Disney Climaxes with MotoGP Developer Acquisition

In what can only be bad news, Climax Racing, the developer behind the popular Xbox and PC franchise MotoGP and the PS2 franchise ATV Offroad Fury, has been bought up by Disney of all people.

“The Walt Disney Company holds one of the largest and most exciting portfolios of intellectual property in the world, and through BVG, we look forward to having access to the company’s deep resources in the video games space to continue creating remarkable interactive entertainment,” said [Climax VP] Beckwith. “This promises to be a mutually beneficial relationship and we believe that together we will make outstanding games for the next generation and beyond.”

What does this mean? Goofy in leathers? Minnie getting mad air off of a tabletop jump on an ATV? Oh the horror…

Buena Vista Games To Acquire Award-Winning Climax Racing

Addition of UK Studio Furthers Buena Vista Games’ Commitment to Quality and Creativity

BURBANK, Calif. and LONDON — (September 28, 2006) — Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today announced the acquisition of the award-winning Climax Racing from Climax Group Ltd. The studio is of both strategic and geographic importance to BVG as it becomes the third internal studio, and the first in Europe, that BVG has added to its development capacity. BVG currently operates development studios in Vancouver, British Columbia (Propaganda Games), and Salt Lake City, Utah (Avalanche Software). The addition of Climax Racing allows BVG to create triple-A racing titles that meet the highest standards for creativity and quality. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed. The deal is expected to close in early October.

“The acquisition of Climax Racing aligns perfectly with our strategic and geographic goals by allowing us to both reach into new genres and new markets for creative talent,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager, Buena Vista Games. “Adding Climax Racing to our creative family will provide an additional catalyst for our continued growth in the video games market.”

“As a premier, award-winning studio that has created some of the best racing titles of all time, Climax Racing is an ideal component of BVG’s expanding portfolio of development talent,” said Karl Jeffery, founder and chief executive officer of Climax.

Climax Racing is known as a leading developer of racing games, including its critically-acclaimed work on the best-selling franchises “MotoGP” and “ATV Offroad® Fury.” The studio and its products have won or been nominated for dozens of awards, including winning four IGN “Best of Show” awards at E3 2006.

Tony Beckwith, co-founder of the studio, has been named vice president and general manager of Climax Racing as it continues its creative direction under BVG. Climax Racing is based in Brighton, England, and employs more than 100 talented video game artists, programmers and designers.

“The Walt Disney Company holds one of the largest and most exciting portfolios of intellectual property in the world, and through BVG, we look forward to having access to the company’s deep resources in the video games space to continue creating remarkable interactive entertainment,” said Beckwith. “This promises to be a mutually beneficial relationship and we believe that together we will make outstanding games for the next generation and beyond.”

About Climax Racing

Climax Racing was established in early 2000, with the goal of becoming the industry’s premier vehicle game development house. With carefully managed and rapid growth, it has evolved into a three team studio employing over one hundred people, working for some of the largest publishers in the business on current and next-generation consoles. Using its proprietary render engine and DYNE physics libraries the studio has become experienced at producing triple-A, critically acclaimed titles in very competitive development times.

About Buena Vista Games

Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG) is the interactive entertainment affiliate of The Walt Disney Company. BVG develops, publishes, markets and distributes a broad portfolio of multi-platform video games and interactive entertainment worldwide. The company also licenses properties and works directly with third-party interactive game publishers to bring products for all ages to market. For more information, please log on to www.bvg.com.

About Climax

Founded in 1988 by Karl Jeffery, Climax has grown to become the world’s leading independent video game developer. At the cutting edge of the games industry, Climax develops technologically advanced and critically acclaimed interactive games software for all major console platforms. The company works with major worldwide publishers such as Microsoft, SCEA, Buena Vista Games and THQ to create such hit titles as “ATV Offroad Fury 3,” “Sudeki” and the “MotoGP” series on Xbox, Xbox 360 and PC.

Climax is headquartered in Portsmouth, England. Additional information on Climax is available at www.climaxgroup.com.

tim.stevens

Freelance journalist and software architect based in Upstate NY. I write for a variety of different places (as you’ll see) -- maybe even for you if you ask nicely.

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