RealTime IT News

Freeserve Buys Into Online Entertainment Company

Freeserve has acquired a 19.5 per cent shareholding in digital entertainment company XPT Ltd.

The deal values XPT, a producer of online dramas, games, and what it calls "spoof services," at £1.8 million ($2.9 million).

John Pluthero, Freeserve's chief executive officer, described XPT's offerings as "innovative, amusing and frankly extraordinary content."

Formed in January 1999, XPT is the brainchild of Rob Bevan and Tim Wright, a director/writer partnership who started in 1995 at new media production company NoHo Digital.

One of the interactive projects worked on by Bevan and Wright was MindGym, which won the first ever BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award for the use of comedy in an interactive entertainment title.

Bevan and Wright have since been joined by Tom Harvey, a former director of the Edinburgh International Television Festival, who is now XPT's managing director.

"Freeserve is the perfect U.K. partner for us," said Harvey.

"It is immensely supportive of our work and believes our products will be hugely popular with its large subscriber base. We believe XPT content will increase page impressions, and help retain user loyalty and attention."

The latest Freeserve audience figure is 1.675 million active registered accounts at the beginning of January.