Circle set for stock market

Heath-Smith heads for the LSE

UK developer Circle, the studio formed by several former Core Design developers, has announced plans this week to float on the AIM branch of the London stock exchange. Circle was started in 2003 by CEO Jeremy Heath-Smith and managing director Adrian Smith, both formerly of Core Design, which flourished during Lara's heyday before coming a cropper with the cringe worthy Angel of Darkness. Currently, the studio is polishing-off work on Capcom's Without Warning for the PS2 and Xbox, however, the future focus of Circle appears to be in interactive DVDs.

The company is expected to float from the beginning of October, and its founders believe the time is ripe for flotation given that the developer is just entering the rapidly growing DVD games market. Circle has already acquired the rights to develop an official quiz game for FIFA (soccer) with two titles due out ahead of next year's World Cup in Germany. Licences from the Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids and the NBA will spark further DVD quiz games in the future, and there's even a 'Now' branded music game en route.

DVD games can be developed far more cheaply and quickly, when compared to traditional videogames - though they are of course nowhere near as sophisticated. "We are at the forefront of this exciting new sector; our creative talent is unparalleled and we have a long and proven track record of bringing commercially successful entertainment software to the mass-market. We are confident that our expertise, combined with key brands, will enable us to deliver highly compelling interactive DVD games - and meaningful returns to shareholders," commented Jeremy Heath-Smith. More soon.

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