In a stunning tour de force that has left tremors all across the mobile gaming industry, video game giant Capcom announced on March 30, 2008 that they have managed to secure the exclusive worldwide rights to develop official videogames and various peripherals based on the MotoGP motorcycling championship. The contract will cover development rights across all hardware platforms, and is set to be in effect for a period of five years.

The contract signifies the first time that the MotoGP license has been granted worldwide exclusive rights to a single publisher across all the current gaming platforms.

This new contract will, in effect, take over from Sony PlayStation’s existing arrangement to publish titles on their own platforms. It was only in 2006 when MotoGP 07 was released for the PlayStation 2, and was widely considered to be a worldwide hit.

Initial Capcom plans for this new arrangement involves publishing new titles for various platforms that will be based on the 2008 MotoGP season, including versions for the Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, the Wii, PC and the PlayStation 2. Plans are also underway to develop mobile gaming versions.

MotoGP is of course known the world over as THE premier motorcycling championship, and is comprised of 18 Grands Prix events that are held all over the globe. It is a veritable “who’s who” of the motorcycling industry and includes all of the leading motorcycle manufacturers in the world, among them Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, KTM and Aprilia. All of these companies provide only the latest and best in motorcycle engineering for the cream of the crop of motorcycle riders in the world. Some of the riders expected to join in the 2008 MotoGP are Casey Stoner, who is currently the World Champion, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Dani Pedrosa and Shinya Nakano from Japan.

The 2008 season will also see a few newcomers to the International circuit such as Jorge Lorenzo, who is the reigning 250cc World Champion, and James Toseland from the United Kingdom. Toseland is the World Superbike Champion of 2007.

Capcom is understandably optimistic about the new licensing contract, saying that exclusive licensing rights will give them more leverage in producing a host of exciting new MotoGP based mobile gaming titles, as well as for all of the other platforms. During the recent announcement of the licensing contract, executive vice president, officer and head of Capcom consumer software publishing in the Americas and Europe, Mark Beaumont, said that they “are very excited” to have entered into the long term partnership with Dorna Sports. Beaumont feels that with MotoGP in the reins of a single worldwide publisher, the mobile gaming community can expect all of the upcoming MotoGP based releases to be just as exciting and as authentic as the actual event.

Dorna Sports CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta, is equally optimistic about the arrangement, saying that Capcom has already proven its worth in developing gaming titles that perfectly captures the essence of MotoGP. Dorna Sports is the exclusive holder of all commercial and TV rights to the MotoGP championship.

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