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JoWood Acquires Publisher 'Ravensburger'

by Rainier on May 16, 2002 @ 12:50 p.m. PDT

JoWooD today announced the takeover in an asset deal of extensive Ravensburger Interactive Media activities. Ravensburger Interactive, whose primary activity is publishing computer games, is a subsidiary of the well-known German games manufacturer Ravensburger. With this agreement JoWooD continues to strengthen its market position and to establish itself as by far the largest German speaking publisher and developer of entertainment software.

Within the scope of this agreement, JoWooD takes over an extensive portfolio of titles still in production at Ravensburger Interactive. The portfolio includes nine high-quality software games for PC and console platforms to be published in 2002 and 2003 - among them the eagerly anticipated epic strategy role-playing game Arx Fatalis, the business simulation Wildlife Park as well as the console version of the underwater action game Aquanox for PlayStation 2.

Furthermore, both companies are currently discussing the ongoing marketing of Ravensburger Interactive titles. This will enable JoWooD to enter into the dynamically growing area of family entertainment. In this sector Ravensburger Interactive has published successful titles such as Enid Blyton's Five Friends and The Crazy Maze.

In addition to the broadening of JoWooD's product portfolio, this agreement will give rise to further extensive synergies in the area of development, producing, marketing and distribution. JoWooD will also enter into part of an existing Ravensburger Interactive distribution and marketing cooperation agreements. Furthermore the cooperation between Ravensburger Interactive and some of the sector's most renowned development studios offers further potential cooperation in development and publishing for JoWooD.

Ravensburger Interactive was founded in 1996 and has been built up under the management of Thomas Kirchenkamp. During this time the company has succeeded on several occasions in placing its products into number one position in the German sales charts, an example being last autumn for the PC-title Aquanox. However, the company has been unable to reach the necessary critical mass in order to gain a foothold in the international arena.

"In this industry, the key to success in the long run is by having a comprehensive international distribution network together with critical mass for competitiveness - like JoWooD Productions Software AG", commented Thomas Kirchenkamp, Chairman of Ravensburger Interactive Media GmbH.

Within the scope of the Ravensburger Interactive takeover Thomas Kirchenkamp (44) - outgoing chairman of Ravensburger Interactive - will be appointed as the new CTO (Chief Technology Officer) in the JoWooD board as of beginning of June 2002. He takes on this role from Johann Schilcher (40), one of the company founders and main shareholders. At his own request Johann Schilcher, creator of the famous Giant-series of products by JoWooD and responsible for the successful title IndustryGiant, will resume his original position as head of the development studio in Ebensee in order to fully concentrate on the games development.

Andreas Tobler, CEO of JoWooD: "This agreement is another important milestone in our successful corporate strategy. Ravensburger Interactive has an excellent brand name and a very promising product portfolio with potential for topping the charts. These add strength to our product portfolio going forward. Furthermore, we are strengthening our position as the biggest German speaking publisher and at the same time are becoming a key European player".

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