on the website: www.teleca.com

About Operations Management Research

Operations Management Research helps companies achieve breakthrough results through implementing product development and supply chain management best practices. OMR provides entrepreneurs and early-stage technology companies with hands-on implementation support and interim management to develop new products and to build and launch successful new businesses. Operations Management Research is headquartered in Oxford and has regional offices in Bath and Glasgow.

Further information is available on the website: www.omr.eu.com

About BiBC

The British Internet Broadcasting Company, BiBC, is a privately owned company, founded in 2000. BiBC is a specialist software design company, with particular focus on new media. BiBC is pioneering the use of the web as a multimedia distribution platform through BoxOffice365.com - the first managed service offering that enables secure on-line distribution of video content. BiBC allows content and brand owners to outsource the creation, distribution and payment for digital content over the web.

Further information is available on the website: www.bibc.com

UK media enquiries:

Interviews and photography available on request

Katy Windsor 0131 553 0152 katy.windsor@fireflycomms.com

Katy Windsor

Senior Account Manager

Direct line: +44 (0)131 553 0152

Switchboard: +44 (0)131 553 0150

Mobile: +44 (0)7813 812 455

Fax +44 (0)131 554 7409

Firefly

Trailblazing Communications

www.fireflycomms.com

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