Jester Interactive

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Jester Interactive
Type Limited
Industry Video games
Founded 1997
Headquarters Wales, United Kingdom
Products MUSIC / MTV Music Generator, SuperTruck Racing, TT Superbikes

Jester Interactive was a video game developer based in North Wales in the United Kingdom and was founded in 1997 as a trading arm of Morgan Computing Limited. It would later trade under the name Jester Interactive Limited, and after going into administration in 2003 [1] would re-emerge trading as Jester Interactive Publishing Limited. The company is well known for its music sequencing software on home consoles in the form of their MUSIC and MTV Music Generator branded software. As of April 2012, the hosting of Jester Interactive's web site [2] had expired and is no longer functional, implying the company is out of business.

History[edit]

Jester Interactive Limited was formed as part of, and through funding from Morgan Computing Limited - a Database Software company based in North Wales. Key staff who kicked off this venture were Lee Wright, Tim Wright and Gavin Morgan, Managing Director of Morgan Computing Limited.

Jester Interactive initially consisted of a small team of five people working in offices based at Liverpool's Port of Liverpool Building where a custom made studio was constructed to develop the company's first title NoiseToys[3]. NoiseToys was later re-titled MUSIC Station, and then shortened to simply MUSIC with the strap line Music Creation for the PlayStation Generation. This line of software also featured a DJ Character known affectionately as 'Scratchy'[4] which usually appeared on all Jester's MUSICtm products.

After a very quick development of roughly 9 months, Jester launched its first title MUSICtm through Codemasters to critical acclaim. Winners of the Official PlayStation Magazine award for the Most Innovative Game 1999 and Sony Computer Entertainment America’s award for Most Innovative Game 2000, Jester also twice reached final nomination for the highly acclaimed BAFTA awards in the category of user interface [5].

Jester sustained this level of success scoring highly in reviews for its subsequent MUSICtm based releases. They then went on to develop several racing games involving Super Trucks and The Isle of Man TT races.

In 2000 Jester won the Achievement Wales 2000 Business of the Year Award from the Daily Post / Wales 2000 initiative [6].

In 2001 it was ranked No.4 in the Fast Growth 50 company list [7].

Aside from any other achievement, their MUSICtm range of software has sold more copies than any other music sequencer Worldwide [8].

At its peak Jester has over 50 employees at two offices (Mold, North Wales & Liverpool, England) and enjoyed many highs in the form of export awards [9] and also suffered lows in the form of unreleased product such as Girl Talk (PlayStation & PocketStation), Hellgate (Dreamcast), Dr. Who PS2. The culmination of the lows led to Jester finally going into administration in 2003, but quickly re-emerging as Jester Interactive Publishing Limited.

Jester's most recent titles include TT Superbikes and TT Legends and they are by all accounts working on as yet un-revealed titles [10].

Jester Interactive has been first in many areas; It was the first software development house to be given permission by Sony to launch a non-game utility on its PlayStation console, likewise by Nintendo on its Game Boy handheld consoles. It was also the first new media company to benefit from the assembly government's £7m Wales Creative IP Fund.

Titles Released[edit]

  • MUSIC - Music Creation for the PlayStation PlayStation - 1998
  • Music 2000 / MTV Music Generator PlayStation, PC - 1999
  • MTV Music Generator 2 PS2 - 2001
  • Supertruck Racing PS2 - 2002
  • Pocket Music Game Boy & Game Boy Advance - 2002
  • Music 2002 Slinky Club Edition PC - 2002
  • Music 3000 / Funkmaster Flex's Digital Hitz Factory PS2 - 2003
  • TT Superbikes PS2 - 2007
  • TT Superbikes RRC PS2 - 2008
  • TT Superbikes Legends PS2 - 2008

External links[edit]