VR-1 Hits the Console Market

Company acquires two console-game developers, Devil's Thumb and POW Games.

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VR-1 announced Thursday that it had acquired two console-game developers, Devil's Thumb and POW Games (in Boulder, Colorado, and Japan respectively).

VR-1 will keep both staffs intact. POW will be renamed VR-1 Japan, and will give VR-1 the expertise it needs to expand into the console market. And VR-1 will use its own Conductor technology to provide access to the new online components in the upcoming Sony PlayStation 2 and recently released Sega Dreamcast systems.

Devil's Thumb is best known for developing Tides of War for GT Interactive and the upcoming Hired Guns from Psygnosis. POW Games, will serve as VR-1's new Asian headquarters has developed more than 100 games for console systems since its opening in 1993.

"The acquisition of Devil's Thumb and POW is the first step in our bold strategy to become a leading player in the convergence of online and console gaming," said Mike Moniz, president of VR. "We strongly believe that this convergence will transform online gaming into a mainstream entertainment by reaching a vast, previously untapped audience. We plan to be there at the outset by acquiring the talent, skills, and expertise that otherwise would have taken us several years and many millions of dollars to develop internally."

"The combined experience of Devil's Thumb, POW, and VR-1 will propel the company ahead of the online console game-development curve," said Tony Harman, founder of Devil's Thumb. "The robust VR-1 Conductor technology, used by major service providers worldwide, is easily portable to console systems, and is flexible enough to support any type of game that developers can create."

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