London, 14th August, 2008: scifi.co.uk, the official website of the SCI FI channel in the UK, today announces the launch of two interactive online games in partnership with Bigpoint, the leading producer of browser-based MMOGs.
The games - "DarkOrbit" and "Seafight"– will be available to scifi.co.uk users for free from 12th August and will unite them with a community of almost 30 million other gamers around the world. Players can also buy virtual goods or use special game features with a premium subscription. The games are complex, long running, multiple player games, which are played directly in a browser without downloads or installation of additional software.
This is the first execution of the collaboration announced between NBC Universal and German-based Bigpoint since the Peacock Equity Fund, a $250m venture capital fund that NBC Universal launched with sister company GE Commercial Finance, acquired 35 per cent of Bigpoint in a€70m ($110m) deal in June 2008.
“SCI FI is our umbrella brand for casual and online gaming in the UK and other countries outside the USA. Science fiction and fantasy fans have a huge affinity with gaming and our relationship with Bigpoint will allow us to take advantage of growing popularity of multiple players” says Kevin Obi, SVP SVP New Digital Media Business, NBC Universal.
Heiko Hubertz, founder and CEO, Bigpoint commented:“We're pleased that we're working with SCI FI UK on our first collaboration following our agreement with NBC Universal in June. There is a perfect fit between our audiences and we look forward to extending this relationship with both SCI FI and NBC Universal in the future."
The development follows the re-launch of scifi.co.uk in May 2008 into a destination site for fans of sci-fi and fantasy content, online gaming and gadgets. Other sites serving audiences across Europe will be launched in Q4 2008.
For further information, please contact:
Faye Harcourt, NBC Universal (UK)
Tel: +44 (0) 207 307 6603
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Notes to editors:
About NBC Universal Global Networks
NBC Universal Global Networks is part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. It owns and operates the distinct entertainment channels SCI FI, 13th STREET, Studio Universal, Universal Channel, the international (non-U.S.) Hallmark Channels, Movies 24, Diva TV and an interest in the KidsCo joint venture. Collectively, these channels reach more than 130 million households across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Latin America and Asia. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.
The Hamburg-based company Bigpoint GmbH, Europe’s leading provider in the area of online multiplayer games (MMOGs), develops and hosts browser-based games and has pledged itself to a special mission: to develop multiplayer online games at a level of quality which until now was only available with CDs or consoles. Bigpoint generates its turnover through the sale of virtual goods for their individual games as well as through online advertising. The current portfolio of 26 browser games has been bundled on the game portal www.bigpoint.com since December 2006, and is now available in 14 languages. With nearly 30 million registrations and 100,000 new registrations daily, www.bigpoint.com is the largest portal nationally und internationally. The company, which was founded in 2002, currently has 150 employees. In addition to the headquarters in Hamburg, they also have a subsidiary in New York. In June 2008, GMT and Peacock Equity, NBC Universal’s capital fund, bought a majority share of Bigpoint.
After winning the OnlineStar 2007 award for the favorite website and the Red Herring 100 Europe 2007, with which the US magazine Red Herring recognizes the 100 best private technology companies, Bigpoint was honored with 2nd place in 2007 by the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award. With a growth rate of 4,500% in the last four years, the Hamburg-based company also placed in the top 20 for the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA in the EMEA Region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Company founder Heiko Hubertz also won 2nd place as Internet Businessman of the Year 2007. Further information can be found at www.bigpoint.com.