3/21/2003 - OpenTV (NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam: OPTV), one of the world's leading interactive television companies, will roll out a suite of interactive multiplayer games to viewers in the UK in May, with plans to introduce the service at a later date in the United States, France and South Africa.
OpenTV's interactive games channel PlayJam is pioneering the multiplayer games' experience. Multiplayer games allow a viewer in one household watching OpenTV's interactive games channel PlayJam to compete against another viewer in a different town or city.
OpenTV will initially roll out three multiplayer games, Multiplayer Darts, Multiplayer Football and Multiplayer Poker, on its interactive games channel PlayJam on BSkyB's digital satellite television platform with more multiplayer games to follow in subsequent months. Multiplayer games have been enabled by integrating Pixel Technologies innovative JIVETM 2.0 technology as the core multiplayer technology into PlayJam's Applications Service Provider (ASP) network.
PlayJam is building multiplayer functionality into new games and its 200-strong library of existing games using Pixel's JIVETM SDK, which includes a customized multiplayer user interface for PlayJam. This will allow the launch of multiplayer functionality on all PlayJam channels including cable and satellite television in the UK, France, US and South Africa.
With Pixel's JIVETM, OpenTV will be able to extend multiplayer gaming on PlayJam to other interactive television networks, mobile phones, palm devices and the Internet, allowing, for example, a television viewer in the UK to play against someone using a mobile phone in France.
When a prototype version of the JIVETM Powered Multiplayer Darts game was added to PlayJam's games line-up on its BSkyB channel in Spring 2002, it proved an immediate success, with the game registering a record number of plays. Subsequent TV audience research conducted by OpenTV revealed 67% of digital TV households would be interested in playing TV games against one another.
General Manager, PlayJam, Mickey Kalifa, said, "We believe that multiplayer gaming has the potential to completely change both the culture and the usage of TV. The popularity of programs such as Big Brother, American Idol and Survivor has demonstrated that viewers are eager to engage with on-air content and want more than a passive relation with their TV. We have taken this desire of viewers to engage with one another to the world of interactive TV gaming. We believe multiplayer capabilities will take TV gaming to another level, making it even more attractive to audiences and, as a result, to network operators carrying the PlayJam channel."
CEO of Pixel Technologies, Ramy Weitz said, "OpenTV's commitment to multiplayer games on iTV is a testament to their vision and leadership in the iTV industry. Pixel's market leading JIVETM Technology is a cross platform solution that we believe will not only enable OpenTV to connect their iTV audience together with enhanced on-line interactive entertainment but will also allow them to embrace new audiences by seamlessly extending their PlayJam brand onto other platforms such as mobile. We are delighted to be able to help OpenTV's efforts to create another powerful success story."
One of the world's leading interactive television companies, OpenTV powers more than 27 million set-top boxes worldwide. The company provides a comprehensive suite of iTV solutions including operating middleware, web browser software, interactive applications, content creation tools, professional support services, and strategic consulting. OpenTV is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with regional offices throughout the United States, Europe and Asia/Pacific. For more information, please visit www.opentv.com.
About Pixel Technologies
Pixel Software Technologies Ltd (Pixel) specialises in the creation of multi-player technologies and content for Gaming, Interactive Entertainment for Digital Networks. Pixel's proprietary JIVETM platform enables iTV, Mobile and Internet operators, as well as content publishers and developers, to create multi-user games and applications for their subscribers, independent of the device the subscriber is using.
With offices in London and New York and an R&D Centre in Israel, Pixel has assembled a world-class team of developers run by a management team with extensive experience in the interactive entertainment marketplace. For further information please call: Amos Manasseh: VP Sales & Marketing, +44 7831 420 022, email@example.com.
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