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Licence2Play- Sphere’s Gaming Debut

Singapore, 6 May 2009 – Sphere Exhibits Pte Ltd (Sphere), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), is organising its first gaming event, Licence2Play, in Singapore. This follows the success of its inaugural event - The Food Safari and Home Electronics Fair - which attracted 250,000 visitors last November.

Licence2Play aims to provide fresh insights into Singapore’s burgeoning gaming industry. It is targeted at avid and casual gamers as well as concerned parents and educators keen to understand the psyche of gamers and the excitement it holds.

The event will be held at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre Hall 603 from 22 to 24 May. It is expected to attract 150,000 visitors over the three days.

Licence2Play aims to raise public awareness on cyberwellness, responsible gaming and internet safety by educating educators, parents, students and the public on how to be involved in gaming positively.

This event will also showcase the latest and widest genres of digital media, computer games and entertainment, including the newest and most value-for-money gaming and electronics.

At the fair, visitors can expect three full days of non-stop fun, entertainment and adrenalin-pumping online competitions. They can also find good bargains from a full range of electronics goods that will complement and enhance the gaming experience, including TVs, sound systems, computers and gaming paraphernalia.

Mr. Chua Wee Phong, Executive Director, Sphere Exhibits Pte Ltd, said: “Gaming is fast becoming a mass culture. It is timely for us to leverage on this trend to provide a communication and marketing platform for interested industries to reach out to this segment. More importantly, we hope to work with partners who are keen to educate the public on managing e-gaming as a lifestyle, or using it as a tool for bonding in families and improving parent-child relationships."

Some of the highlights at Licence2Play include:

(1) Opening Ceremony of Licence2Play
Date & Time: 22 May 2009, 11am
Venue: Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre Hall 603
Guest-of-Honour: Mr. Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports

Refer to Annex B for programme of opening ceremony.

(2) The New Paper Cyber Challenge (over 3 days)
The New Paper Cyber Challenge, into its third year, will be held at Licence2Play. Qualified winners will compete in three games, Battle Stations, Sudden Attack and Dawn of War II. Battle Stations is a game popularised on Facebook. This is believed to be the first ever Facebook Gaming event in the world. Cash and exciting prizes will be given out to the winners. Winners from preliminary rounds on 21 May at the Colosseum, #07-01 Illuma Shopping Mall, and on the first two days (22 and 23 May) at Licence2Play, will be selected for the finals on 24 May, 11am to 3pm.

(3) The Straits Times ‘GameIN’ (22 May, 12pm to 5pm)
The Straits Times IN is presenting its first ever media club gaming event ‘Game IN’ at Licence2Play. Participating schools form teams of 10, including a cheer-leading team, to participate in this inter-school game to challenge other schools at the event. Licence2Play, together with ST IN, organised talks on cyberwellness and responsible gaming at 13 schools between 14 April and 15 May.

(4) Games Development Workshop (22 May, 12pm to 4pm at the Gaming Arena)
Digipen, the world-class games development institute, is organising a games development workshop. 60-computer gaming arena will be converted into a special high-tech classroom where students can get a first-hand experience of game development.

(5) Family Competition (23 May, 11am to 12pm)
With the aim to encourage family bonding through gaming, Licence2Play will organise this family competition to allow parents and grandparents to team up with their children or grandchildren to join in the challenge. Games featured will be Nintendo Wii Mario Kart Challenge and MapleStory.

(6) Dark Moon Faire and Cosplay Showcase (23 May, 8pm to 9pm)
The popular festival inside World of Warcraft (WOW) brings the in-games characters and culture to real life. It is the first ever Dark Moon Faire event in Asia and the first ever WOW Arena 3 versus 3 in Asia. Hundreds of delegates from Asia, USA and Europe are expected to fly in for this highly anticipated event.

(7) AsiaSoft Game Festival and MapleStory 4th Birthday Celebration (24 May, 3pm to 9pm)
AsiaSoft is hosting its second Game Festival at Licence2Play. It will showcase some of its games and launch new ones at the event. One of its popular games, MapleStory, will celebrate its 4th birthday and release its second edition at Licence2Play.

