|Key people||Ilari Kuittinen (CEO)
Harri Tikkanen (creative director)
|Owner(s)||Private (Founders, VC-fund and other)|
Housemarque is an independent game developer that creates downloadable games based on original game concepts and licensed IP’s. Housemarque is located in Finland; established in 1995, it is one of the oldest Finnish video game companies existing today. Housemarque is best known for its series of Super Stardust games.
Housemarque was founded in 1995 by two Finnish game industry pioneers, Ilari Kuittinen from Terramarque and Harri Tikkanen from Bloodhouse. Both Terramarque and Bloodhouse were video game developers for Amiga, but the new company, Housemarque, targeted the evolving PC game market.
The first CD-ROM games for PC’s developed by Housemarque were the space shooter game Super Stardust (1996), the adventure game Alien Incident (1996) and the shooter game The Reap (1997). None of the games were commercial hits even though they received good reviews from the game press.
In 1999, Housemarque signed a contract with Infogrames Entertainment to develop the PC CDROM extreme sports game Supreme Snowboarding (known as Boarder Zone in the US). The game took advantage of the rapid PC component development, and it was claimed to be one of the most visually stunning games of its time. The game was presented by 3D graphics processing units manufacturer 3dfx Interactive at their stand at E3 in 1998 in Atlanta, by Intel Corporation at the Game Developers Conference in 1998 in San Francisco and at the official launch event of Pentium III processors in February 1999 in San Jose. Supreme Snowboarding sold over 1,5 million copies worldwide.
At the start of the new millennium, Housemarque shifted its focus from PC games to new game platforms. Following the genre of Supreme Snowboarding, their first console game Transworld Snowboarding was published for Microsoft Xbox in 2002 and Floboarding for Nokia's new handheld game console N-Gage in 2003. Other mobile platforms that Housemarque developed games for included Gizmondo (Gizmondo Motocross in 2005), J2ME and Brew (The Chronicles of Narnia 2005, based on the movie of the same name). Housemarque developed games also for PlayStation 2 but they were never published.
Housemarque’s commercial success came with PlayStation 3. In 2007, Housemarque developed an updated and revised version of the space shooter game Super Stardust called Super Stardust HD for PlayStation Network (PSN). The game received very good reviews, praised for its great visuals, attention to detail in the graphics and gameplay with a surprising amount of depth in its demolition scenes. The game was one of the top 10 selling PSN games in the PAL & NTSC regions according to 2008 statistics.
Housemarque continued to conquer new platforms with the golf game Golf: Tee It Up! for Xbox 360 (XBLA) and the PSP version of Super Stardust in 2008, and new genres with the PEGI 18 rated zombie shooter game Dead Nation for PlayStation 3 (PSN) in 2010. Although different in styles, both of the games received acclaim for theirs visuals, amount of details and gameplay suitable to the genre.
In 2011, Harri Tikkanen still works as the Creative & Technical Director of the company and Ilari Kuittinen is the CEO of Housemarque. Housemarque’s latest game, Outland was published in April 2011 for both PSN and XBLA. The game puts together 2D platformer, action game and rich graphics, and has received very good reviews for its beautiful visuals, gameplay and music.
|1993||Stardust||Amiga, Atari ST, DOS||Bloodhouse|
|1994||Super Stardust||Amiga, Amiga CD32||Team17|
|2006||A code support team for Killzone: Liberation game.|
|2006||High-end 3D demo Tin Star for Nokia GDC keynote.|
- "Kovalainen, Jari. Pelintekijän hedelmällinen avoliitto. Kauppalehti, 7.9.2010. p. 14.". Kauppalehti. 10 November 2010.
- "Carless, Simon. Interview: Seeing Stardust With Housemarque's Kuittinen.". Gameswatch. 30 June 2009.
- "Nimim. Sciere. Housemarque Ltd. overview.". Mobygames. 30 December 2005.
- "Suomipelien Kronikka". V2.fi. 6 December 2009.
- "Super Stardust". Pelit.fi - p.38. 4 April 1996.
- "The Reap". Pelit.fi - p.50. 10 October 1997.
- "Muukalaisten yö (Alien Incident)". Pelit.fi - p.27. 8 August 1996.
- "Infogrames Supreme Snowboarding Gets a Name Change". Dreamcast. 6 August 1999.
- "Supreme Snowboarding Review". PCZONE. 13 August 2001.
- "Supreme Snowboarding (Boarder Zone) Review". Actiontrip. 5 February 2000.
- "Supreme Snowboarding (PC)". Gamesxtreme. 8 December 1999.
- "Boarder Zone". IGN. 10 March 2000.
- "IGNPC's Best of E3 1999". IGN. 17 May 1999.
- "Review of The Finnish Games Studios - An Analysis Beyond Angry Birds' Wings". TechnopolistOnline. 20 September 2010.
- "Pelibisnes - Pelibisnes räiskii IT-alan kärjessä". Tietokone.fi. 3 March 2004.
- "Transworld Snowboarding: Housemarque Interview". TeamXboX. 7 October 2002.
- "Gizmondo Motocross 2005". GameFAQ. 7 October 2005.
- "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". Allgame. 10 October 2005.
- "Interview: Seeing Stardust With Housemarque's Kuittinen". Gameswatch. 30 June 2009.
- "Super Stardust HD - Review". Eurogamer. 18 June 2007.
- "Super Stardust HD review". Gamestyle. 2007.
- "SCEA presentation at Game Developers Conference 2008". March 2008.
- "Golf: Tee It Up Review". Xboxlive.IGN. 9 July 2008.
- "Golf: Tee It Up! Review". Gamespot. 22 July 2008.
- "Golf: Tee It Up!". Eurogamer. 10 July 2008.
- "Dead Nation review: It's dangerous to go alone". Joystiq. 30 November 2010.
- "Dead Nation Review". Gamespot. 1 December 2010.
- "Outland Review". Gamespot. 28 April 2011.
- "Outland Review - A color-bending downloadable adventure". XboXLive.IGN. 28 April 2011.
- O, Jukka (9 May 2007). "Housemarque tekee ensimmäisen suomalaisen PS3-pelin - Super Stardust HD". Dome.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 13 November 2013.