LONDON, UK & SAN FRANCISCO, CA - March 22, 2006: I-play, the mobile games company and publisher of two of the top-selling racing titles in Europe and the United States, today announced that it has signed a deal with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group for the mobile rights to the third film in the hugely popular "The Fast and the Furious" street racing film franchise. I-play's mobile game title, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo," will launch simultaneously with Universal Pictures' 2006 theatrical release of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" in the second quarter of this year.
I-play has achieved phenomenal success with "The Fast and the Furious" franchise to date, with over four million downloads. "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo" will launch with a high degree of visibility, thanks to a simultaneous release with the new film. Since the Japanese sport of drift racing was made legal three years ago, it has become one of the coolest forms of stunt driving and is one of the fastest growing trends in the world of car racing.
David Gosen, CEO of I-play, commented: "What we're delivering with 'The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo' is not just a big brand on a small screen, but a game that hits all the right buttons in mobile gaming today: a fantastic, proven franchise; great gameplay; and stunning graphics. In addition, the franchise has a huge appeal among the 18-35 year old male demographic - representing the largest group of mobile game downloaders."
"I-play has built 'The Fast and the Furious' into the most successful racing franchise in mobile gaming today," said Jeremy Laws, Vice President of Media, Licensing and Strategy for Universal Studios Consumer Products Group. "We look forward to continued and enhanced success for these games in partnership with I-play."
About "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift"
From the producer of the worldwide blockbuster hits "The Fast and the Furious" and its sequel, "2 Fast 2 Furious," comes the latest installment of the adrenaline-inducing series built on speed - "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift." Set in the sexy and colorful underground world of Japanese drift racing, the newest and fastest customized rides go head-to-head on some of the most perilous courses in the world.
Sean Boswell (Black) is an outsider who attempts to define himself as a hot-headed, underdog street racer. Although racing provides a temporary escape from an unhappy home and the superficial world around him, it has also made Sean unpopular with the local authorities. To avoid jail time, Sean is sent to live with his gruff, estranged father, a career military-man stationed in Tokyo.
Now officially a gaijin (outsider), Sean feels even more shut out in a land of foreign customs and codes of honor. But it doesn't take long for him to find some action when a fellow American buddy, Twinkie (Bow Wow), introduces him to the underground world of drift racing. Sean's simple drag racing gets replaced by a rubber-burning, automotive art form-with an exhilarating balance of speeding and gliding through a heart-stopping course of hairpin turns and switchbacks.
On his first time out drifting, Sean unknowingly takes on D.K., the "Drift King," a local champ with ties to the Japanese crime machine Yakuza. Sean's loss comes at a high price tag when he's forced to work off the debt under the thumb of ex-pat, Han (Kang). Han soon welcomes Sean into this family of misfits and introduces him to the real principles of drifting. But when Sean falls for D.K.'s girlfriend, Neela (newcomer Kelley), an explosive series of events is set into motion, climaxing with an ultimate high stakes face off.
"The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift" is directed by Justin Lin ("Better Luck Tomorrow," "Annapolis") and written by Chris Morgan ("Cellular"), Kario Salem ("The Score") and Alfredo Botello. The film is produced by Neal H. Moritz ("xXx," "S.W.A.T.") and executive produced by Clayton Townsend ("The Skeleton Key," "The 40 Year-Old Virgin").
About Universal Studios Consumer Products Group
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group (USCPG) is responsible for global licensing and retail strategies as well as building brand recognition of the extensive catalogue of NBC Universal properties. Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is a unit of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi Universal.
I-play brings the best in mobile entertainment to an audience of over one billion people via retail stores, online portals including http://www.iplay.com/ and a network of over 100 carriers worldwide, including Sprint (NYSE: S), Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), Cingular, Vodafone (LSE: VOD.L) and Telefonica Moviles (NYSE: TEM), amongst others. I-play has been creating mobile games since 1998 and continues to spearhead the creation of games for the next generation. As one of the world's longest established and respected creators of mobile entertainment, the I-play brand stands for quality and the best in mobile development. Working with the best media and entertainment brands I-play is dedicated to fulfilling the promise of the mobile phone as the first truly mass-market electronic entertainment platform.
I-play's investors are Apax Partners and Argo Global Capital. I-play is headquartered in London, with European Regional HQ in Dunfermline, Scotland and North American Regional HQ in San Mateo, California; a publishing studio in Macclesfield as well as sales offices in Paris, Hamburg, Madrid, Rome, New York and Singapore.
For more information, please call +44 (0) 20 7901 1760 or visit us at http://www.iplay.com/
I-play is a trademark and trading name of Digital Bridges Limited.
+ 44 (0) 20 7901 1770
Kohnke Communications on behalf of I-play
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