Ubisoft Blue Byte

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Ubisoft Blue Byte
Type Subsidiary of Ubisoft
Industry Video games
Founded 1988
Founder(s) Thomas Hertzler and Lothar Schmitt
Headquarters Düsseldorf, Germany
Products The Settlers, Battle Isle
Owner(s) Ubisoft
Parent Ubisoft
Website Blue Byte's official website

Ubisoft Blue Byte[1] (formerly Blue Byte Software) is a video game developer and publisher based in Düsseldorf, Germany, founded in 1988. The company has produced popular titles like Battle Isle and The Settlers. In 2001, the company was purchased by Ubisoft.

History[edit]

Blue Byte Software was founded by Thomas Hertzler and Lothar Schmitt in Mülheim on October 1988. The first published game was the tennis simulation Great Courts, released in 1989 by Ubisoft (then called Ubi Soft). Blue Byte's first big success in Germany and Europe was the turn-based strategy game Battle Isle, completed in 1991. Inspired by the Japanese game Nectaris for the PC Engine, Battle Isle spawned numerous add-ons and sequels. The company's next big success followed in 1993 with the release of the managerial game Die Siedler, marketed internationally as The Settlers. Settlers also had numerous sequels and became the most well-known of Blue Byte's products.

Over the years, Blue Byte developed and/or published numerous innovative titles including Chewy: Escape from F5 and Albion, but most of them were not successful internationally. Efforts to break into the American market, usually aided with publishing by Accolade, failed and success was limited to Germany and parts of Europe. In 1995 a Chicago based entrepreneur named Julian Pretto traveled to Germany and convinced the founders to open a North American office. Following the successful release of Battle Isle 2020 in the United States, Pretto left the firm to pursue other interests. Three years later, Blue Byte moved from Chicago, Illinois, to its new facilities in Austin, Texas.

The popular turn-based strategy Battle Isle series from the early 1990s achieved cult status similar to Settlers but when revised in 1997 as a 3-D tactical game Incubation similar to UFO: Enemy Unknown and later in 2001 Battle Isle: The Andosia War, which tried to breach the gap between turn-based strategies and real-time strategies, it alienated many players who came to expect that the Battle Isle brand would represent traditional turn-based strategies.

In January 2001, Blue Byte was acquired by Ubisoft,[2] and tasked to focus on Blue Byte's two most popular series. As of 2004, Blue Byte released the newest game of the Settlers series under the name Die Siedler: Das Erbe der Könige (literally "The Settlers: Heritage of Kings"), followed by several expansions. In 2006 they produced a re-release of The Settlers II with updated graphics and gameplay. Today, the team members continue to build up the Settlers series, releasing The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom (PC), The Settlers Online (Browser based), The Settlers - My City (Facebook) and The Settlers of Tandria (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) in 2010. The studio is also responsible for the production of the Anno series. In 2009, Anno 1404 and Anno - Create a New world (Wii & DS) have been released. Anno 2070 was released in 2011, followed by Anno Online in 2013.

Games developed or published[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Creativity at the Core Ubisoft Studios". 
  2. ^ Ho, Jennifer (2001-02-08). "Ubi Soft acquires Blue Byte Software". Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  3. ^ "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013". Gamespot. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 

External links[edit]