(8) Licence 2 Play Card
The Licence2Play card will be launched at the show and the first 10,000 signups each day will receive their cards free of charge. Besides gaining special associate membership into the (Singapore) Cybersports and Online Gaming Association (SCOGA), card owners will get to enjoy privileges and discount from Licence2Play’s partners .

(9) Workshops
Several workshops will be organised on 23 May, Saturday, at the event. Some of the topics are:
· A Professional Take on Cyberwellness:
· eSports: A Global Gaming Revolution
· The Truth about Professional Gaming
· How to play MapleStory and World of Warcraft (for Parents)
· Online Safety: A Family Affair
· Understanding Video Games Classification

Refer to Annex C and D for the Three-Day Programme and the Workshops Schedule

(10) Roadshow by Vendors
The latest technology, products and services will be showcased at Licence2Play. Game distributors, publishers and related vendors will introduce and sell their latest games, gadgets and software items across all games and edutainment products.

The public can expect to buy electronic equipment like LCD and plasma TVs, cameras, camcorders, portable DVD players and GPS from top brands such as Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Nikon, Canon at wholesale prices. One of the key exhibitors, Audio House, will offer discounts on its electronic goods at the lowest guaranteed prices. Other than the exceptional prices, nearly $1 million worth of vouchers will be given away with the purchases.

There will also be the new Samsung LED TVs at the show for gamers to test out the newest and sharpest game experience. Viewers get to judge for themselves how visually different it is to play video games with LED and LCD TVs, and how they can save electricity when using these gadgets.

Refer to Annex A for layout plan of the event.

Licence2Play is organised by Sphere in partnership with (Singapore) Cyber Sports & Online Gamers Association (SCOGA) and AsiaSoft, and supported by Media Development Authority (MDA) and National Youth Council (NYC).

Mr Nicholas Aaron Khoo, Co-Founder of SCOGA, said:“SCOGA is always looking for opportunities for positive engagement with Singapore gamers. Licence2Play is an excellent platform to further our Cyberwellness initiatives, school visits, and educational workshops on various gaming-related topics including eSports and games development. In line with our aim to put Singapore on the international gaming map, we have lined up some firsts like the first WOW Arena 3 versus 3 competition in Asia and the first ever Facebook gaming competition in the world.”

Mr Ng Kok Khwang, Marketing Director for Asiasoft Online Pte Ltd, said:“We are honoured to be the anchor partner for Licence2Play with SPH and SCOGA. With AsiaSoft’s commitment to reach out to the gaming community through cyberwellness school programmes, there is great synergy for all parties to collaborate on the same platform. With lots of fun-filled activities by AsiaSoft GameFest 2009 which will be incorporated into Licence2Play, we hope everyone will enjoy this exciting celebration of the year.”

For more information on Licence2Play, please refer to website - www.licence2play.com.sg
 


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms Elaine Chia
Marketing Director
Sphere Exhibits Pte Ltd
DID: (65) 6319 1696
Fax: (65) 6741 1683
Email: echia@sph.com.sg

or

Pearly Mak
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: (65) 6319 1225
Mobile: (65) 9765 6704
Email: pearlym@sph.com.sg


About Sphere Exhibits Pte Ltd
Incorporated in April 2008 and wholly owned by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Sphere Exhibits, which stands for "SPH Events, Roadshows and Exhibitions", aims to be the leading lifestyle event company behind exciting and innovative fairs, shows, events and exhibitions for mid to high-end consumers.

Backed by a committed and experienced team of professionals and SPH's comprehensive range of advertising platforms, these events with unique concepts will not only draw local audiences but also regional participants. Sphere Exhibits is committed to building memorable and quality events which will be founded on research, planning, an established network of resources, and a wild but solid imagination.


About Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.

Newspapers and Magazines

In Singapore, SPH publishes 17 newspaper titles in four languages. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 79 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile

Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 150 million pageviews with 9 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH's online and new media initiatives include an online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; local search and directory engine, rednano.sg; Stomp (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging; omy, a bilingual news and interactive portal and The Straits Times RazorTV, a free access interactive webcast service offering live chat shows and video-on-demand clips.

Broadcasting

SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Outdoor Advertising

In addition, SPH has ventured into out of home (OOH) advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s largest digital OOH advertising network media company and a 35 per cent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

Properties

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping belt. SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.


Visit www.sph.com.sg for more information.