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Vivendi Universal Games Acquires Game Developer Swordfish Studios

Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) has acquired independent game developer Swordfish Studios. Under terms of the agreement, VU Games will retain Swordfish Studios' team of 45 development professionals, leaving the studio basically intact in its current office in Birmingham, England. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"Swordfish Studios has emerged as a strong creative force with an experienced and talented group of professionals," said Bruce Hack, ceo of VU Games. "Following the integration of Radical Ent. into the VU Games organization and Blizzard Ent.'s acquisition of Swingin' Ape Studios earlier this year, the purchase of Swordfish further builds our internal development capabilities."

Trevor Williams, md of Swordfish, will continue to lead the studio and will report to Peter Della Penna, evp/coo, product development for VU Games.

Swordfish Studios has earned several awards for excellence in game development, including Developer of the Year for 2004 by The Independent Game Developers Assoc. It was also honored as the best New U.K. Studio at the Developer Industry Excellence Awards.

Future products in development at Swordfish Studios will be announced at a later date. The studio just completed development on VU Games' PS2 first- person shooter, COLD WINTER.

Founded in 2002, Swordfish Studios (www.swordfishstudios.com) is one of Europe's most respected independent game development studios. Headquartered in Birmingham U.K., the studio has designed and developed many top-selling titles. Swordfish is working on BRIAN LARA INTERNATIONAL CRICKET 2005 for the Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox and PC platforms, in addition to two undisclosed titles.

Vivendi Universal Games (www.vugames.com) is a global developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform interactive entertainment. The company is a leader in the subscription-based massively multi-player online (MMO) games category, and also holds leading positions in the PC, console and handheld games markets. Its development studios and publishing labels include Blizzard Ent., Radical Ent., Sierra Ent. and Massive Ent. VU Games' library of more than 700 titles features owned intellectual properties, including WARCRAFT, STARCRAFT, DIABLO and WORLD OF WARCRAFT from Blizzard Ent.; CRASH BANDICOOT, SPYRO THE DRAGON, EMPIRE EARTH, LEISURE SUIT LARRY, GROUND CONTROL and TRIBES. VU Games also maintains strategic relationships with industry leading content partners, including Universal Music Group, NBC Universal and Twentieth Century Fox.

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