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Realtime Worlds signs sponsorship deal with Dare to be Digital

24 May 2007

Realtime Worlds Ltd (RTW), one of UK's leading independent video game developers, has become a key sponsor of Dare to be Digital, the UK's premier games design competition for students.

RTW will contribute to the development and expansion of Dare to be Digital both financially and through providing mentors and speakers to the contestants during the 10-week competition, which starts next month.

In addition, RTW's CEO and creative director David Jones will become a Patron of Dare to be Digital and will join the judging panel for the grand finals in August.

RTW launched its first title, "Crackdown", on Xbox 360 earlier this year, breaking records for more than one million downloads of the demo version, selling 850,000 units of the finished version within the first two months of it going on sale, and still being one of the top selling Xbox 360 games after more than three months.

Part of the sponsorship deal with Dare to be Digital will see "behind-the-scenes" features about making Crackdown going on show at Dare ProtoPlay - a unique exhibition of this year's entries scheduled for Edinburgh in August as part of the Edinburgh Interactive Festival.

David Jones commented: "Talent is a key factor behind the success of every game, and Dare to be Digital makes a big contribution to spotting and developing high quality talent for the industry each year.

"I have been closely involved with Dare to be Digital's organisers, Abertay University, for many years, advising them on course structure, lecturing to students, and benefiting from already having had many Dare graduates join RTW over the years.

"I am delighted to take that involvement and commitment to another level through this sponsorship and through becoming a Patron of Dare. We are employing 150 people at our Dundee office and would like to expand to near 200 by end of this year. Partnering with Dare will help attract more talent to our production hub in Dundee. We also have plans to work with Dare on our international expansion."

Paul Durrant, Director of Dare to be Digital, commented: "Our involvement with David Jones as a Patron is a dream come true for Dare. We have been inspired by the international reach developed by David and his team at Realtime Worlds and we plan to build on our international involvement in Asia as the Dare brand becomes associated with talent and innovation in video games development around the world.

"We are also excited about the mentoring support on offer from the Realtime Worlds team and the opportunity to feature behind-the-scenes footage of their work, at Dare ProtoPlay."

2007 is a significant year for Dare to be Digital, as the competition takes place in three hosting centres across the UK instead of just one as in previous years. A total of 12 teams will gather in Dundee, Belfast and Guildford in early June, to spend the first nine weeks of the 10-week competition designing and building fully functioning prototypes of their video game idea, and receiving financial support and mentoring from games developers while they are in the competition.

In the 10th week of the competition, all the teams will travel to Edinburgh to take part in "Dare ProtoPlay", a three-day showcase of all their work, at which the general public and industry experts will be able to play the games and vote for the winners as well. This year, the three winning teams will become the shortlist for a new "Ones to Watch" award at the BAFTA Video Games Awards in October.

Dare to be Digital 2007 has assembled an impressive list of sponsors, including London Development Agency, Nesta, Electronic Arts, AMD, NCR, Tiga, the Scottish Executive, Scottish Enterprise Tayside, Dundee City Council, the Digital Hub in Dublin and Belfast City Council with the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment's Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme and Intertrade Ireland.

(Ends)

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Dare to be Digital

Dare to be Digital was first piloted among computer games students at Abertay in 1999. The following year, the first full competition was run by a partnership of the University of Abertay Dundee, Scottish Enterprise Tayside and Dundee City. In previous years, Dare to be Digital took place entirely in Dundee, but often including teams from the rest of the UK and overseas. Abertay University's decision to almost double the number of contestants for 2007 lead to the setting up of the regional host centres.

About Realtime Worlds

Realtime Worlds was founded by CEO and Creative Director David Jones, who has been involved in the video game industry since 1983. He is well known for his past company (DMA Design Ltd) and for his catalogue of hit games. Over the years David has written and designed over 15 games, most notably two global hit franchises which still sell today. Lemmings, with sales of over 20 million across 20 formats, and Grand Theft Auto with sales of over 50 million. generating over $2.5 billion in sales between them. In an exclusive partnership with Microsoft Game Studios, RTW launched its first title, Crackdown, on Xbox 360 earlier this year, scoring one million downloads of the demo version, and 850,000 sales of the finished version within the first two months of it going on sale. RTW is currently working on All Points Bulletin, a massively multiplayer online game being created in partnership with Korean online games giant Webzen. In addition to its Dundee development headquarters, RTW has subsidiary offices in Seoul, South Korea, and in Colorado, United States. Late last year, RTW received a US$31 million investment from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), one of the world's leading venture capital firms. This investment enables RTW to build new industry-leading video game franchises and recruit top programming and game development talent from around the world.

More information: www.daretobedigital.com

www.abertay.ac.uk

www.realtimeworlds.com

Media enquiries: Kevin Coe

T: 01382 308223 M: 07850 904110

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