Saturday, July 8, 2017

Gaming Ads: Cinemaware and Codemasters

Based in Westlake Village, California, Cinemaware was founded by Bob and Phyllis Jacob in 1985. The company's games have a strong focus on graphics quality as it aimed to make movie-like experiences. I played a few Cinemaware games on the Commodore 64 and they did look good. Of course, on the back of the box the Amiga screens looked excellent. I mostly played Defender of the Crown, though I've tried Rocket Ranger (similar to The Rocketeer movie) and Sinbad and the Throne of the Falcon. Other well known games include The King of Chicago, TV Sports Football, and It Came From the Desert. Unfortunately, porting It Came From the Desert to the TurboGrafx-16 hurt Cinemaware's finances causing it to fold in 1991. A different Cinemaware was formed in 2000 that re-released and updated some of the original developer's games. It appears that the Cinemaware assets are currently owned by eGames.

Codemasters was founded in 1986 by Richard, David, and Jim Darling in the United Kingdom. A few weeks ago I posted about Camerica which was a company that published Codemasters' games and the Game Genie device (with Galoob) in North America during the 8-bit generation. For 16-bit games Codemasters self-published its games and used various distributors in North America before opening its own publishing branch in the U.S. Codemasters is still in business but no longer have a U.S. publishing arm and instead publish out of the U.K. again while using others for distribution. Currently Square Enix and Deep Silver distribute Codemasters' retail console games while Codemasters self-publishes its computer games digitally.

As we saw in the ads for Camerica, Micro Machines was a big property for Codemasters and just last month a new Micro Machines game was released, the first one in 10 years. Other popular games from Codemasters' past include the Dizzy games and Colin McRae Rally series. Today Codemasters' primary racing series are Dirt, F1, and Grid.

Flickr album: Cinemaware
Flickr album: Codemasters

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