Following months of speculation regarding the financial status of British publisher Digital Jesters, a new publishing and distribution outfit named The DJ Group has been formed around the company and a number of other European publishers.
The new publisher has agreed a $5 million investment plan with U.S. firm Myriad Interactive, which is headed by Marco Landi, ex-president and COO of Apple Computers. The new group will operate a number of publishing and distribution companies under multiple brands, including DJ Interactive, DJ Distribution, Digital Jesters, Turtle Games and Monte Cristo – with more to be announced over the coming weeks.
[UPDATE: 12/02/05 - Monte Cristo has denied a direct link
to the new DJ Group.]
The remit of the group is stated as being to establish a series of games labels in order to publish and distribute a wide portfolio of games globally, within the next twelve months. The group is seeking to expand in the UK and globally, via partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions. The group expects to provide over 100 jobs in the first year including management, specialists and developers.
The group’s first published title will be Digital Jester’s Crazy Frog Racer
license for the PC and PlayStation 2 on December 9th, with family-friendly PC title Wild Earth
due early next year. On Wednesday of this week French developer Kylotonn announced that it was severing ties with Digital Jesters
over complaints of non-payments and breaches of contract, although there is as yet no indication yet of whether The DJ Group will attempt to recover relationships with the company for PC title Bet On Soldier
"We've big plans for the DJ Group," said Landi. "We've already set up our infrastructure, and it's our intention that this new group will quickly grow through expansion and acquisition into a real major player. Crazy Frog Racer
will really set out our stall. We're staffing up quickly and will be making more announcements shortly.”