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Yoshi Maruyama Joins Sparter

Posted Jul 16, 2007 by Keith Cross

Yoshi Maruyama Joins Sparter

Sparter, the company that facilitates player to player currency transactions, has announced in a press release that Yoshi Maruyama has joined Sparter's advisory board.

Menlo Park, CA, July 16, 2007 - Sparter, Inc., maker of the Gamer2Gamer™ (G2G™) exchange platform for the global trading of virtual currencies, today announced that Yoshi Maruyama has joined the Company's advisory board.

"We are very excited that Yoshi is joining Sparter's advisory board," said Dan Kelly, Sparter CEO. "Yoshi is a visionary and well respected veteran of the gaming industry. We know that his expertise in the sector, his experience in working as a publisher, and his keen sense of the global market will be invaluable to us as we continue to improve Sparter's platform and services. More importantly, Yoshi understands how vital it is that we as an industry support consumer interest in trading virtual items. I am incredibly excited that a publishing executive of Yoshi's stature has agreed to work with Sparter in creating a workable solution for both gamers and publishers."

"I am looking forward to becoming a member of the Sparter family," said Yoshi Maruyama. "I believe that Sparter is the platform that can accommodate the needs of today's gamers as well as the rights of publishers in dealing with RMT. Sparter also offers the best opportunity to support our consumers and, through cooperation with publishers, punish the truly bad behavior like in-game spamming, bot farming and use of exploits. I hope to leverage my experience and relationships to facilitate dialogue between Sparter and other participants in the industry to develop a solution that benefits everyone within the gaming ecosystem."

Mr. Maruyama ended his tenure as the General Manager of the XBox Division at Microsoft Japan in September 2006. In this capacity, Mr. Maruyama was responsible for growing XBox market share and preparing the launch of the next generation XBox360 console. He also successfully led efforts to work with major Japanese game companies and creators to produce high quality games for the Japanese market. Mr. Maruyama brought in Hironobu Sakaguchi, a creator of the Final Fantasy series, and Mr. Akira Toriyama, a creator of the Dragon Ball Z series, to create Blue Dragon.

Before joining Microsoft, Mr. Maruyama served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of Squaresoft Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Co. Ltd., and one of Japan's largest family-owned game software developers. At Squaresoft, Mr. Maruyama increased Square's U.S. market development efforts. Within two years, the company became one of the most popular game developers in the country with the release of such titles as Final Fantasy 7, the first million seller title for Sony PlayStation in the U.S. He also negotiated a joint venture with Electronic Arts to create Square Electronic Arts, which eventually grew to be one of the most popular Japanese game publishers based in the U.S., with annual revenues reaching $100 million. Mr. Maruyama previously served on the boards of D Wonderland Inc. and Gama Internet Technology USA, Inc.

Mr. Maruyama began his career at Mitsubishi Corp. and later joined McKinsey & Company as a consultant within the financial institutions group. He then went on to become director of the Heisei Research Institute where he was actively involved in fundraising and organizing resources for the research and policy-making capability of the institute. Maruyama holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Waseda University and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College. Mr. Maruyama is currently a consultant with Alcantara Associates, Inc. where he deals with executive training and licensing of intellectual properties.

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