We R Interactive, is preparing to enter the music arena with an online music game, provisionally titled I AM STAR, and has received backing from the EUs’ MEDIA programme in the form of a €150, 000 grant towards pre-production of the title.
The MEDIA programme is a support initiative from the European Union aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of the European film, TV and new media industries and increasing the international circulation of European audio visual product, which will be contribute towards its’ development.
We R Interactive was the only successful UK company in this MEDIA competition.
The grant follows a second round of funding of $5million which We R Interactive secured in May 2011 from private investment, adding former CEO, EMI Music, Elio Leoni-Sceti to its shareholder register.
Building on We R Interactives' ground-breaking proprietary story-telling platform, ‘MUSE’, introduced in debut game I AM PLAYR, and launching into a global market where fantasy fulfilment enjoys massive popularity through prime-time entertainment shows; I AM STAR will enable players to live the life of a music star, from bedroom to concert hall. It forms one of a number of new titles We R Interactive is developing within the entertainment space. Digital Capital’s Global Games Invest Review 2011 outlined the explosive global growth in social gaming, reporting that there are now more than 700million global monthly active users of social games. We R Interactive hopes to continue to penetrate this growing market.
On We R Interactives’ music plans, Elio Leoni-Sceti said, “There is a rich heritage in console based music games that have proven there's an appetite for user interaction, yet to date interactive music has not successfully translated to social platforms. We R Interactive is uniquely positioned to address this opportunity and take interactive entertainment to a global music audience.”
The company is further signalling its ambitions within music games announcing the appointment of music and games veteran Geoff Heath, OBE, as an advisor to the company. Heath’s role will see him advise We R Interactive on company strategy, structure, commercial development and best practice.
Commenting on these developments, David Rose, CEO, We R Interactive said, “The UK has tremendous heritage in games, music and film, the combination of which has tremendous global potential. So much has been stated about the lack of support for the UK industry in comparison to global competition, therefore it’s fantastic to see a UK games company recognised through this European MEDIA grant.
Geoff’s insight and huge experience will be vital to helping us realise our ambitions.”
GeoffHeathOBE brings over forty years’ experience from the multi-media industry to We R Interactive. Previously he was CEO and founder of NCsoft Europe and he is currently on the board of a number of UK and US multi-media companies ranging from computer games and internet related companies, to music companies.
Heath’s early career was spent in music publishing working with the likes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. He later guided the media company ATV into music publishing, acquiring Northern Songs for £10 million and building up a catalogue which was eventually sold to Michael Jackson for £60 million. He was recognised for his services to the music industry with the Ivor Novello award - the first and only time this award has gone to a publisher.
Twenty five years ago Heath moved into gaming -initially as founder and European MD for Activision, working on the Atari 2600 platform. In 1988 he established Mindscape International, the European arm of Software Toolworks. The company was acquired as part of the Software Toolworks Group by Pearson PLC for £300 million in April 1994, setting a record in the industry for a trade sale at the time.
In June 2009 he was named Officer of the British Empire in the Queen's birthday honours list for his contribution to the computer games industry and his charitable work.
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