STS' Fantasy Utility goes live with Game Two

The world's first and only online business game for the utility industry has announced the start of this year's game.

June 10, 2001—The world's first and only online business game for the utility industry has announced the start of this year's game.

Fantasy Utility is open to individuals or teams of players who want to run their own "fantasy" utility company, selling energy (electricity and gas) and water to domestic customers.

Severn Trent Systems (STS), a world provider of software and services to the utilities, is proud to be the creator and provider of this popular and exciting online business game. It is the first of its kind to be based on the utility industry.

Players compete week by week for cash and customers by setting utility tariffs and marketing budgets. Players can also set quality and efficiency spends, simulating real world spending on computer systems, web sites, call centres, staff and training. The success of a company is measured by its fantasy share price.

Last year's game attracted over 600 teams from all around the world, with players ranging from Regulators to school kids. The online game has become hugely popular, and the web site has also attracted the attention of technology magazines for its innovation.

Dominic Nash, winner of Game One said: "I was absolutely delighted to win the game, and the holiday vouchers were a real bonus. The business conditions created, and the reactions of the game, were just so real, I even devised a logo for my company! You got a real sense of having to react to competitor tactics, and finding the best way to win customers whilst also building profits."

The game is played completely on-line, with players receiving a weekly e-mail to update them on their position and share price. The site even includes a "Stock Watch" service, to allow users to graphically track their performance against the markets highs and lows!

David Burden, Marketing Manager at STS said: "Fantasy Utility is a fun way of looking at the serious business issues facing today's utilities. Fantasy Utilities can follow aggressive low cost/low price strategies, or focus on high customer service and churn reduction."

David added "The game has been designed to cope with a wide range of levels of player interaction. A team can set up its utility at the start and then just watch it compete, or the team can be back on the site every week adjusting the settings for optimum performance."

Game Two now has a whole new look, with several improvements having been made to the way in which the game is played and managed. For instance, it's now possible for dividends to be issued, and "Super Leagues" to be set up. The game has also embraced the Euro and can now be played in a number of currencies.

Players can register and start playing at any time from now until 1st January 2002,but the earlier that players register, the better chance they will have of forging a strong position in an ever expanding Fantasy Utility marketplace.

The game will last for a total of nine months, with the first 'turn' being taken on July 13th. This will provide players with plenty of time to enact real-life business strategies over the course of the game.

To register to play Fantasy Utility as a team or individual, or to find out more about the game, log on to www.fantasyutility.com.

Following a successful trial at the European Meter Reading Association's annual conference in Amsterdam last month, STS are now able to offer the game to utility companies, companies active in the utility sector, and conference organisers for in-house use.

STS are also interested in hearing from anybody who wishes to sponsor all or part of the game on a global or national basis.

To find out more about sponsorship, advertising or in-house opportunities with Fantasy Utility contact info@fantasyutility.com.

About STS

Severn Trent Systems (STS) is a software products and services organisation dedicated to helping utility clients achieve higher levels of operational efficiency and customer service, through the use of customer information, work management and marketing information solutions. STS solutions are used by the electric, natural gas, water and telecoms industries worldwide. STS provides customer relationship management, work and asset management, field systems software and a full range of related professional services. Severn Trent Systems, with offices in Birmingham (UK), Houston (TX), Melbourne (AU), Phoenix (AZ) and Swindon (UK), is part of Severn Trent Plc.

For more information, visit STS on the Web: http://www.sts.co.uk.

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