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New EA Challenge For Dare

DATE OF ISSUE: TUESDAY 26TH APRIL 2005

Games giant Electronic Arts (EA) is laying down a further challenge to students taking part in the international games competition Dare to be Digital, as it offers a special prize for two talented competitors who will win the chance to join EA later on in the year.

The prize comes on the back of EA's announcement that it will join the list of official Dare sponsors for 2005, after supporting the competition for the past two years. The world's leading interactive entertainment software company, has taken a keen interest in the Dundee based competition, with EA's Executive Producer & Vice President, Richard Leinfellner, predicting that it will have "a major impact on the global games industry."

As part of the sponsorship, EA will offer two Dare students - artists or programmers - the opportunity to join the 'EA Academy' at its European Studios in Surrey, as a follow-on to the 2005 competition. The winners will be given the opportunity to join an EA development team, working on a live game for up to four weeks, with accommodation and a salary of £250 per week, also funded by EA.

Dare to be Digital is a competition open to students from Universities and Art Colleges and is based at the University of Abertay Dundee, which runs the competition in partnership with Scottish Enterprise Tayside and Dundee City Council.

EA joins Develop - the international trade publication for creators of interactive entertainment software - as new sponsors of Dare 2005. With its growing reputation for producing some of the most promising talent entering the games sector, the competition continues to receive invaluable support from, Microsoft, NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), BBC Scotland Interactive and NCR.

"'We are delighted that Electronic Arts has offered Dare students the opportunity to work on a live EA game," says Project Manager of Dare to be Digital, Jackie McKenzie. "This is testimony to the quality and talent of the students we attract to the competition."

Supported by some of the biggest names in the games industry, Dare not only has teams from across the UK entering for the first time, but goes global for 2005, with additional support from the Scottish Executive, providing eight scholarship places to talented programming or computer art graduates from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand.

Judged by a panel of leading industry experts, Dare provides a unique working experience and is hailed by games industry bible, Develop, as "the closest you can get to commercial game development."

Eight teams made up of five students are asked to submit a concept for a new and original computer game or educational entertainment product. Judges will be looking for the most creative ideas and those that fulfil the greatest market potential. Receiving help from industry specialists and a project fee of £1700, teams who make it through will have only 10 weeks to present a finished digital prototype and business sales document which can be pitched to investors.

Dare to be Digital has produced a long line of graduates who are now working for some of the top names in the electronic entertainment industry, including EA, Lionhead Studios, Visual Sciences and Real Time Worlds.

Interviews will be held Wednesday 4th May 2005. The competition takes place from June 13th to August 19th at the University of Abertay Dundee.

Contact:

Dare to be Digital

Jackie Mckenzie,

Dare to be Digital Project Manager

T:01382 308920

M:- 07813951082

E: j.mckenzie@abertay.ac.uk

Press

Stephanie Robertson

T: 01333 451 122

M: 07919 447 231

E: stephanie@crail.sol.co.uk

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