Group buys up games in deal

WHO says you can't have your cake and eat it?

Not ZOO Digital Group boss and former Gremilin video games group chief Ian Stewart, for one.

ZOO has just bought 33 former Gremlin titles from Atari and plans to relaunch them as "ZOO Classics" for Sony's PlayStation One and the PC.

The deal includes classic sports titles from Gremlin's best-selling Actua and Premier Manager range, highly acclaimed titles such as Judge Dredd and Motorhead and goes back to the groundbreaking game Zool.

Ian Stewart told Star Business: "The launch of the ZOO Classics range is excellent news for the company and provides a solid offering for the Christmas PSOne market which is still looking very buoyant.

"We expect to increase this value range with a number of classic and also previously unreleased games in Europe during 2004. I must admit, I didn't expect to be working with these products again, but now that I am, it is just as exciting as it was the first time round! There's a lot of life left in these games."

Sony is still selling PSOne games consoles and the PSOne games ZOO has acquired can also be played on the PSTwo, which is nearly three times more expensive than its forerunner.

What's more, the games in the ZOO Classics range are proven winners and will be sold at "pocket money prices" across Europe and are expected to prove appealing in new video games markets like the former eastern bloc and places like India, where the PlayStation was only recently launched.

"There's still a lot of PSOne software sold out there and still a lot of PSOne's being sold," said Ian Stewart.

Since ZOO has also acquired the relevant Intellectual Property along with titles, the way is also open for the company to develop versions of the games for new platforms, most likely handheld games machines.