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Sammy Studios Completes Buyout From Parent CompanyEstablishes independent company High Moon Studios (March 07, 2005)
Sammy Studios, Inc. today announced that it has completed a management buyout from parent company Sammy Corporation of Tokyo, Japan. The private investment group led by John Rowe, president and chief operating officer of Sammy Studios, purchased all shares of the company as well as the rights to original video game properties being developed at the studio, including the upcoming console title "Darkwatch." The acquisition takes place in advance of Sammy's integration of video game operations with Sega as the two Japanese companies merge into Sega Sammy Holdings, Inc.
Sammy Studios also announced today that the company has changed its name to High Moon Studios, Inc., establishing a wholly independent, privately held game development company. High Moon will be headed by Mr. Rowe, a seasoned veteran of the game industry for more than 20 years. The company remains headquartered in a state-of-the-art development studio in Carlsbad, California, where more than 100 developers are working on both current and next-generation console titles.
Commenting on the announcements, Mr. Rowe, president and CEO of High Moon Studios, said, "Today we introduce ourselves as a new, independent video game company. Sammy's decision to discontinue game development in North America has afforded us the rare opportunity to establish an independent studio built on existing capabilities and resources. High Moon is our new identity, yet our creative and technical capabilities, our talented development teams and the phenomenal resources at our disposal are unchanged."
High Moon remains managed by the team who established the studio three years ago, industry veterans who dedicated themselves to creating a company focused on introducing original, franchise-worthy video game and entertainment properties. The team's first such effort, soon to be released for home consoles, is the highly anticipated Vampire-Western first-person shooter "Darkwatch."
"We have the technology, the creativity and the independence to create new worlds and characters focused through the lens of addictive game play," said Chris Ulm, VP, design director, High Moon Studios. "'Darkwatch' is only the tip of the iceberg. We have projects already in development for the next generation, so it is a great time to be focused on delivering original games that break the mold."
"We have put together tremendous teams here over the past three years," said Emmanuel Valdez, VP, creative director, High Moon Studios. "Many of those we have brought on board have experienced the challenges that can bind innovation in our industry. That experience helps us discover ways to break those boundaries. This is our prevalent philosophy, and we can now be resolute in applying it to create original video game ideas designed for the Western market."
In addition to Mr. Ulm and Mr. Valdez, High Moon's senior management is Rick Olafsson, CFO, Clinton Keith, VP, technology director, Farzad Varahramyan, creative visual director, and Paul O'Connor, lead game designer.
About High Moon Studios, Inc.
High Moon Studios, Inc., formerly Sammy Studios, Inc., is an independent video game development company. Headquartered in the coastal city of Carlsbad in San Diego County, California, High Moon employs over 100 game developers at a state-of-the-art, fully equipped development facility. High Moon is best known for its highly-anticipated first-person shooter "Darkwatch" (www.darkwatch.com), and is currently working on additional original properties for this and next-generation video game consoles.
For more information on High Moon Studios, please visit www.highmoonstudios.com.
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