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New Nintendo alliance creates the world's most powerful high-tech game development studio

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 19, 1995--In what it bills as the most dynamic alliance in the video game industry, Nintendo Co. Ltd. today said it has agreed to make a multi-million dollar capital investment in U.K.-based Rare, the world's hottest video game development company.

Nintendo's investment in Rare will ensure that Rare remains not only the world's most technically advanced video game developer, but also one of the largest. The investment, which will give Nintendo a 25 percent interest in Rare, marks the first time Nintendo has invested in a video game development company outside of Japan.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rare will develop a series of new 16-bit and 64-bit home video games, as well as games for Nintendo's Game Boy and Virtual Boy video game systems. Rare will also publish games worldwide on various Nintendo hardware platforms under the "Rareware" label, including games for Nintendo Ultra 64(TM), Nintendo's new 64-bit home video game machine now under development at Silicon Graphics Inc. (NYSE:SGI).

In 1994, Rare and Nintendo joined forces to create the blockbuster video game Donkey Kong Country, using revolutionary real-time 3-D technology called Advanced Computer Modeling (ACM). To date, Nintendo has sold more than 7.4 million Donkey Kong Country cartridges worldwide, making Donkey Kong Country the fastest selling video game of all time. Rare also created today's number one arcade hit game Killer Instinct.

"Based on the tremendous worldwide success of Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct, it's clear that Rare is the best video game developer in the world. Just like the movie industry where there are a handful of people who make great movies, the video game industry only has a few people who make great games," says Howard Lincoln, Nintendo of America chairman. "Nintendo considers the Rare team the `Spielberg' of video game development."

Currently Rare is working on a number of Nintendo titles, including a 16-bit sequel to the No.1 smash hit game Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System; and new titles for Nintendo Ultra 64, Game Boy and Nintendo's new Virtual Boy, a 32-bit, 3-D game system that will be launched in summer of 1995. Rare is also developing a James Bond home video game, based on the movie "Goldeneye," currently being filmed outside London.

"With the creative and technical expertise of Nintendo and Rare, we'll not only continue to produce the best video games in the industry, but we already have defined the standard of `next generation,'" comments Joel Hochberg, Rare president. "We have searched the world over for top-notch talent and have brought them together in an entity that will, without a doubt, continue to blow the competition away."

In keeping with both companies' mandate to provide the best in home video game software, Rare will bolster its existing staff of experienced video game developers from 84 to 250 over the next two years. The company will seek additional talent with education and experience in such cutting-edge, high-tech fields as artificial intelligence and 3-D visualization. To house the augmented staff and its sizable increase in high-end Silicon Graphics workstations, Rare will expand its game development facilities in Twycross, Warwickshire, England, one hour north of London, where the company is based.

Rare's four-member board of directors will consist of Rare Coin-It Companies' Joel Hochberg, Rare Ltd.'s Chris Stamper and Tim Stamper, and Howard Lincoln, Nintendo of America chairman.

Rare has offices in the United Kingdom, and Rare Coin-It Toys & Games Inc. has offices in Miami and Connecticut. The Miami office directs business, licensing and marketing functions; the Connecticut facility houses the toy and game division. Rare's artists, designers and programmers are currently located in a 300-year old farmhouse in Twycross, England.

Nintendo Co. Ltd. is the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of video games. Based in Redmond, Nintendo of America Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, is the headquarters for Nintendo's marketing operations in North America.


Alison Holt Brummelkamp, 818-286-2067

Eileen Tanner, 206-462-4220