SOURCE: Avanquest

Avanquest

November 23, 2009 09:15 ET

Avanquest Software's Nova Development Releases "Barney™: Secret of the Rainbow"

New Release Is the Company's First Barney Title

CALABASAS, CA--(Marketwire - November 23, 2009) - Nova Development, a consumer software unit of leading global software developer and publisher Avanquest Software (EPA: AVQ), today announced the release of "Barney™: Secret of the Rainbow." The new title includes interactive games and activities for preschoolers starring the iconic preschool character Barney from the Emmy-award winning kids' TV series. This is the first Barney title developed by Avanquest under license from HIT Entertainment, one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights owners.

"Through our collaboration with HIT Entertainment, we've created a unique new title built around one of the world's blockbuster kids' brands," said Todd Helfstein, president, Nova Development. "There are more than a dozen interactive learning and entertainment activities, and the minute kids see Barney on-screen, they start smiling, laughing, and singing along."

Developed by Avanquest's multi-media studio in France, "Barney: Secret of the Rainbow" builds early learning skills through a series of fully animated games and activities. Designed for kids 2-5 years old, children point-and-click their way through games, workshops and missions to learn about numbers, shapes and colors and develop language, memory and problem solving abilities. As preschoolers complete each of the 12 activities, they unlock a color of the rainbow and restore the rainbow.

Adjustable skill levels allow parents to select the appropriate level for their child. "Barney: Secret of the Rainbow," which is available as a DVD containing both Mac and PC versions, also promotes creativity through music, songs and painting and includes coloring book pages in Barney's Print Workshop.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Nova Development and Avanquest on developing new Barney software that teaches and entertains," said Gary Krakower, Senior Vice President, U.S. Licensing and Live Events, HIT Entertainment. "Kids and their parents will enjoy this new title that captures the spirit of Barney and offers high-value new features and engaging activities."

"Barney: Secret of the Rainbow" retails for $19.99 and is available through most major retailers and online, including through the company's site at www.novadevelopment.com

About HIT Entertainment

HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax Partners, is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Thomas & Friends™, Pingu™, Fireman Sam™, Angelina Ballerina™ and Rainbow Magic™. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment's Fifi and the Flowertots™ and Roary the Racing Car™ in North America and Japan, as well as Wallace & Gromit™, Shaun the Sheep™, Timmy Time™ and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations. HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT's lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS Sprout(SM), and international preschool channel JimJam, (outside of the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

About Nova Development

Based in Southern California and founded in 1984, Nova Development is a market leader in consumer software for both Windows and Macintosh platforms. Nova Development is the retail publisher of best-selling software for desktop publishing, print creativity and many other purposes, as well as educational titles both for both children and adults. Nova Development was acquired by Avanquest Software in 2007. For more information, please visit http://www.novadevelopment.com/ and http://www.avanquest.com.

About Avanquest Software

Avanquest Software (EPA: AVQ) is one of the world's leading software developers and publishers, with operations on three continents and marketing through Retail, Corporate, OEM and Direct-to-Consumer channels. Avanquest's presence in North America, consisting of Avanquest Software USA and Avanquest North America (which includes the Nova Development division), places it among the top ten retail software publishers in the United States. With more than 100 software titles, the combined companies offer one of the largest and most diversified product portfolios in the software industry, available at more than 10,000 North American retail locations, on the Web, and through OEM partnerships. Additional information is at http://about.avanquest.com

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