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06/30/2006 - Olympus Entertainment

Olympus Entertainment has been quietly plying its craft in the Browne’s Addition corner of the Terabyte Triangle for nearly two years. Olympus is a software business and produces interactive games for PC’s and for gamers of all persuasions. Casual gamers, who play once in a while, are as welcome as the hard core, heads down player. The gamer may play alone or as one of a MMOG (massively multiplayer on-line game) community.

Olympus's first product is the GMOD. "MOD" means software modifying data, and GMOD – for Game MOD – is a registered trademark of Olympus Entertainment. The GMOD is a program utility that modifies games and facilitates interaction between the gamer and the game they are playing. MOD’s make it possible to customize a game. The gamer can add new maps, new levels, new weapons, and new enemies. “MODs make it easier for all,” says Skylar Kreisher, Olympus CEO.

For the creation of a GMOD, Olympus both writes software and collects other MODs from the Internet, then brings them all together for a GMOD. GMODs are available for Doom 3, Half Life, and FarCry. World of WarCraft is under development.

According to Kreisher, the value of an Olympus GMOD is that it brings all the information together in one place for the gamer to customize anything about the game. Then it installs the MODs for you. You choose the MOD you want and the Olympus utility will install it. A GMOD includes a library of MODs available for download. Finally, the gamer can play the customized game immediately. “Just hit ‘play’, and the game opens and goes directly to the MOD,” says Kreisher. “The modifications can get very advanced, but the gamer can get everything they want done easily. A poorly made MOD can really crap up a system.”

Olympus GMOD has other amenities. Foremost is its sleek, simple-to-use interface. The GMOD finds the original game, wherever it is installed – “it finds things on you PC Game system that you never see.” The GMOD includes a user rating system that is easily accessed – “one that doesn’t have to be dug out of a Web site.” The ratings serve as a reminder of how the user felt, and how others rated the game. This helps the casual gamer decide whether or not they want to spend time on a game.

Big time game developers encourage companies like Olympus to develop MODs for their games because, if well made, it increases the “shelf life” and, therefore, the profitability of a game. A high-end game will cost an average of $20 million and up to 5 years to create. The developer wants the game to become quickly popular, and to remain popular. A well crafted MOD helps keep the game fresh and interesting for the gamer. For example, a MOD called Counter Strike was so good, players would purchase the original game, Half Life, just to play Counter Strike.

Even with the popularity of games and MODs, advertising is the main source of revenue. A good MOD, free or at a low price, will quickly create a large base of followers, and mainstream companies, e.g. Pepsi, will buy advertising.

Olympus has six developers and eighteen testers. All are gamers. Business demands mean Kreisher doesn’t get to play nearly as much as he would like. “You need to be passionate about games, or you just can’t do this – especially based on the hours put in,” says Kreisher. “We’re on the way up. We have a talented team – great people with great ideas. You’re going to hear about us.”

For more information about Olympus Entertainment, visit www.gmod.com.

Billie Moreland
 
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