BVG Acquires Avalanche Software

BUENA VISTA GAMES STRENGTHENS
INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT BY ACQUIRING AVALANCHE SOFTWARE AND ESTABLISHING A NEW
VANCOUVER DEVELOPMENT STUDIO

BVG Bolsters Strategy to Self-Publish Console and Handheld Games and
Create New Video Game Intellectual Properties


BURBANK, Calif. — (April 19, 2005) — Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG), the
interactive entertainment arm of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), today
announced two major business deals to strengthen the company’s internal game
development capabilities and further its goals of becoming a top tier publisher
of handheld and console games.  The deals include the acquisition of acclaimed
Salt Lake City-based video game developer, Avalanche Software LC and the
establishment of a start-up development studio in Vancouver, Canada, led by
former Electronic Arts Canada senior development and business staff.

“The acquisition of Avalanche Software and the creation of a development studio
in Vancouver mark a significant milestone in becoming a top tier video game
publisher by securing the industry’s top talent to build and create game
franchises,” said Graham Hopper, senior vice president and general manager,
Buena Vista Games. “Avalanche Software has a proven track record of creating
high quality console games based on its own compelling content and some of the
industry’s top brands, and is a perfect fit for our Disney-based franchises.
 The new studio in Vancouver is already off to a strong start and growing
rapidly to focus on cutting-edge, action oriented core-gamer content and will be
led by a veteran management team formerly of Electronic Arts.”

Founded in 1995, Avalanche Software employs more than 100 artists and
programmers and game designers who specialize in creating high quality video
games for consoles. The company has a long list of video game credits that
include the million plus unit-selling Tak and the Power of Juju, Tak 2: The
Staff of Dreams, Dragonball Z Sagas: Evolution,
and the upcoming 25 to
Life
console online multiplayer shooter. Avalanche Software is
currently developing BVG’s own Disney’s Chicken Little video
games, based on Walt Disney Pictures upcoming 3D animated feature film that
premieres this November.
 
“It is a true honor for Avalanche Software to become a part of the greatest
entertainment company of our time,” said John Blackburn, president of Avalanche
Software.  “Our employees are delighted to join the BVG family, and look forward
to helping the company reach new heights in the video game industry by creating
great family-friendly games that everyone can play.”
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Avalanche Software will operate as a division
of BVG and will maintain their development studio in Salt Lake City, Utah. In
addition, certain of Avalanche Software’s senior management and key employees
have signed long-term employment agreements with BVG.
 
BVG’s studio in Vancouver, Canada will focus on developing innovative
action/adventure games for the major video game consoles including upcoming
next-generation platforms.  The studio is founded by a veteran game development
team, with a successful track record of producing hit franchise product for
Electronic Arts, Inc. The studio will focus on developing original intellectual
property, as well as key BVG-owned content for the older core gamer consumer.  

“BVG recognized that Vancouver is an important hub for video game development
talent.  The ability to create an independent development team focused on making
great action games was very attractive to the team,” said Josh Holmes, vice
president and studio general manager.  “The new studio has the best of both
worlds — a great entrepreneurial spirit to foster the development of original
intellectual property, while having the financial security of being funded by
the world’s largest entertainment company.”

BVG’s new development studio is based in Vancouver, Canada and operates as a
wholly owned subsidiary of BVG.  The studio founders are Josh Holmes, Howard
Donaldson, Daryl Anselmo, and Jorge Freitas. Holmes, Anselmo and Freitas are all
expert video game developers who were instrumental in creating the NBA Street
and Def Jam franchises for Electronic Arts and have worked on multiple
high profile franchises throughout their careers.  Donaldson formerly served as
EA Canada’s Chief Financial Officer for seven years overseeing the company’s
successful growth and was an integral member of the executive team.  The
Vancouver studio has already assembled a high-caliber group of more than 20
talented, veteran game developers and is continuing to grow and establish their
core team.

About Buena Vista Games
Buena Vista Games, Inc. (BVG) is the interactive entertainment arm of
The Walt Disney Company.  The division publishes, markets and distributes a
broad portfolio of multi-platform video games and interactive entertainment
worldwide.  The company also licenses properties and works directly with
third-party interactive game publishers to bring products for all ages to
market.  For more information, please log on to
www.buenavistagames.com
.