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Runecraft Ltd was a software design and development studio, specializing in brand-led video games. Runecraft's clients included US publishers such as Hasbro, Mattel, Interplay, Activision, Crave and Ripcord. The company was initially based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. The company was formed in April 1997 by Martin and Rodney Hooley. In the years following Runecraft rapidly expanded on the back of a number of successful projects including Spec Ops, Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX, Caesar's Palace, Scrabble and Barbie. Runecraft also developed the cancelled PlayStation port of Baldur's Gate.
At its high point Runecraft had approximately 150 employees and satellite offices in Glasgow, Nottingham, Taunton and Leeds. It also had a small presence in the USA and Japan.
The company eventually ran into financial trouble which many speculate was caused by a combination of over expansion and slipping management standards. The company was sold in 2001 in a transaction which saw Martin Hooley receiving ownership of Blue Monkey Studios in exchange all his shares of Runecraft. Poor management practices became rife after the sale and many of the staff who were responsible for their successful titles left in the period mid-2001 to mid-2002. By the time of the collapse in 2003 the company was a shadow of its former self with most of the staff having written warnings for petty misdemeanours so they could effectively be fired at will if the need arose.
BBC Multimedia picked up some of the pieces to release the failed FightBox TV game in 2003.
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