The city of Liverpool has a lot to be proud of, as it has produced some of the biggest musicians, ships, luxury Liverpool hotels and sporting stars in the world. However, it’s contribution into the video gaming industry is surprisingly overlooked.
Home computing hit the market back in the 1980s, with children all over the world vying to play the newest video games on a Commodore 64. It also triggered a generation to start coding, helping to create the forward-thinking video games that are on our shelves today.
The world was swept up in the gaming industry, and that love affair has continued with the release of consoles such as the Sega Megadrive, Playstation, XBOX Cube, Nintendo Wii and now the Playstation 4.
Mark Butler and David Lawson created Imagine Software in Liverpool in 1982. Despite their short-lived career of just two years, they helped to pave the wave for other video gaming companies – particularly Denton Designs and Psygnosis.
Denton Design founded the very year Imagine Software closed, and were responsible for creating the popular Transformers game for the Commodore 64 in 1986. Whilst Psygosis established their company in the Port of Liverpool Building, and created the well-loved Lemmings franchise. People may now know the company as Studio Liverpool, and they are still based in the city at Wavetree Technology Park.
That’s not all! There are a many other talented game developers in the city, including Rage Software who created the incredibly successful Rocky Game and Rage Rally. Bizarre Creations from the Speke area of Liverpool also created the Project Gotham Racing series, and the James Bond game Blood Stone.
What’s really disappointing about the games industry in Liverpool is that many of the video games companies are closing their doors once and for all. Bizarre Creations have unfortunately closed down, and Rage Software came to end in 2003. However, as the history of the video gaming industry has proved, when one door closes another one opens – and that’s exactly what’s happened, as new gaming companies have launched in the city, such as Hogrocket and Grubby Hands – two amazing names!
It is pretty fair to say that Liverpool has had a major impact on not only the UK video gaming scene, but across the world, as some of the city’s finest creations have went on to become international bestselling games.
Liverpool have always been at the forefront of the games industry, and the constant emergence of new and exciting gaming companies proves that it is a city with a lot to offer the computer world. In fact, the gaming community have finally realised that in order to survive in the dog-eat-dog gaming world, you have to collaborate with different companies, which is why many are joining forces at events such as the Liverpool Sound City Festival to chat, collaborate and share ideas. Creativity leads to creativity – so the future is bright for Liverpool gaming companies, and hopefully a lot more stable!