||This article needs attention from an expert in Video games. (October 2009)|
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Headquarters||Derby, United Kingdom|
|Jeremy Heath-Smith, Adrian Smith, Gavin Rummery, Toby Gard|
|Owner||Eidos (brand, intellectual property), Rebellion Developments (staff, assets)|
|Website||Official Site (archived version until 2008)|
Core Design Limited (stylised as CORE Design) was a British video game developer best known for Chuck Rock, Rick Dangerous and Tomb Raider franchises. For most of its history, it was owned by British publisher Eidos Interactive.
In the aftermath of the botched mishandling of the Tomb Raider brand displayed with The Angel of Darkness, Eidos decided to shift development responsibilities of the franchise to its other subsidiaries, thereby bringing about Core Designs' eventual demise.
Core Design ceased to exist in 2006 after its assets were sold off and most key employees departed the company on the heels of the Angel of Darkness debacle.
Based in the city of Derby, England, Core Design was set up in 1988 by Chris Shrigley, Andy Green, Rob Toone, Terry Lloyd, Simon Phipps, Dave Pridmore, Jeremy Heath-Smith, Kevin Norburn and Greg Holmes. Most were former employees of Gremlin Graphics.
The studio was part of distribution company CentreGold when it was acquired by Eidos Interactive in 1996. Eidos subsequently sold most of CentreGold, but retained U.S. Gold, the owners of Core Design. Core had a brief history of producing titles for the Sega consoles, such as Thunderhawk for the Mega-CD and later the original Tomb Raider game for the Sega Saturn.
The company is widely known for the Tomb Raider series, created by Toby Gard and Paul Howard Douglas, which was released in 1996 and followed by several sequels. The success of Tomb Raider and its subsequent sequels played a huge part in keeping Eidos Interactive financially solvent.
After the successful Saturn debut of the original Tomb Raider a full month and a half ahead of the PlayStation version, Sony Computer Entertainment had an eye-opening view of Tomb Raider's market penetration potential, and that led to the conclusion to use the brand to boost sales of its own console.
In September 1997, Sony signed an exclusive deal with Eidos to ensure that neither the Saturn nor the Nintendo 64 would get any sequels. The full terms of this agreement have never been disclosed. By making Tomb Raider II PlayStation exclusive, Sony Computer Entertainment was able to attract new PlayStation owners, leveraging Tomb Raider as a killer application and using Lara Croft as a marketing character alongside Sony's own first party characters. Core Design also had the advantage of developing for a single console, as opposed to several at once.
Sony's agreement was further extended to cover the third game in the series. The fourth and fifth games in the franchise, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and Tomb Raider Chronicles respectively, were released for the Sega Dreamcast.
In 2003, after Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was met with mixed critical reviews and limited commercial success, parent company Eidos put Crystal Dynamics, another Eidos-owned studio, in charge of Tomb Raider franchise development. This prompted three key members of the Core Design team and several others to leave the company and establish a game development team of their own, Circle Studio. Jeremy Heath-Smith, a key member of the company and executive producer of the vast majority of their games, resigned from Core Design on 15 July 2003.
Sale to Rebellion
On 11 May 2006, Eidos announced that independent developer Rebellion Developments had acquired Core Designs' assets and staff; whereas the Core brand and intellectual property, including those of Tomb Raider will remain in Eidos' possession.
In June 2006, screenshots were released showing development of a PSP version of an anniversary edition of the original Tomb Raider, developed by Core Design. Days later, SCi Entertainment, then-owners of Eidos Interactive, issued a press release announcing that Crystal Dynamics would be producing the game, rather than Core Design. Remnants of the Core Design team (under the banner of Rebellion) went on to work on several titles in the years since including Shellshock 2: Blood Trails and Rogue Warrior. The Derby studio was closed by Rebellion in 2010 due to an expiring lease and the inability for the company to find a financier for the studio.
