MANILA, September 21
, 2004  (STAR) The verdict is out and a team of Filipino software developers has once again put the country on the map of IT development.

A panel composed of four Sony Ericsson officials and two wireless gaming industry review experts has adjudged the Philippines’ Spoon Interactive Arts, the content development division of ePLDT, as one of the three winners of the Sony Ericsson Game Developers Challenge 2004.

In 2003, Spoon Interactive Arts won for "Aramith’s Quest," an interactive adventure game for the Sony Ericsson P800.

This year, its team, composed of lead developer Je Alipio, lead designer Chester Ocampo, game designer Elmer Andes and sound engineer Christopher De Joya, won for "Gear Box: Puzzle Party."

The jury said, "(Gear Box: Puzzle Party) is an innovative and challenging puzzle game for both young and old. The developers add a new dimension to one of the most popular game genres by presenting the gamer an exciting mix of puzzle game and beat ’em up features which would probably appeal to many."

Spoon Interactive Arts describes the game as a radical hybrid of fighting and puzzle games, where characters can attack, defend against or defeat an opponent after completing columns of bricks, much like the classic Tetris.

The game has a 99-second Timed Game Type or players can choose the Death Match and go to the next level where blocks fall faster.

The two other winners are "ARES II," an advanced weapons action game from Brownbear Mobile Games of Singapore, and "Nano Kid," a colorful graphics-filled platform game from Pocket Panic! of Sweden.

"The winning games all utilize full-screen mode, support the use of the joystick and show that good programmers can create really good games that are smaller than 100 Kb, making it easier to distribute the games over-the-air," said Mikael Nerde, senior manager and head of Sony Ericsson’s Developer Program.

The Sony Ericsson Game Developers Challenge 2004 enlisted mobile Java game developers to create the best Java games for the Sony Ericsson K700i camera phone and other models.

Close to 7,000 consumers across the globe previewed the submitted games on a special Sony Ericsson consumer campaign website and voted for their favorite game features in a rare chance to influence content for Sony Ericsson handsets.

Pending IPR (intellectual property rights) check and signing of the distribution agreement, the three winners will each get a $7,000 cash prize, Java certification paid for by Sony Ericsson through the JavaVerified program ( and prominent placement on Sony Ericsson Fun & Downloads (

All the games submitted to the competition will be commercially distributed and sold through the Sony Ericsson Application Shop (, which has proven to be a valuable go-to-market channel for many third-party application developers. The developers will still keep the rights to their games.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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