Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group Forms New Games and Virtual Worlds Divisions

Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:33pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Dave Williams Named Senior Vice President and General Manager, Games Group;
Kyra Reppen Tapped as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Virtual
Worlds Group

NEW YORK, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- To provide its audiences with more
innovative gaming and virtual world experiences, Nickelodeon Kids and Family
Group has formed new Games and Virtual Worlds Groups.  Dave Williams will run
the Games Group and Kyra Reppen will lead the Virtual Worlds Group, both under
the title of Senior Vice President (SVP) and General Manager (GM).  The
announcements were made by Steve Youngwood, Executive Vice President, Digital
Media, to whom Williams and Reppen report.
    "With these two dedicated teams, our new gaming and virtual world
divisions will further enable us to create even more relevant content and
foster innovation in the virtual world and gaming spaces," said Youngwood.
"Dave and Kyra have built great momentum in their respective areas, and will
provide more engaging experiences for our audiences in their expanded
leadership roles."
    The Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Group will encompass all paid and
subscription gaming initiatives across all relevant platforms including:
online and CD-ROM games; handheld and console games; and will include the
company's dedicated casual games sites, Shockwave (http://www.shockwave.com)
and AddictingGames (http://www.addictinggames.com).  It will focus on the
creation of games for the entire family around existing and new properties.
The company recently announced it would add 1,600 new games in 2008 to its
library of 5,000 games and an investment of $100 million in the casual games
space.
    The Virtual Worlds Group will manage all company virtual world initiatives
for kids, tweens, teens and families, including the original youth-oriented
virtual community of Neopets (http://www.neopets.com), Nickelodeon's online
playground for kids, Nicktropolis (http://www.nicktropolis.com) -- in
partnership with the Nick.com team -- and new virtual world destinations.  The
group will focus on the innovation of the company's existing worlds with
projects like World of Neopia (working title) and of the expansion of
Nicktropolis with a premium layer.  It will also develop original properties
like the recently announced Monkey World.
    Williams, based in San Francisco, will expand the company's subscription
game services, licensing and self-publishing businesses.  He will grow
offerings like the educational online gaming site myNOGGIN.com and Shockwave's
established subscription services, as well as develop new ones.  Williams will
also work in partnership with Nickelodeon's Consumer Products division to
increase the company's retail games business around hit franchises like
SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly and newer, original properties like
Shockwave's Carrie the Caregiver.  Another area of focus for Williams will be
securing new partnerships with game developers and publishers.
    In addition to his new responsibilities, Williams will continue to manage
Shockwave and AddictingGames and plans to add more community features and new
offerings to each to make them the preeminent social gaming sites.  Under
Williams' guidance, AddictingGames has become the number-one independent
gaming site for teens since February 2007, growing its library to more than
3,000 games.  Shockwave, the original casual gaming site, has also flourished
by focusing on family play and will add over 400 titles this year, including
over 100 exclusive self published titles.
    Following Atom Entertainment's acquisition by MTV Networks in late 2006,
Williams-formerly Atom's Chief Marketing Officer and GM-was named to SVP,
AddictingGames and Shockwave.  Before Atom Entertainment and MTV Networks,
Williams led the design and development of Rhapsody's music service as Vice
President of product management at Listen.com, was GM of music product
management at Real Networks, and held senior product and marketing roles at
CitySearch and DoubleClick.
    Reppen, as the head of the Nickelodeon Kids and Family Virtual Worlds
Group, based in Los Angeles, will spearhead the strategy, creative development
and management of new and existing virtual worlds and casual massive
multiplayer online games (MMOGs) for the company.  These new virtual worlds
will be based both on original concepts and existing properties.
    In addition to her new responsibilities, Reppen will continue to manage
Neopets.  She will be responsible for evolving and innovating upon that site
and will be responsible for expanding Nicktropolis, which will continue to add
new environments to the site in the U.S. and launch a regionalized site in the
U.K. over the next few months.
    Over the past two years, since becoming the SVP and GM of Neopets, Reppen
has grown Neopets to a registered user base of 45 million, maintaining its
stickiness and status as the number-one tween virtual world in time spent,
increasing its average per user to more than two hours and 20 minutes,
according to comScore.  She has expanded upon the site's business model with
its first major mass retail launch, converging the web experience with a
consumer products line, and paid item sales.  Reppen has also integrated the
site into the Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group by developing mini-Neopets
shorts for Nickelodeon and cross-platform marketing events such as Altador
Cup.  She completely redesigned the site incorporating user generated content,
a video player, pet customization and much more.
    Reppen previously helmed NickJr.com as Vice President and GM, and was the
creator and architect behind the ParentsConnect brand.  She repositioned
Nickjr.com from a television promotional site to the number-one website for
parents of young children. Reppen also created and launched Nick Jr. Parents
TV, the broadband video service for parents; spearheaded the educational site
development of myNOGGIN; produced the first-ever 3D online games for
preschoolers; and led the networks' preschool introduction to wireless and
interactive TV experiences. She began her career at Viacom in MTV Networks Law
and Business Affairs and worked as a corporate associate in several law firms
beforehand.
    The Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group portfolio of digital sites which
serve kids, tweens, teens, and parents, focus on the activities that its
audiences participate in most online: gaming, socialization and community, and
video.  According to comScore (May 2008), Nickelodeon Kids and Family digital
ranks as the number-one kids and family online destination in visits with more
than 27.2 million unique visitors.
    MTV Networks currently boasts 11 deeply engaging virtual world experiences
that reflect its audiences' favorite online activities, on-air franchises or
personal interests, and include MTV's Emmy-winning Virtual Laguna Beach and
Neopets, the largest global youth-focused virtual world, among others.
    Nickelodeon, now in its 29th year, is the number-one entertainment brand
for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in
everything it does. The company includes television programming and production
in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online,
recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television
network is seen in more than 96 million households and has been the
number-one-rated basic cable network for more than 13 consecutive years.
Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of
Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).
SOURCE  Nickelodeon

David Bittler, +1-212-846-5263, or Nakiah Cherry Chinchilla, +1-212-846-6492
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