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Launch Of Game Alliance

The North West's game developers come together to form a new regional trade alliance.

Manchester, 17 March 2005: Launched in the impressive surroundings of Liverpool's Racquet Club, Game Alliance marks a new trade network for the digital entertainment sector in the North West. An independent, industry-lead alliance of local developers, publishers, content creatives and business service specialists, its role is to raise the profile of companies in the area.

"Historically the North West has been one of the most important regions for game development in the country. With the formation of Game Alliance we have an active voice for this talent and the potential to make a tangible difference," said Stephen Hey, director of graphics studio Head-First and one of Game Alliance's founding members.

"Game Alliance can be central to enabling the North West games industry to thrive, grow and develop through its provision of professional support services," added Ivan Davies, senior producer at SCEE Liverpool studio, and another co-founding member.

Founding members of Game Alliance include Ivan Davies - SCEE, Marc Wilding, Tony Williams - Nissimo, Judi Spiers - Digital Bridges, Matt Sounthern - Evolution, Jon Wetherall - ONTECA, Phil Wright - BrightSparkEntertainment, Chris Bateman - International Hobo, Stephen Hey - Head-First, John Burns - Halliwells, Dale Hick - CIDS and Maria Stukoff - MIRIAD.

"It's very encouraging to see so many companies getting involved in promoting the region's creativity," said programme director Maria Stukoff. "The Games Alliance will ensure we continue to deliver real benefits to our network and assist in the promotion of the production of PC, video, online and mobile games. Our continuing challenge will be to develop the network into a trade body representing the emergent new game development industries in the North West, both nationally and internationally."

One key element for Game Alliance is fostering partnerships with the public sector's regional funding agencies which have been springing up throughout the country. This will ensure the cultural significance and financial value of the country's game industry within UK plc remains highlighted.

"With the North West's industry behind it, Game Alliance should be able to effectively engage the support that is available to both creative and digital media industries in this region. Game Republic will be working with Game Alliance in the development of joint projects that benefit the games and interactive entertainment industry in both of our regions," said Michael Crampton, general manager for Yorkshire's Game Republic.

Other areas of activity for Game Alliance will include improving communications between companies in the region, assist with developing business skills and offering an annual seminar programme highlighting game development issues prevalent to the North West.

"There's a tremendous amount of talent in the North West, but we have been in desperate need of better representation and influence," pointed out Chris Bateman, managing director of design and scripting agency International Hobo. "Game Alliance is giant leap towards a support structure which will encourage and promote investment in the region."

Game Alliance is currently hosted at the Manchester's Creative Industries Development Service (CIDS). The launch event was sponsored by Merseyside Arts, Culture & Media Enterprise (ACME), Halliwells and Head-First.

For further information:

Maria Stukoff, programme director

Game Alliance

c/o CIDS - The Department Store

1st Floor, 5 Oak Street

Manchester M4 5 JD

Phone: 0161 827 9709

Email: info@gamealliance.net

Web: www.gamealliance.net

About Game Alliance

Superseding the M62 Games Network, the region's previous digital entertainment organisation, the Game Alliance is an independent, industry-lead alliance of game developers and other related companies. Its role is to strengthen and promote the game development industry in the North West and assist with the development of new and innovative trade opportunities.

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