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Russian Nival Interactive Opens U.S. Headquarters

In a first ever move for an Eastern European game company, Nival Interactive Inc. announced it has established its global headquarters in the U.S. and recruited an executive management team comprised of American videogame industry professionals, including Kevin Bachus, co-creator of Microsofts Xbox, as ceo. The changes are part of the companys plan to expand in the computer, video and mobile game markets by offering its partners superior products with global commercial appeal at a significantly lower production cost.

The companys new leadership based in Los Angeles is moving Nival beyond the PC market, where it has developed 15 successful and profitable games over the past decade, into globally relevant console, video and mobile games and outsourced asset production. The company will combine proven U.S. creative and management resources with development talent in lower cost regions of the world. Further, the company is able to leverage its excess capacity to offer outsourcing work to its partners while simultaneously developing its own games in concert with leading worldwide game publishers.

During its ten year history Nival Interactive has already established itself as a highly praised developer of successful PC games. By marrying Western creative, production and management capabilities with Eastern execution skills and expertise, we will bring products to our partners that are high in quality and global commercial appeal, but low in risk, said Bachus.

With his experience as Microsofts first director of third-party relations for the Xbox along with his subsequent history of entrepreneurship, Bachus was the ideal choice to lead Nival in the formation of new publishing and content partnerships while guiding Nivals development capabilities onto multiple game platforms. Bachus has also held executive positions at Infinium Labs and Capital Ent. Group, a company he co-founded.

Sergey Orlovskiy, who founded Nival in 1996, will remain Nivals president and will work side-by-side with Bachus. One of the best-known figures in Russian game development, Orlovskiy has assembled award-winning creative and technical teams in Eastern Europe and has grown Nival into the largest game development company in Russia.

The Eastern European game development market is seeing a surge in quality and quantity of product along with a corresponding increase in revenues, said Orlovskiy. With the addition of our new U.S. headquarters team, we are well positioned to expand opportunities for Nival Interactive as well as for partnering companies who are looking to develop AAA content cost-effectively on diverse platforms. We also plan to continue our strategic growth and increase our production capacity through the creation and acquisition of additional development studios around the world.

Nival Interactives majority shareholder is Ener1 Group, a privately held, global investment and advisory firm with offices in the U.S. and Moscow. The firm has been at the forefront of finding undervalued opportunities in Russia and the Ukraine, where it continues to invest in companies with competitive advantages and proprietary technologies that can be successfully commercialized worldwide.

In a market where profits are flat and competition cutthroat, product development done in Russia can be a competitive advantage: one that yields lower production costs over ones home territory, yet high product quality, says Charles Gassenheimer, Ener1 Groups ceo. With our new top-notch U.S. management team in place guiding our large, highly-skilled talent pool in Russia, Nival is the ideal partner for global PC, console and mobile game publishers.

Rounding out Nivals management team is William Petro, producer of more than 50 games across all major videogame platforms during his 20+ year career, and Anthony Jacobson, an early leader in the field of videogame intellectual property development. As vp of production, Petro will be responsible for managing the companys many PC and videogame console development studios around the world. Before coming to Nival, Petro was the svp of production at Sega, where he oversaw more than 20 games ranging from small pick-up titles to multi-million dollar projects for next-generation videogame systems, such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation3. Petro has also held management positions at Atari, Konami Digital Ent. and Westwood Studios, a division of Electronic Arts.

Jacobson joins Nival as vp of marketing and business development, leveraging the extensive work with intellectual properties he gained as the ceo of both Mauretania Import Export Co. and Carbon6. Jacobson will focus on establishing new partnerships for Nival in both the videogame industry and the broader entertainment industries, drawing upon the myriad film and television contacts made during his tenure at Creative Planet and William Morris Agency.

Along with the companys expansion into the market for console game development, Nival will concurrently grow its wireless division. Doug Dyer will be leading Nivals mobile efforts where he will utilize the extensive expertise he gained while creating mobile entertainment businesses for Warner Bros. and THQ, Inc. While at Warner Bros., Dyer led the companys newly established wireless group, overseeing its growing domestic and international businesses. Under his direction, Warner Bros. Online expanded its wireless business beyond licensing to take a more active role in developing, producing, publishing and marketing its own content to mobile operators and handset manufacturers. Prior to joining Warner Bros., Doug was gm of THQ Wireless, a division that he created. As such, Dyer was personally responsible for starting and building the company's global operations and worldwide wireless publishing capabilities.

Nival Interactive Inc. is an international game developer and publisher, and the largest development studio in Eastern Europe. Founded by Sergey Orlovskiy in 1996, Nival is in development on several new products, including HEROES OF MIGHT AND MAGIC V for Ubisoft Ent., which will join a family of titles that includes THE BLITZKRIEG, ETHERLORDS, SILENT STORM and RAGE OF MAGES franchises. For more information, visit www.nival.com.

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