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Par, Xiphias ink CD-ROM distribution

Paramount Home Video announced Tuesday that it has entered into an exclusive marketing and distribution agreement with CD-ROM developer and publisher Xiphias to distribute the company’s titles.

The agreement, which will kick off with the release of Xiphias’ CD-ROM game based on Saban’s “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” marks the first time a video division of a major studio will distribute a CD-ROM title to numerous consumer outlets, including video stores, mass merchants and computer stores.

While Paramount Home Video currently distributes product turned out by Paramount Interactive, Par’s domestic homevideo president, Eric Doctorow, described the deal with Xiphias as “an affiliated label, whereby we are distributing product that is supplied by an outside developer.”

Currently, product developed by Xiphias has been distributed by Compton’s New Media, but that deal is set to expire in May, which is when Par will take over the distribution chores.

Total involvement

Asked about Xiphias’ involvement in the marketing of their product, once it is put into the distribution channel by Paramount, Doctorow noted that he expects Xiphias to be involved in all facets.

The agreement by Par and Xiphias points to the ever-increasing fact that CD-ROM entertainment is heading out the doors of computer stores and into more mainstream avenues such as record and video stores, a move that most observers feel needs to be done if the CD-ROM technology is really going to catch on with consumers.

“A lot of people don’t go into the computer stores,” Doctorow noted. “Those aren’t the only places to sell CD-ROMs. We’re going to see a lot more mainstream stores carrying those products.”

“I believe that the transit away from computer geek product to consumer products is happening a lot quicker than anybody in my industry has counted on,” added Xiphias president, Peter Black.

To ensure compatibility, each of the Xiphias products will be distributed to play on both the Macintosh or Windows-based PCs with one disc, eliminating retailers’ needs to stock dual inventories.

Xiphias, established in ’79, has developed numerous multimedia products, including “Soft Kill.”

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