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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Sammy Studios Hires Big Hollywood Guns

by Rainier on Sept. 20, 2002 @ 12:39 a.m. PDT

John Rowe, president of the global entertainment company Sammy Studios, announced today the expansion of its Hollywood presence by establishing a new facility to focus on video game development, animation and all licensing activities, both acquisitions and placement. He also announced the appointment of well-respected industry veteran Michael Haller as Executive Vice President and former DreamWorks Interactive and Walt Disney Imagineering executive Tami Hathaway as Director of Licensing.

“Sammy Studios has been created to bring founder Hajime Satomi’s vision of a global entertainment powerhouse to fruition. Video games will be our first focus, but we plan to move quickly into animation and other entertainment forms,” said Michael Haller, executive vice president of Sammy Studios. “We are setting up shop in the heart of Hollywood and we are eager to develop and cultivate relationships here that can bring value to current licenses, while also creating our own properties that will be of interest in all other entertainment media.”

Aiming to be fully established with a hit-driven lineup of games on all major hardware platforms for the 2004 holiday season, Sammy Studios is aggressively pursuing top development talent, original concepts and well-known licenses. A solid management team, combined with a major funding commitment from the parent company, Sammy Corporation of Japan, Sammy Studios is well positioned to establish itself in the world entertainment arena.

“With the hiring of Michael and Tami, we are continuing to build an incredible team,” said John Rowe, president of Sammy Studios. “Michael’s success in both the animation and game worlds gives Sammy a unique advantage as we seek to make Sammy Studios a global entertainment presence.”

Michael Haller comes to Sammy Studios with more than twenty-five years experience in the world of television, animation and video games. Michael most recently served as Vice President and Executive Producer at Electronic Arts, where he oversaw the development of the current worldwide, multi-platform, best seller Medal of Honor. As Senior Vice President of THQ, Inc., he established the company’s relationships in Japan and oversaw the development of the Interactive Academy award-winning WCW and WWF wrestling games. Before entering the video game industry, he introduced the world to Japanese animation through the pioneering classic AKIRA and other anime titles produced by Kodansha Ltd. and Streamline Pictures, Inc. Michael will be responsible for building Sammy Studios’ product lineup.

As Director of Licensing, Tami Hathaway brings more than eight years experience in the entertainment and video game industries, working first for Walt Disney Imagineering and most recently DreamWorks Interactive and Electronic Arts. Tami’s responsibilities include the financial analysis and acquisition of licenses for both Sammy Studios and the parent company, Sammy Corporation, as well as the licensing out of Sammy-owned properties.

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