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Sept. 16, 2004: Sammy, Sega Vow Big Profits; TouchTunes Receives Patent; IT Comments On GVR Legal Action; UK's Blair Responds To Violent Video Game

Posted On: 9/16/2004

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TOKYO - A 43% increase in net profits in 2005 is the goal announced today by Sega Corp. and Sammy Corp. The two firms will merge into a $1.4 billion entity on Oct. 1 under the umbrella of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. Earlier this month, SSHI was approved for listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Said officials: "We aim to become the world's number-one comprehensive entertainment group. The merger will allow us to increase product line-ups, enter into new business fields and expand overseas business." A key part of the expansion plan is more overseas arcade game sales, said executives. TouchTunes Obtains Patent For Juke-Game LinkageCHICAGO , The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued to TouchTunes Music Corp. Patent No. 6,775,744, which covers a "communication device and method between an audiovisual information playback system and an electronic game machine." Company officials explained that the patent deals with the link between a digital jukebox and an electronic game machine. TouchTunes already offers jukeboxes that can establish a data link between its machines and touchscreen video games from Merit Industries.


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL , Incredible Technologies this week responded to last week's announcement by Global VR that it had dropped countercharges in the ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit involving the two firms. "We are pleased that Global VR dropped their countersuit, as the charges had no merit in any regard," stated an IT spokesman. "IT has always and will continue to conduct business ethically and legally. IT continues to pursue its original claims of Global VR's copyright infringement of 'Golden Tee Golf.'" IT originally sued GVR in February, 2003, charging that GVR's "EA Sports PGA Tour" video game "blatantly copies and duplicates in all material respects" IT's earlier "Golden Tee Fore!" game. GVR's countersuit had charged IT with improper competitive conduct.


LONDON , In the wake of a sensational murder here, some members of Parliament are calling for yet another new government investigation into potential links between games and violent crime. After an 18-year-old stabbed a younger child to death, the victim's parents said the killer was influenced by an adult-rated consumer game from Sony called "Manhunt." The parents are suing Sony. (Oddly, the victim owned the game, not the perpetrator.) Prime Minister Tony Blair on Wednesday voiced support for the UK's existing rating system for consumer video games, but said he would confer with Home Secretary David Blunkett as to whether further action is needed to keep violent games away from children. Local media reports suggest this raises the possibility of new game regulation laws. Several leading British retailers have already removed "Manhunt" from their shelves.