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TMCNet:  Starbreeze AB and Skybound Interactive announce long-term partnership regarding The Walking Dead

[August 13, 2014]

Starbreeze AB and Skybound Interactive announce long-term partnership regarding The Walking Dead

(Thomson Reuters ONE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Starbreeze AB, an independent creator, publisher and distributor of computer and video games has, through its subsidiary Starbreeze Studios AB, decided to proceed with a long-term collaboration with Skybound Interactive, committing to a game developer and publisher partnership for the IP The Walking Dead. The partners will collaborate on a AAA game to expand the franchise into the next decade.


This agreement is a first between Starbreeze Studios and Skybound Interactive where Starbreeze Studios will focus on development and publishing of the game OVERKILL's The Walking Dead, also announced today.

The collaboration is based on standard market terms where Starbreeze as publisher has sufficient long-term rights to develop and commercialize one or more games based on The Walking Dead universe against customary royalties to Skybound. The likely impact on profits for Starbreeze will depend on how the future games will be received by the players in 2016 and onwards, and can thus not be projected today.

"For Starbreeze Studios this is a major strategic move, taking on an independent brand and treating it as our own. We have great experience from the PAYDAY series that can be utilized in bringing The Walking Dead to first-person shooter gamers everywhere." says Bo Andersson Klint, CEO, Starbreeze AB. He continues, "The Walking Dead TV series is the #1 TV show in over 50 countries with millions of viewers all around the world, and The Walking Dead comic is one of the bestselling comics ever. OVERKILL's The Walking Dead will be our biggest endeavor to date and marks a new era for our company. This is a long-term commitment, as with all our franchises. Teaming up with Robert Kirkman on creating this game and involving our community in the process will show the strength of independents working together." Dan Murray, President, Skybound Interactive, states, "I've been a fan of Starbreeze for many years.  Recent titles such as Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons and PAYDAY 2 showcase an incredible range of talent. Starbreeze consistently demonstrates their commitment toward delivering to their fans. The way they communicate with their community in the PAYDAY franchise aligns perfectly with our goals at Skybound.  We look forward to creating an innovative multiplayer experience in the world of The Walking Dead alongside the OVERKILL crew." "With this unique collaboration Starbreeze takes a great leap towards becoming a global leader in the new digital world. For the first time ever, Starbreeze Studios, one of Europe's oldest independent developers, is both developer and publisher of a game. It has been one of the board's long-term goals to take control of the business. Thanks to our success with the PAYDAY franchise along with our partnership with Skybound Interactive we are now able to cut out the middleman and have a direct relationship with our community, focusing on making the best game we possibly can together." says Michael Hjorth, Chairman of the Board of Starbreeze AB. He adds, "We are convinced that the time is right for an aggressive strategy. Going forward, the board and management will actively work to strengthen our portfolio and technology platform even further. Our sales pulses work, we have the largest player community group on Steam and we have access to a strong and well known IP. Moreover, we now have the most important elements in place; a great team, a proven business model and the capital to make it all happen. Our journey has just begun." To commemorate the collaboration between the companies, an exclusive weapon, the "Lucille" baseball bat from The Walking Dead, will be offered to the PAYDAY 2 community for free to be used in-game in PAYDAY 2.

OVERKILL's The Walking Dead is scheduled to be released in 2016 and will be continuously supported with both free updates and paid downloadable content.

For more information please contact: Bo Andersson Klint, CEO, Starbreeze AB Tel: +46(0)8-209 208, email: ir@starbreeze.com Dan Murray, President, Skybound Interactive Tel: +1-323-932-6403, email: dm@skybound.com June Alian, Publicity Director, Skybound Entertainment Tel: +1-310-836-5100, email: ja@skybound.com Brief information about Starbreeze: Starbreeze Studios is an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. At Starbreeze we create games by our own design and through licensed content, establishing franchises that can live and prosper outside the game itself. We live and die by gameplay.

Starbreeze is pioneering digital self-publishing, currently hosting one of the largest community groups on the digital distribution platform Steam.

Starbreeze's most recent products include PAYDAY 2, our adrenaline fuelled bank robbing co-op game and the critically acclaimed adventure game Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons.

Starbreeze AB is publicly traded on Nasdaq OMX First North Premier under the ticker STAR and the ISIN code: SE0005992831. Starbreeze's brands include OVERKILL Software and the PAYDAY series.

See www.starbreeze.com for more information.

Brief information about Skybound: Since opening its doors in 2010, Skybound Entertainment has grown into a multiplatform entertainment company. Skybound CEO Robert Kirkman is creator of the award-winning The Walking Dead comic book series, the inspiration for the hit TV show of the same name where he serves as creator and executive producer.

To date The Walking Dead is the #1 on television among the coveted 18-49 demo.

Skybound also collaborated with Telltale Games on the multi-award winning 2012 Game of the Year The Walking Dead: The Game, and produced and published the critically acclaimed iOS/Android action game The Walking Dead: Assault.

Skybound Entertainment and Kirkman just wrapped production on their first feature film, Air, starring The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus and Academy Award- nominated actor Djimon Hounsou. The film is slated to be released in the spring of 2015 and is directed by former Red Dead Redemption Lead Designer and Co- writer, Christian Cantamessa.

Skybound released Kirkman's new exorcism comic, Outcast, in June 2014 which recently got the green light for a television pilot with CINEMAX and Fox International. The Skybound original title Clone, written by David Schulner, is also in development as a television show at Syfy. Kirkman will serve as an executive producer on both series.

Skybound Entertainment and digital entertainment company Maker Studios recently announced a deal for the studio to produce and air four digital series based off Skybound IPs.

Comic book titles published by Skybound include The Walking Dead, the superhero- comic Invincible, all-ages comic Super Dinosaur, the revenge drama Dead Body Road, and heist comic Thief of Thieves.

Skybound also creates a wide range of merchandise including apparel, board games, and action figures.

For more information, please visit Skybound online at www.skybound.com and www.thewalkingdead.com.

OVERKILL's The Walking Dead: http://hugin.info/133226/R/1848568/645150.jpg This announcement is distributed by GlobeNewswire on behalf of GlobeNewswire clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.

Source: Starbreeze AB via GlobeNewswire [HUG#1848568]

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