For those that have lived through a fair chunk of gaming’s history, I invite you to reflect on studios that were born and thrived here on UK soil. In my youth in the 90s, I remember some household names like Psygnosis (WipEout), Rare (GoldenEye/Conker’s Bad Fur Day) and DMA Design of Grand Theft Auto fame. The common theme with these three examples is that they were eventaully acquired by larger companies. In these examples, they are Sony, Microsoft and Rockstar respectively.
When I think of studios that have stuck around in the UK to this day after many years, the list shrinks considerably. Yet there is one iconic studio that stands out vividly.
Team17, famous for the Worms franchise will be turning 25 this year on December 7! Hip hip hooray!
The now devleloper/publisher is doing some of its own celebrations, including 25 days of massive discounts across the games it has under its care. Check out this blog entry on their site for more info.
A studio approaching its mid-twenties must surely have some stories to tell, and stories they have! Here are a few facts about the British studio for you to enjoy:
1 – Team17â€™s first ever game release Full ContactÂ (back in 1991) went straight to No.1 in the UK.
2 – Team17â€™s Worms franchise has sold/downloaded over 70 million units â€“ despite the original game, Total Wormage,Â not winning the Amiga Format Readers competition before signing with Team17.
3 – The number 7 and 17 are the studio’s Managing DirectorÂ Debbie Bestwickâ€™s lucky numbers (Worms launched on 17th November, Team17â€™s birthday is the 7th , Her birthday is also the 7th Marchâ€“ spooky!).
4 – Team17 have released 34 unique titled games (All those WormsÂ games counted as 1 in that count).
5 – The â€˜Concrete Donkeyâ€™ from the Worms series of videogames actually existed as a garden ornament in the garden of Worms creator Andy Davidsonâ€™s parents. As a child the young Andy was afraid of the Concrete Donkey.
6 – Worms was first prototyped on a Texas Instruments calculator during an A-Level maths lesson.
7 – Project X, Team17â€™s Amiga classic was so difficult most people struggled to get past Level 2/3, so Team17 ended up realising a cheat mode on the cover mount disk of a many Amiga magazines to help struggling players.
8 – Alien Breed had 87 cheats and secrets locked in the game. Most of the cheat codes are totally unprintable today!
9 – Alien Breed SE took 6 weeks in development to remix and stayed No1 in the UK for 33 weeks.
10 – Team17 partnered with superstar legends (in our opinion) Epic Megagames and Housemarque to publish Silverball and Superstardust in the 1990â€™s.
I’m sure many of you have fond memories of your times with the games that the ‘House of 17’ has built and helped bring out into the world. In my younger days for example, I spent many an evening fostering a tiny wee clan of five on a fan-site that was called BlameThePixel. I found myself quite adept at online games that focussed on the Ninja Rope, a skill that made me quite infamous whenever I played Worms with friends.
Do you have any fond T17 memories? Let us know in the comments!