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German video game maker sets up JV with Digital Reality

German video game company CDV Software Entertainment and Hungarian peer Digital Reality Kft have set up a 50%-50% joint venture to develop real-time strategic computer games for next-generation consoles, such as the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox, business daily Napi Gazdaság reported on Friday.

The JV, called Whiz Software, will start operating with a staff of 10 software developers. The company's first computer game, made using Digital Reality's technology, is expected to be completed in 2008, considering it takes 20-24 months to create a video game. The cost of making a computer game is around €1.5 million-€3 million in Hungary, far less than the cost in more developed countries, where video game budgets can run up to €100 million, the paper wrote, adding that the games break even if 150,000-200,000 copies are sold. Napi Gazdaság noted that a single title usually sells 3,000-5,000 copies in Hungary, although a few games sell as many as 12,000 copies.

Digital Reality is one of about ten companies in Hungary developing video games. The industry was worth Ft 1.5 billion last year, mostly the result of foreign orders. Digital Reality had net revenue of Ft 500 million in 2005, well over the Ft 300 million in the previous year. The company expects a further increase in 2006.