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PEARSON FUNDS RED STORM FOR FIVE YEARS

Red Storm Entertainment Inc has received five years funding from media group Pearson Plc. The amount is not known. The deal with Pearson will bring new contacts to Red Storm to enable it to expand its franchise capabilities around its core games business. We are interested in expanding our games opportunities into the realms of television, movies, merchandising and so on. Pearson brings all of those except movie making. It has its own television company, publishing house and Mindscape, explained Doug Littlejohns, president and chief executive at the Morrisville, North Carolina-based games company. The company, whose chairman is political thriller writer Tom Clancey, will use some of the funds to expand its staff, aiming for 60 by Christmas compared to 42 now. In addition, it hopes to take advantage of Mindscape’s expertise in porting its personal computer games to consoles. Red Storm is in discussions with unnamed console games companies and plans to make an announcement in the next few weeks. Red Storm was spun out of Virtus Corp last November and until the Pearson investment was a joint holding between Virtus and Tom Clancy. Pearson has now taken an unspecified stake in the company, but is still a smaller shareholder than Virtus and Clancy. Red Storm currently has five games under development. In November it plans to release Tom Clancy’s Politika, a multiplayer online game based on a novel of the same name. This title immerses players into a vicious Russian power struggle following the fictitious death of President Boris Yeltsin. The game was developed using Java-based applications programming interface technology called InVerse from IBM Corp.

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