Codemasters Ltd

Founded By:David Darling, Richard Darling
Location:Warwickshire, England
Year Started:1986
Year Wound Up:
Titles in Database:205
Rights Now With:Code Masters
Founded in 1986 by Richard and David Darling (who worked previously for Mastertronic), Codemasters established themselves in the growing ZX Spectrum market, mostly with action games that required the player to solve simple puzzles by combining different objects, such as the Dizzy series. While Codemasters found their roots in the ZX Spectrum, they did not exclusively write for this one computer - they also released software (including the Dizzy series) for the Commodore 64, Commodore 16, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, Commodore Amiga and Atari ST.

They were famous for releasing a long series of 'Simulator' games, mostly sports simulations.

Codemasters were one of a number of software houses in the 1980s that only released low retail price titles. However in 1992 they began to cut down on the budget releases in favor of full-price titles.

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Company History


Added: 19 Sep 2016
Founded in 1985 by Richard and David Darling (who worked previously for Mastertronic), Codemasters quickly established themselves in the growing ZX Spectrum market. Richard and David mostly associated themselves with action games that required the player to solve simple puzzles by combining different objects. One of the best examples of these games is the Dizzy series. While Codemasters found their roots in the ZX Spectrum, they did not exclusively write for this one computer--they also released software (including the Dizzy series) for the Enterprise 128, Vic 20, Commodore 64, Commodore 16, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, Commodore Amiga, and Atari ST.

As the 8-bit computer market diminished, Codemasters turned to developing for the 8-bit and 16-bit console markets, as well as moving away from their budget title legacy to more full-price games on the 16-bit computers 1993 saw the last title in the budget Dizzy series, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, although they released a full-price Dizzy game, Fantastic Dizzy later. They had major success with the Micro Machines series and Pete Sampras Tennis on the Sega Mega Drive. Both franchises featured the J-Cart, allowing two extra controllers to be attached to the game cart without requiring Electronic Arts' four way play or SEGA's four player adapter.

They were famous for releasing a long series of games called "Advanced Something Simulator" or "Professional Something Simulator". This led to the parody "Advanced Lawnmower Simulator" being developed, praised to the skies and then published by Your Sinclair magazine as an April Fool's Day stunt. Codemasters were one of a number of software houses in the 1980s that only released low retail price titles. Hence, when in 1992, they began to cut down on the budget releases in favour of full-price titles, they attracted the ire of many fans and the gaming press, the latter questioning the commercial logic behind it as Codemasters had known a great deal of success from their budget titles.

Added: 20 Mar 2012
The Codemasters Software Company Limited, or Codemasters (earlier known as Code Masters) is a British video game developer founded by Richard and David Darling in 1986. Codemasters is one of the oldest surviving British game studios, and in 2005 was named as the top independent games developer by Develop magazine.

As the 8-bit computer market diminished, Codemasters turned to developing for the 8-bit and 16-bit console markets, as well as moving away from their budget title legacy to more full-price games on the 16-bit computers 1993 saw the last title in the budget Dizzy series, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, although they released a full-price Dizzy game, Fantastic Dizzy later. They had major success with the Micro Machines series and Pete Sampras Tennis on the Sega Mega Drive. Both franchises featured the J-Cart, allowing two extra controllers to be attached to the game cart without requiring Electronic Arts' 4 way play or SEGA's four player adaptor.

In the early 1990s, the studio was the focus of an episode of It's a Living, a regional ITV program that examined unusual careers and companies. The show was able to examine the inner workings of the offices and was primarily concentrated on the development of Cosmic Spacehead, plus the marketing efforts surrounding it.


Softography

The Retro Isle team
Added: 24 Sep 2018
Click here to view a list of titles we have in the database here at Retro Isle.


From Then To Now


Added: 21 May 2013
In an effort to establish themselves in the United States, they announced that they would launch a new development studio in Oakhurst, using the abandoned Sierra facilities and hiring much of Yosemite Entertainment's laid off staff in mid-September 1999.

Codemasters have since continued to release titles for later generation systems, such as the TOCA Touring Car series, Colin McRae Rally series, Brian Lara Cricket series and Operation Flashpoint. They currently own the rights to use the title Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, but have parted with the original developer Bohemia Interactive Studio. In spite of this, Codemasters released Operation Flashpoint: Elite, developed by Bohemia, for Xbox in October 2005. June 2006 saw the release of Sensible Soccer 2006.

The year 2005 also saw the appointment of Rod Cousens, formerly of Acclaim, as Managing Director.

In April 2007, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group entered into a game distribution agreement with Codemasters to distribute the company's titles in North America ending May 2008.
Also in April, Codemasters launched the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar in Europe on behalf of Turbine.

In June 2007, Codemasters were purchased by equity group Balderton Capital[3] and they changed their logo to an interlocked metallic C and M. Later that month they released the latest in the Colin McRae Rally series, Colin McRae: Dirt. They also published Overlord and Clive Barker's Jericho.
Following the death of Colin McRae on 15 September 2007, Codemasters released a public statement expressing their sorrow and support for the family.

In March 2008, Codemasters announced a new deal with Majesco. The new partnership will focus on titles for DS and Wii, including Nanostray 2, Toy Shop, Cake Mania 2 and Nancy Drew: The Mystery of the Clue Bender Society for DS, and Wild Earth: African Safari, Our House and Cake Mania for Wii.

On 9 May 2008, it was announced that Codemasters had won the rights to the Formula One license after Sony's deal ran out. Codemasters released their first Formula One game, F1 2009, on the Wii and PlayStation Portable in Autumn 2009, and another similar game, F1 2010, on the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in 2010. The game is based on the Dirt 2 engine.

On 8 April 2008, Sega announced the closure of Sega Racing Studio, although no reason was specified for the closure it has been assumed it was due to lackluster sales of Sega Rally Revo. At a later time Sega announced none of the employees were folded into internal studios. On 25 April 2008, Codemasters bought Sega Racing Studio. The studio was headed by Guy Wilday, who was involved in the Colin McRae Rally games and was formerly the head of the studio behind the games and the series producer.
Notable also in 2008 was the Darlings' recognition in the Queen's Birthday Honours, as both were appointed Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the computer games industry.

On 5 April 2010, Reliance Big Entertainment, an Indian company acquired a 50% stake in the company.[12]
Later in 2010, Codemasters launched the free-to-play version of Lord of the Rings Online. While originally scheduled for
10 September, it was delayed due to contractual reasons and launched on 2 November.[13]

In late May 2011, Codemasters transferred control of the European Lord of the Rings Online to Turbine, Inc..
On 3 June 2011, the Codemasters.com website was breached. It is believed that the attacker was able to gain access to the personal information of registered users with Codemasters accounts. Codemasters notified its users about the attack via email on 10 June 2011, after which their websites were pulled down and users redirected to their Facebook page.

In mid-2012, it was announced that Codemasters' racing games, whether about to be produced or developed, would begin to be branded under the 'Codemasters Racing' label. Dirt: Showdown and F1 2012 were the first racing titles to receive the new label name.


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