More freedom sans licence agreement

BoBoiBoy and friends are among the animation characters featured in MAPS’ ‘Malaysiaku Merdekaku’ programme.

MOVIE Animation Park Studios (MAPS) will now have more freedom to expand and conduct its marketing following the termination of its licence agreement with DreamWorks Animation LLC.

Its chief executive officer Shafeii Abdul Ghaffor said before this, they were unable to promote MAPS aggressively because of conditions and restrictions in the licence agreement.

“We are now free to promote aggressively and we believe we can attract more visitors,” he said.

Shafeii announced the opening of a new zone in MAPS and its collaboration with Malaysian animation characters BoBoiBoy in an upcoming “Malaysiaku Merdekaku” programme.

Also present was Animation Theme Park (ATP) Sdn Bhd board member Ramelle Ramli.

Shafeii was confident that MAPS’ association with BoBoiBoy would be more than enough to cover the reduction in the number of visitors, because of the cancellation of the DreamWorks intellectual property features.

ATP, which operates MAPS, discontinued the licence agreement to open DreamWorks attractions in MAPS.

State subsidiary Perak Corp Bhd, which owns ATP, had in a filing with Bursa Malaysia that ATP would write off RM15.74mil following the termination of the licence agreement with DreamWorks.

This is because both parties did not reach an agreement to open the Dream Zone to the public by Aug 1.

MAPS had its soft opening for public access on June 26 last year without DreamWorks attractions.

ATP had the option to extend the licence agreement to Sept 30, but decided not to do so in order to accelerate the full opening of MAPS as soon as possible.

Shafeii said the decision was made in the best interest of ATP and MAPS.

“We will have to make the one-off provision (to write off RM15.74mil).

“In fact, we have made massive provisions for the inability to operate MAPS on time.

“For a listed company, we are better off doing it on a clean slate.

“There is no point keeping something that is no longer valuable for the company,” he said, adding that the opening of Dream Zone was previously delayed five times.

Shafeii said several interested foreign and local players were actively in negotiations to bring in attractions to MAPS with the state.

“We are still in discussions.

“We also have plans for more theme parks and the resort hotel, which was part of the earlier plan that was halted because of MAPS’ issues.

“Now, we will continue with the expansion of the theme park,” he said, adding that the state has yet to decide on what type of theme park it would be.

As work to remove DreamWorks intellectual property nears completion, Shafeii said the seven rides and attractions at the new zone would be open to the public on August 31, in conjunction with Merdeka.

“Visitors can still enjoy 90% of the attractions in MAPS,” he added.

He also called on people to name the new zone via the Zone Naming Contest that would run until Aug 25, where the winner will walk away with RM1,000 and other prizes.

MAPS is offering lower ticket prices at RM61 on weekends, RM50 on weekdays and RM35 for evening passes from today until Sept 17 and RM30 on August 31.

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