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Krome Studios Switches to Maya to Power New Game Pipeline

Next Generation gaming drives the move to Maya

Brisbane, Australia - October 15, 2004 - Alias announced today that Australia's largest game developer Krome Studios, is moving its entire game development pipeline to Maya® after extensive research of the industry's top game development tools. Krome Studios has chosen Maya, an Academy Award® winning software, as a complete pipeline solution combining world-class support, Learning Tools and custom training. With over 130 employees, Krome Studios is Australia's most successful independent developer. The company has created games for all platforms, with titles including Sunny Garcia Surfing, Extremely Goofy Skateboarding, Barbie Beach Vacation, Jimmy Neutron: Jet Fusion, the TY the Tasmanian Tiger™ series and King Arthur, based on the film from Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

The Choice For Forward-Looking Talent

Recognising the growing importance of Maya to the 3D game development community, Krome began to evaluate their pipeline tools and talent pool. "A lot of guys have trained on Maya and they see Maya as the big, cool package that is used in films and they want to be using that," explains Steve Stamatiadis, Creative Director for Krome Studios. "We found Maya is THE package that best caters to animators and since most 2D guys or TV/film people are exposed to Maya, it makes sense to speak their language".

Stamatiadis is well aware that the artists are Krome's most valuable assets. "Maya was the best choice for forward-looking talent and our business is all about the animators and how they work in software. At the end of the day you can't make the game without them. If you get good people working on the project you are always going to have a better game, so switching to Maya rapidly became the logical choice."

The Convergence of Games with Broadcast and Film industries

With King Arthur and TY the Tasmanian Tiger™ 2 : Bush Rescue™ published this year, Krome Studios is at the forefront of the cross-pollination trend that is seeing entertainment properties being developed for both games and screen media.

"This convergence has meant that we regularly need to work with assets created in Maya, as well as send our own work back for approval to the same companies," explains Robert Walsh, Krome Studios CEO. "As this becomes much more prevalent, it makes more sense to work in the same format as them. With the upcoming TV series based on TY the Tasmanian Tiger we are looking at reversing the trend by providing the assets in Maya to the series production team."

This development occurred in July this year when Krome Studios announced that it had joined forces with DPS Film Roman, an IDT Entertainment Company known for its animation work on the hit shows The Simpsons and King of The Hill. The strategic alliance will see the companies partner to create television and DVD productions featuring the characters from the best-selling videogame TY the Tasmanian Tiger. The videogame series has sold well in excess of one million units worldwide.

"Krome Studios is a world leader in working with the convergence of assets between the broadcast film and games industries," says Geoff Foulds, global industry manager for games at Alias. "Their success and innovation in the marketplace makes them a sought after developer and Alias is thrilled to collaborate with them.

Custom Training Provides An Easy Transition

Krome staff had a week-long, on-site training window with a Maya expert to kick off their learning and are planning more in the coming months. "Whether you need to fast track your people into becoming fully functional with our tools, or need to integrate workflow with other applications, we have solutions that are proven to get you the results you're looking for, " explains Geoff Foulds. "

Stamatiadis says " The experience Alias's expert had in helping people to swap programmes was invaluable in ensuring a smooth training transition. The guys who went through it found it invaluable. In particular when we did the modelling training, everyone wanted to be there!"

Extensibility, stability and pipelinability

The greatest return Krome has experienced to date is the speedy implementation of Maya into its existing pipeline. Maya's high end extensibility is designed to integrate a comprehensive range of features and put them at the fingertips of users. " Usually the biggest issue for us is time. We have a saying at Krome that 'you can't shift Christmas', declares Walsh. " Maya will streamline our development process. We're anticipating a much higher quality of finished product along with substantial productivity increases. Which all translates into games that look better and are more fun to play".

Krome Studios expects to release its first all Maya game in 2005.

About Alias

As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, web, interactive media, industrial design, education and visualisation markets. On March 1, 2003, for the awards year 2002, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Alias ™ an Oscar® for scientific and technical achievement for the development of Maya software, the professional 3D animation and effects package. Alias also offers a powerful range of services for new to advanced users in the most demanding environments. Learning Tools and training, support, and professional services help meet rigorous production deadlines. Entertainment customers include: Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., CNN, Digital Domain, Disney, Electronic Arts, Industrial Light & Magic, Factor 5 LLC, Midway Games, Nintendo, Pacific Data Images (PDI), Pixar, Sega, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Square Co., Ltd., Warner Feature Animation and Weta Ltd.

Alias is a wholly-owned, independent software company of SGI® with headquarters in Toronto and a Custom Development Center in Santa Barbara. Please visit the Alias website at http://www.alias.com or call 1-800-447-2542 in North America. International contact numbers include: Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, +44 (0) 1494 441273; Germany, East & Southeast Europe, 0049 89 31 70 20; France, Spain and Portugal, +33 1 44 92 81 60; Italy, 39 039 6340011; Japan and other parts of Asia Pacific, 81 3 5797 3500 and Latin America; 770 393 1881.

About Krome Studios

Krome Studios is one of the Australia's most stable and successful independent developers. Recognised as a top Australian independent company, Krome is a one-stop total developer who has worked on titles for all major platforms. Founded by Steve Stamatiadis, John Passfield and Robert Walsh in 1999, the company now has over 130 creative and support staff working in its Brisbane-based head office. They have released a wide variety of games on all platforms. Games for 2004 include King Arthur, published by Konami and based on one of the year's most anticipated films, King Arthur from Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films and TY the Tasmanian Tiger™ 2: Bush Rescue™, published by Electronic Arts, the sequel to Australia's number selling game of all time. The original TY the Tasmanian Tiger has sold over a million units to date worldwide.

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Alias, the swirl logo, Maya and PortfolioWall are registered trademarks and StudioTools, ImageStudio and Alias|Wavefront are trademarks of Alias Systems Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Oscar is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other products or companies mentioned are trademarks or service marks of their respective owners. Alias, 210 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5A 1J7, Tel: 416-362-9181, Fax: 416-369-6140.