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September 21, 1998

RAGE LOOKS TO HIGH-END OF MARKET TO MAKE GAMES PAY

By CBR Staff Writer

After a painful period of transition, Rage Software Plc is back in the black and has completed its metamorphosis from an amusement arcade operator to games developer and publisher. While still a tiny UK outfit, what has given Rage credibility in the market is its decision to position itself at the top end after it decided 18 months ago to work with Intel on development of the Pentium II 3D technology. The main result of that work is a game called Incoming, used by a wide range of manufacturers to demonstrate what their machines and graphics cards can achieve. In consequence, Rage has been able to sign bundling deals for a cut-down version of Incoming with many of the big names and much of the revenue, that can range from $1.50 to $4 per copy, will come through in the current financial year. Rage now has seven titles in production of which four will be released in the current financial year. While its strength is in the PC market, which Rage says is less cyclical than consoles, it has worked with SEGA to offer a version of Incoming for the Dreamcast machine to be launched in November. Having got rid of its arcade business, Rage’s revenues are down from 6.7m pounds to 3.6m pounds though last year’s 15.4m net loss – after 10.9m pound write-offs from former business, has been replaced by a 860,000 profit. The future of company rests with its 110-strong team of developers and Rage believes that a combination of bonus payments based on games they work on plus share options give them an environment where they feel they are self-employed – but also get a pay check at the end of the month. Rage’s shares at 12.25 pence are only selling on 35 times historic earnings and the company looks a possible take-over target. So how does Rage respond to all the rumors that it is about to be taken over by Eidos Plc, the London-based computer games company? There is no truth in them, said managing director Paul Finnegan.

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