Acquisition of successful Game conversion studio and acquires 20% stake in Nintendo Game Boy developer.
Rage today announces that it has acquired two development studios in Scotland for a total consideration of 3.4 million, to be satisfied by the issue of 6,538,472 Rage ordinary shares. Rage is also pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with industry veteran, David Jones, to manage these two new studios. The studios will develop new and original content for multiple platforms, with a specific emphasis on developing multi-player Internet games for WAP and online distribution
Rage has also today acquired RGB Tree Ltd ("RGB Tree"), a Leeds based game conversion studio, for a total consideration of £2 million, to be satisfied by the issue of 3,846,152 Rage ordinary shares. RGB Tree has recently completed work on game conversions between the PC and Sony PlayStation format for high profile games such as Grand Theft Auto 2 and will continue to operate in this area. This company will be renamed Rage Leeds.
In addition, Rage announces today that it has acquired an initial 20% stake in newly formed Denki Ltd ("Denki"), a Dundee based games developer, for a cash consideration of £125,000. As part of the deal, Rage will own the publishing and development rights of Denki's first three titles for Nintendo's Game Boy handheld console. These will represent the Group's first Nintendo Game Boy titles.
The acquisition provides Rage with the technologies and resources necessary to develop titles for a number of forthcoming handheld devices, as well as Nintendo's Game Boy Advanced machine, a new 32-bit handheld system scheduled for release in Japan in August 2000 and North America/ Europe later in the year.
Paul Finnegan, Chief Executive Officer of Rage, commented:
"The development of on-line Internet gaming platforms and WAP (wireless application protocol) devices provide us with significant new opportunities to ensure mass-market penetration for our titles. Recent studies carried out by the leading mobile phone networks showed 24 million people in the UK (40% of the population) currently own a mobile telephone, many of which are now being used by school children and teenagers.
"David brings with him a wealth of experience to the Group, having previously designed and managed many best selling titles, including the Lemmings series, which has sold in excess of 10 million units worldwide and released on 21 different gaming formats. We have every confidence that the Group will benefit enormously from David's considerable expertise and contacts in this area and are delighted that he and his teams will be part of the Group's continued expansion into delivering on-line and multi-player content."
"We are also very pleased to welcome RGB Tree and Denki into the Group, as their skills will further enhance our capabilities and secure our entry into the handheld gaming devices market."
David Jones, commented:
"I believe on-line and Internet gaming are still very much under exploited areas and I plan to use my experience gained working on mass market titles to maximise their potential. I also look forward to working alongside the existing Rage studios to maintain their position at the cutting-edge of the industry by identifying and exploiting the significant opportunities that these new distribution channels represent."
For further information, please contact:
Rage Software Tel: 0151 237 2200 )Chairman Paul Finnegan, Chief Executive Officer Peter Desmier, Finance Director
Teather & Greenwood Limited Tel: 020 7426 9000
Russell Cook/Tanya Meltzer
GCI Focus Tel: 020 7398 0800 Stephanie Highett/Richard Sunderland
Rage Software is a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software and has partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Compaq, Dell, Sony, Sega, Nintendo and Infogrames. The Group is headquartered in Liverpool, UK, and currently has development studios in Birmingham, Newcastle, Warrington, Sheffield and Bristol.
Recent studies carried out by Vodafone showed 24 million people in the UK (40% of the population) currently own a mobile telephone, many of which are now being used by school children and teenagers. In addition, recent deals between the major telephone networks and technology companies such as Psion, Casio, Palm and 3Com will see applications and WAP content delivered to a variety of portable handheld Personal Digital Assistants (PDA's) alongside phones.
David Jones has 20 years industry experience and has designed, programmed and managed some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful computer game products ever released, including the Lemmings series and Grand Theft Auto ("GTA"). Lemmings has appeared on 21different formats to date and the series has sold in excess of 10 million copies worldwide, whilst
GTA has sold over 4 million and is still within the UK top 20 chart 2 years after its release.
Jones' interest in technology started in the early 1980s where he did pioneering work on early
home computers including the Sinclair Spectrum whilst working as a hardware engineer for the
Timex Corporation in Dundee. After completing a software degree, he started developing games
for the early 8 and 16 bit platforms and formed a company ? DMA Design ? which went on to
produce many best selling and critically acclaimed tides. Jones was also selected by the Nintendo
Corporation to be one of its major Western creative advisers for software titles on its home
console formats, as well as also recently being a key figure in the set-up and launch of the first
full-time games technology degree courses in the country at Abertay University.