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[12/10/08 - 07:01 AM]
Mountain Dew and Spike TV's Geoff Keighley Team Up to Recognize 'The Next Great Game Gods'
The half-hour special premieres Friday, December 12 at 12:30 AM EST.

[via press release from Spike TV]

Mountain Dew and Spike TV's Geoff Keighley Team Up to Recognize 'The Next Great Game Gods'

Spike TV Special Profiles The Best Independent Game Designers of 2008 and Features an Exclusive Interview with Game Design Legend Will Wright

Mountain Dew to Subsidize Free Downloads of Nominated Games on Top Consoles and PCs

Special Premieres on Spike TV on Friday, December 12 at 12:30 AM

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 -- They are the rising stars in the videogame world. The boldface names of tomorrow. Young visionaries poised to be the next generation of leaders defining the future of videogames. Spike TV announced today that it is teaming up with Mountain Dew and renowned videogame journalist and Spike TV host Geoff Keighley to introduce "The Next Great Game Gods" -- a year-round, multi-platform initiative aimed at cultivating, recognizing and rewarding emerging talent in the videogame industry.

"Videogames are part of Spike's DNA 365 days a year, so it's natural for us to partner with Mountain Dew and Geoff on 'The Next Great Game Gods' special," said Dario Spina, SVP, integrated marketing, MTV Networks Entertainment Group. "We look forward to introducing viewers to the rising stars of gaming and making independent games an important part of the 2008 Video Game Awards."

"Over the years, Mountain Dew has played an integral role in the videogame industry both as a beverage for gamers and through promotional platforms. We now believe Dew has the brand equity and credibility to go deeper into the gaming space and to provide greater value to video gamers," said Frank Cooper, VP of portfolio brands for Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages. "'The Next Great Game Gods' was created by Geoff Keighley in partnership with Mountain Dew and support of Spike TV Spike.com to take the next step by empowering the rising stars of video game design."

"The Next Great Game Gods" initiative begins this month when Mountain Dew presents the inaugural award for "Best Independent Game of the Year" at Spike TV's 2008 "Video Game Awards" (premiering LIVE on Sunday December 14, at 9:00 P.M.). Leading up to the "Video Game Awards," Spike TV will air a half-hour television special entitled, "The Next Great Game Gods" (premiering on Friday December 12, at 12:30 AM).

As a sign of their commitment to this endeavor and the independent game community, Mountain Dew will sponsor a limited number of free downloads of all the nominated games. Details on how to win a free independent game download will be revealed during the Spike TV "The Next Great Game Gods" special.

During the special, host Geoff Keighley travels across the United States and as far as Japan to meet the four nominated designers in their hometowns.

In Japan, Keighley heads to Kyoto to meet Dylan Cuthbert, the creator of PixelJunk Eden (PlayStation Network). Cuthbert left a steady job at Sony Computer Entertainment to found his own design studio, Q-Games. For the first time, Cuthbert reveals some of the PixelJunk game concepts that have yet to be realized, and exclusively debuts the company's next project. Then in Seattle, Keighley meets Dylan Fitterer, the young programmer behind AudioSurf (Valve/Steam), a music game that turns a player's favorite MP3s into interactive fun. In San Francisco, Keighley visits with David Hellman, the artist behind the time-manipulating Xbox Live Arcade hit Braid; and Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler, former Electronic Arts designers who struck out on their own to create the physics-driven puzzle game World of Goo (Steam/WiiWare).

Finally, game design legend Will Wright (The Sims, Spore, SimCity) joins Keighley to give his perspective on these budding designers who have made hits without access to typical video game resources.

"Gamers always ask me how they can get a job in the games business," said Keighley, host and executive producer, Spike TV's "GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley." "This initiative will not only tell you how to break into gaming, but also show you who is breaking through and why. Today some of the most revolutionary, thought-provoking game designs are happening in the independent game community. I can't wait to work with Mountain Dew to recognize and support these designers who represent the future of gaming."

Over the past few years, Mountain Dew has made a concerted effort to contribute to the success of the videogame industry with a number of initiatives, including DEWmocracy, an MMOG developed by Academy-Award(R) winner Forrest Whitaker; and Game Fuel, a beverage that was developed for gamers and distributed for a limited time at the launch of Microsoft's Halo 3.

ABOUT SPIKE TV

Spike TV is available in 97.7 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com.

ABOUT MOUNTAIN DEW

Mountain Dew is a product of the Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages (PCNAB), the refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo, Inc., in the United States and Canada. In addition to Mountain Dew, PCNAB's U.S. brands include Pepsi, Aquafina, Sierra Mist, IZZE, SoBe, Mug, Tava, Tropicana Twister Soda, Tropicana Juice Drinks, Dole and Ocean Spray single-serve juices. The company also makes and markets North America's best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks. For more information, visit www.pepsiproductfacts.com

ABOUT GEOFF KEIGHLEY

Geoff Keighley serves as executive in charge of video game publisher relations for Spike TV, as well as the host and executive producer of "GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley," the #1 rated videogame show on television. In his position he spearheads the network's year-round video game programming strategy, as well as manages Spike's editorial relationships with game publishers. Keighley has worked as a journalist in the games business since the age of 14, and in 2004 NewsBios.com named him one of the top 30 journalists under 30.





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