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Electronic Arts takes equity stake in leading software developer, Visual Concepts Entertainment.

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 25, 1995--Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), a leading global interactive entertainment company, Wednesday announced it has acquired a minority equity stake in Visual Concepts Entertainment, a leading interactive game developer, based in San Rafael, Calif.

Visual Concepts will develop entertainment software on emerging advanced 32-bit platforms exclusively for Electronic Arts. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Visual Concepts Entertainment, founded in 1988, has had a four-year history with Electronic Arts designing and developing top-selling interactive game software in the sports and action categories. Visual Concepts is widely recognized for its ability to develop innovative and visually compelling interactive software.

Key Electronic Arts properties developed by Visual Concepts include Super NES titles such as John Madden Football '94 and '95, NHL Hockey '95, Desert Strike, and the soon-to-be-released Toughman Contest for the Sega Genesis. Visual Concepts has also developed such successful titles as Clay Fighter and Tazmania.

"This agreement is part of our long-term strategy to invest in the very best creative talent in interactive entertainment," said Larry Probst, chairman and CEO of Electronic Arts. "The outstanding work by Visual Concepts has set a standard for interactive entertainment, establishing an increasingly high mark for realistic game play in sports and action games.

"The new advanced 32-bit entertainment platforms, based on CD-ROM technology, will provide an even broader canvas upon which to design brilliant new interactive titles."

The strategic investment in Visual Concepts follows yesterday's completion of Electronic Arts' acquisition of Bullfrog Productions Ltd. of Surrey, England. Bullfrog was the third major interactive software company acquired by Electronic Arts in the past three years.

Origin Systems Inc., the Austin, Texas-based entertainment software developer of titles such as the Wing Commander and Ultima series, was acquired in 1992. Distinctive Software Inc. of Vancouver, Canada, developers of EA SPORTS properties such as NHL Hockey '95 for PC-CD and FIFA International Soccer, was acquired in 1991.

Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., is a leading interactive entertainment company. EA was founded in 1982 and has an annual sales rate of over $400 million. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for IBM-compatible PCs and Macintosh computers, as well as game machines such as Sega Genesis, Super NES, and 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. -0-

Note to Editor: Electronic Arts and Populous are registered trademarks and EA SPORTS is a trademark of Electronic Arts. Bullfrog, Magic Carpet, PowerMonger and Theme Park are trademarks of Bullfrog Productions Ltd. Wing Commander and Ultima are registered trademarks of Origin Systems Inc. NHL and FIFA are the property of their respective owners and are used under license.

3DO and Interactive Multiplayer are trademarks of the 3DO Company. Sega and Genesis are trademarks of Sega Enterprises Ltd. Super NES is a registered trademark of Nintendo of America Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Electronic Arts

Pat Becker, 415/513-7523 (corporate communications)

Caroline Hughes, 415/513-7860 (investor relations)
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 25, 1995
Words:490
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