Games developed and published
According to GamesTM, Core Design had "over fifty successful titles under its belt such as Rick Dangerous, Curse of Enchantia and Premiere. However, the company is best known for creating and milking Tomb Raider series for all its worth."
|1988||Action Fighter||Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum|
|1989||Dynamite Düx||Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum|
|Rick Dangerous||Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum|
|Saint and Greavsie||Amiga|
|Switchblade||Amiga, Atari ST|
|1990||Torvak the Warrior|
|Corporation||Amiga, Atari ST, DOS|
|Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Computer Game|
|Axel's Magic Hammer||Amiga, Atari ST|
|Impossamole||Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Turbografx-16|
|Rick Dangerous 2||Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum|
|Chuck Rock||Amiga, Amiga CD32, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sega CD, Sega Game Gear, Sega Genesis, SNES|
|Heimdall||Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, Sega CD|
|Frenetic||Amiga, Atari ST|
|Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck||Amiga, Amiga CD32, Sega CD, Sega Game Gear, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System|
|Curse of Enchantia||Amiga, DOS|
|Hook||Sega CD, Sega Genesis|
|Premiere||Amiga, Amiga CD32|
|Thunderhawk||Amiga, DOS, Sega CD|
|Wolfchild||Amiga, Atari ST, Sega CD, Sega Game Gear, Sega Genesis, SNES|
|Jaguar XJ220||Amiga, Sega CD|
|1993||Asterix and the Great Rescue||Sega Game Gear, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System|
|BC Racers||3DO, Sega 32X, Sega CD|
|Heimdall 2||Amiga, Amiga CD32, DOS|
|Banshee||Amiga, Amiga CD32|
|Bubba 'n' Stix||Amiga, Amiga CD32, Sega Genesis|
|Asterix and the Power of the Gods||Sega Genesis|
|The Big Red Adventure||DOS|
|Shellshock||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Sega Saturn|
|Firestorm: Thunderhawk 2|
|The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga||Sega Saturn|
|Blam! Machinehead a||PlayStation, Sega Saturn|
|Fighting Force||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation|
|Tomb Raider II b|
|1998||Ninja: Shadow of Darkness||PlayStation|
|Tomb Raider III b||Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation|
|1999||Fighting Force 2||Dreamcast, PlayStation|
|Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation||Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation|
|2000||Tomb Raider Chronicles|
|Tomb Raider (GBC)||Game Boy Color|
|2001||Tomb Raider: Curse of the Sword|
|Project Eden||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2|
|Thunderhawk: Operation Phoenix||PlayStation 2|
|2002||Tomb Raider: The Prophecy||Game Boy Advance|
|2003||Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness||Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2|
|2005||Smart Bomb||PlayStation Portable|
|a Released in N. America as Machinehead.
b Released exclusively on the Playstation system.
- Gibson, Ellie (16 June 2006). "Rebellion acquires Core Design staff and assets". Gamer Network.
- "Original Home of Lara Croft and Tomb Raider". Core Design Ltd.
- "Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness review". GamesRadar. 23 October 2003. Archived from the original on 23 October 2003. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- White, A. A. (1 July 2003). "Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
- "Sony Computer Entertainment America Signs Exclusive Deal with Eidos for Tomb Raider Franchise; Lara Croft Videogames to Be Exclusive to the PlayStation for Game Consoles" (Press release). Foster City, Calif.: Sony Computer Entertainment America. September 18, 1997.
- "Sony Computer Entertainment America Signs Exclusive Deal with Eidos for Tomb Raider Franchise; Lara Croft Videogames to Be Exclusive to the PlayStation for Game Consoles". Business Wire. CBS Interactive Business UK. 18 September 1997. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- "Lara leaves UK". BBC News. 2003-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Fox, Fennec (2003-07-15). "Tomb Raider Co-Creator Steps Down". GamePro.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- McWhertor, Michael (2006-06-17). "PSP: Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary Edition Cancelled, Announced". Kotaku.com. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Robinson, Martin (2010-01-14). "Aliens vs. Predator Campaign Hands-on". ign.com. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- gamesTM Issue 5, p. 71. Imagine Publishing