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DVD Board Game Popularity Soars, B1 Hops On Board

As part of a continuing trends in DVD-enabled board games, B1 Games, a new studio to develop interactive DVD-based board games, has been formed by CEO and president Brian...
As part of a continuing trends in DVD-enabled board games, B1 Games, a new studio to develop interactive DVD-based board games, has been formed by CEO and president Brian Johnson. Johnson has previously founded B1 Media, which designs the DVD content for other interactive TV board games, which have ballooned to become a major sub-industry in interactive entertainment. Johnson commented of the company's founding: "We are licensing some of the highest profile entertainment properties... 90% of all households have at least one DVD player -- this opens up a whole new market and dimension in games." Joining Johnson in the B1 Games venture will be Andrew Steiner as head of licensing and marketing and Kim Abrams as head of game development. The interactive DVD format, which simply involved a normal DVD player and branching video playback paths, 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. In addition, UK-based Circle Studios, founded by CEO Jeremy Heath-Smith and managing director Adrian Smith, both veterans and co-founders of former Tomb Raider developer Core Design, recently announced 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. Dave Long, CEO of Screenlife LLC, which produces Scene It?, estimates that DVD-based games are now worth $200 million, up from $1.5 million in 2002, according to a recent TechNewsWorld article. The Scene It? line, which includes expansions based on TV shows, Turner Classic Movies, James Bond, and Disney, is the largest force in the DVD-based game market, reportedly taking about half of its total revenue.

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