May 19, 2005 07:00 ET

ZOOtech Partners With b EQUAL to Deliver Madagascar™ Animal Trivia DVD Game

New Family Game Title Is the Most Sophisticated Interactive DVD Game to Hit U.S. Shelves

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 19, 2005 -- Interactive DVD technology pioneer, ZOOtech, along with partner b EQUAL, set a new standard with the release of Madagascar Animal Trivia DVD Game. Completed in just 3 months, this exciting and interactive family DVD trivia game was developed completely in ZOOtech's DVD-EXTRA STUDIO.

Boasting over 1600 randomly generated questions arranged in six different types with a four-person multiplayer option but no need for a game board, the Madagascar Animal Trivia DVD Game is the most ambitious interactive DVD game to hit shelves in the United States. Designed to stimulate curiosity and strengthen family bonds, b EQUAL games feature patent-pending Dynamic Leveling™ technology, enabling players from ages 6 to 106 to compete equally for the first time. A breakthrough in electronic game play, Dynamic Leveling evens out the playing field by automatically adjusting the difficulty of questions for each player based on his or her performance throughout a b EQUAL game. Parents and children can now be equally engaged and challenged, discovering and sharing relevant knowledge about a variety of topics. While the Madagascar Animal Trivia DVD Game sets many firsts for the market, it more importantly showcases how DVD-EXTRA STUDIO can help developers save time and resources in the production of highly interactive DVD game titles.

"It would not have been possible to complete this project in this timeframe or with the same caliber of interactivity without DVD-EXTRA STUDIO," said Peter Sauers, Executive Producer and Vice President of Product Development, b EQUAL. "DVD-EXTRA STUDIO enables us to leverage the platform and assets to develop subsequent projects even faster and with extraordinary interactivity."

b EQUAL partnered with one of the founding ZOOtech Developer Alliance members, Comchoice, for authoring. However, ZOOtech supported both b EQUAL and Comchoice with best-in-class technical assistance and compatibility support throughout the development process. "As a Developer Alliance member, ZOOtech's support with technical and compatibility expertise insured that Madagascar performs to the highest standards," said Duncan Wain, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Comchoice. "We would not have been able to meet b EQUAL's aggressive schedule or vision for game play without ZOOtech and DVD-EXTRA STUDIO."

"DVD players outnumber game consoles in U.S. homes by two to one, so it only makes sense to use this platform to its fullest capability," said Gordon Doran, president, ZOOtech, Inc. "DVD-EXTRA STUDIO gives licensees, authoring houses and entertainment creators the best tool to bring that property to life on the average DVD player in every home."

b EQUAL's Madagascar Animal Trivia DVD Game is the first in a series of titles partnering with ZOOtech and using the DVD-EXTRA STUDIO platform. The Madagascar Animal Trivia DVD Game is currently available at retailers nationwide. For more information, go to


Using conventional DVD authoring systems to create interactive DVD-Video content is enormously complex, laborious and costly. DVD-EXTRA STUDIO offers a solution to this. It reduces development costs by automating the most complex, labor intensive and error-prone elements of the design and production phases thus enabling rich interactive content to be delivered comparatively cheaply and efficiently.

DVD-EXTRA™ is not a new format for DVDs, it does not require any new disc pressing technology and it does not require any amendment of existing standards and specifications. It complies entirely with the DVD-Video specification and DVD-EXTRA content will play on any normal consumer DVD player conforming to that standard.

About ZOOtech

ZOOtech Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sheffield-based ZOO Digital Group plc. (LSE: ZOO.L). ZOOtech pioneered DVD-EXTRA technology to enable CD-ROM style interactivity in the DVD-Video format.

Today, DVD-EXTRA developers worldwide are shaping the future of interactivity by pushing the boundaries of DVD functionality. Non-traditional DVD-Video markets such as advertising, gaming, music, education, and corporate training have begun harnessing the power of DVD-EXTRA to exploit DVD as an interactive communication medium. Universal Pictures, Ascent Media, Comchoice, OUAT Entertainment, and Freestyle New Media Group are among the companies who have already delivered engaging DVD-EXTRA products.

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