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Swordfish Studios acquisition

Picked up by Manchester-based Monumental Games.

Nottingham UK – 13th November 2008 – Monumental Games, the UK’s fastest growing developer of middleware technology for Massively Multi-Player Online (MMO) gaming and Virtual Worlds, today announced the acquisition of Swordfish Studios (Manchester) from Activision, part of the Vivendi Universal Group. The Studios comprise a team of 26 experienced developers based in Manchester’s cutting-edge MediaCity:UK. The acquisition takes Monumental’s workforce to more than 100 people and makes it one of the largest, independent, UK-owned development teams.

Commenting on the acquisition, Monumental’s CEO, Rik Alexander, said:

“When this opportunity arose it immediately made sense. The Swordfish team are a perfect fit in terms of culture, expertise and ambition, and there’s no doubt that, from today, Monumental is in an even stronger position to drive the future development of the online gaming market.

“Importantly, the Swordfish team is one of the very few developers worldwide to have fully solved the hugely complex issues involved in running and managing the XLSP (Xbox Live! Server Platform) server environments for online console gaming. This knowledge base will help to consolidate Monumental’s position as the market leading online game developer.”

Monumental Games has more than trebled in size during the last 24 months and is seeing a rapidly increasing take up of both its technology and its MMO gaming IP. The company is the lead contractor to Cybersports Limited in its development of “Football Superstars”, a new MMO concept that launches in the UK next month, and has development contracts with several other international console and online gaming publishers.

Take up of the “Monumental Technology Suite” (MTS), the company’s core middleware product, has accelerated almost exponentially during 2008. Today some 50 licensees are actively developing new applications and concepts for launch in the UK and internationally.

“We have long been convinced that MTS offers a far more cost and time effective solution for bringing MMO games to market and for developing Virtual World’s for commercial applications. The robustness of the technology, coupled with its ease of use, means that it’s ideal both as a development platform and for full commercial application,” said Rik Alexander. “Acquiring the Swordfish business in Manchester gives us the capacity to invest ahead of the curve and to maintain our growth profile throughout next year.”

Swordfish Studio Head, Mike Delves, joins the Monumental management team to head up the business that will now be known as Monumental Manchester. Commenting on his team’s acquisition, Mike said: “The Manchester team have already been getting to know their counterparts from Nottingham and we’re really excited about working together and all the new opportunities this represents. Monumental have clearly been the ones to watch for a while now, and we’re glad to be playing a crucial part in a new phase of growth.”

Monumental’s head office and principal UK studio is based in Nottingham. The company has just taken a lease on 10,000 sq ft of space in the City’s creative quarter and is currently investing a six figure sum in equipping the premises ahead of a November move. In addition to the newly acquired Swordfish Studio, Monumental has recently established a development studio in Pune, India.

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For further information, please contact:

Paul Mayze +44 (0)7957 224527


About Monumental Games

Monumental Games Limited (MGL) was formed by CEO Rik Alexander (33) and CTO Rocco Loscalzo (42) in 2005. The company was established to develop middleware for, and exploit opportunities in, the Massively Multi-player Online (MMO) gaming space. Utilising the founders’ extensive video game development experience, coupled with their broad-ranging industry contacts, MGL acquired a base technology platform that offered the promise of being able to dramatically reduce the complexity of, and lead times for, the development of Virtual Worlds.

Uniquely among technology companies of its type, MGL has funded its entire early stage development from its own resources and has no external investors or shareholders. Although still a relatively small business, sales growth and profitability have been strong. The company is debt free and intends to continue expanding by reinvesting at least 100% of profits in each of the next three years.

MGL’s three principal business activities can be summarized as:

Game Creation: Sub-contract and partnership development and production of game concepts for third parties

Technology Investment: Investment in new and emerging online entertainment and commercial application concepts through the provision of MTS development licences

Publishing: Design, development and marketing of in-house MMO gaming concepts

About Cybersports Limited

CyberSports Ltd will shortly launch Football Superstars, a truly ground-breaking, exciting and compelling game, into a huge and rapidly growing global market using reliable state-of-the-art technology. It aims to be the first truly mainstream massively multi-player online game (MMOG) appealing to casual as well as hardened gamers. It will be the first MMOG to recreate the game of football and its associated lifestyle and it will provide football game-play where each player controls one character on the pitch. Off the pitch, thousands of individual characters will live a life of glory, fame and luxury in an aspirational utopian football-based virtual world. The company will then use the same principles to expand into other sports.

Cybersports aim is to dominate the online sports game market by building and operating integrated persistent 3D virtual multi-player multi-sports worlds that appeal to both casual and hardened gamers alike.

CyberSports Ltd Dunstan House, 14a St Cross Street, London, EC1N 8XA


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