|Contact: Peggy Hendershot, NTRA (859) 422-2648
Peter Gustafson, Sega (847) 462-0771
NTRA, SEGA ENTERPRISES SIGN LICENSING AGREEMENT
Derby Owners Club to Become Official Interactive Video Game of NTRA
Sega Enterprises, Inc. (USA) and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have entered into a three-year licensing agreement designating Sega's Derby Owners Club - World Edition, a Thoroughbred breeding, training and racing simulator, as the NTRA's official, branded interactive video game. NTRA has the exclusive right to represent Derby Owners Club (DOC) to its members and in conjunction with Sega will engage in multiple cross-promotions for the game throughout the year.
Derby Owners Club, which has not yet been rolled out in the United States, has been on the market for two years overseas, with more than 1,000 games on-site in Asia alone. Test games offered at Chicago- and Baltimore-area entertainment centers consistently have produced four-digit earnings, making both games the leading revenue-generators in their respective sites. As a result of increased player participation, both sites also have experienced substantial increases in food and beverage sales.
Plans call for NTRA to host player tournaments and product demonstrations at racetracks and off-site venues, including Dave & Buster's restaurants/amusement centers and other high-traffic facilities in connection with summer and fall stakes races that are part of NTRA's Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships. NTRA will also host a special chat room for DOC players on its Web site, NTRA.com.
DOC is a role-playing game in which up to eight players assume the roles of breeder, trainer, jockey and owner of a Thoroughbred racehorse. Eight player satellites are situated in a stadium-like configuration in front of two 50-inch monitors that display the main action in a 16- by 19-inch "letterbox" format. Each satellite contains the basic control elements and a 19-inch monitor so players can interact with their horses independent of the others.
Players begin by picking a sire and dam to create a fictional horse. They name the horse, create their own racing silks and, choosing from a range of exercises and feeds, develop a training regimen for their horse designed to hone its athletic and racing skills. Once a horse has run in 20 races, players can retire it to breeding.
Using Sega's exclusive memory card reader and dispenser technology, players can take their horse with them on a credit card-sized storage device. They can use their DOC card in any Derby Owners Club - World Edition game and pick up exactly where they left off.
"This partnership will be of great benefit to both our organizations and respective industries," said Sega President and CEO Alan D. Stone. "Derby Owners Club is a tremendous vehicle for promoting the excitement of Thoroughbred horseracing to our industry. Likewise, patrons of Thoroughbred racing will find DOC an extremely well-executed simulation of the sport of kings."
"We're pleased to have this outstanding product to promote to our members," said Bryan Pettigrew, NTRA vice president of sponsorship. "The game not only is fun and easy to play, it's also very educational, and our members can use it in a variety of promotional applications on- and off-site."
"Our industry is thrilled Sega has developed a product that's both innovative in its design and fun for all ages," said Michael Rudowicz, president of the American Amusement Manufacturers Association. "We're pleased DOC carries an AAMA video game rating of Green - Suitable for All Ages."
Serving the North and South American markets, Sega Enterprises, Inc. (USA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sega Enterprises, Ltd., Japan. Sega Enterprises, Inc. (USA) provides state-of-the-art interactive video game play experiences through the utilization of Sega's Naomi development platform, the coin-op industry's most powerful, versatile and affordable hardware and software system. Products range from single-player upright video games to multi-player attendant-operated simulators.
SEGA Corporation, formerly known as SEGA Enterprises, Ltd., was founded in 1951 and incorporated in 1960. The company is a world leader in high-tech entertainment and is affiliated to CSK Corporation, which holds 19.52 percent of issued stock. The company's principal activity is manufacturing of games and toys. Operations are carried out through the following divisions: Consumer Products (toys, hardware and software for home-video games systems and portable games), Amusement Machines (coin-operated amusement machines) and Amusement Centers (operator of amusement centers and distributor of amusement machines).
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program and the Great State Challenge. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, NTRA.com.
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