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Circle To Float On London Stock Exchange; Focuses On Interactive DVD Format

Representatives from British developer Circle have announced plans to float the company on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange, beginning in October 2005. Circle ...
Representatives from British developer Circle have announced plans to float the company on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange, beginning in October 2005. Circle was established in 2003 by CEO Jeremy Heath-Smith and managing director Adrian Smith, both veterans and co-founders of former Tomb Raider developer Core Design. Although the company is soon to complete work on PlayStation 2 and Xbox action adventure Without Warning for Capcom, the developer has stated that it intends to focus on interactive DVD games in the future. The company has already secured the official FIFA soccer license for DVD quiz games, with two titles schedule for release before next year’s World Cup tournament in Germany. The company also has an exclusive collaboration with the “Now That's What I Call Music” brand, with a series of interactive DVD titles scheduled for release from Virgin/EMI. The company has also acquired licenses from the Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids and the NBA. The interactive DVD format has become increasingly important in recent years, following the success of Mattel’s Scene iT? and Universal’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, both of which have sold in the region of one million units. Sales of DVD games are reported to have grown 600 percent between 2003 and 2004, and the format is expected to reach a worth of $1 billion by 2007. Circle cites the benefits of the format as including shorter development periods (typically four to six months), smaller teams and lower overheads in comparison to traditional computer and video games. Commenting on the decision to float on AIM, Jeremy Heath-Smith said: "We are at the forefront of this exciting new sector; our creative talent is unparalleled and we have a long and proven track record of bringing commercially successful entertainment software to the mass-market. We are confident that our expertise, combined with key brands, will enable us to deliver highly compelling interactive DVD games - and meaningful returns to shareholders."

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