Alten8

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Alten8 Ltd.
Limited
Industry Interactive entertainment
Fate Dissolved
Founded 2005
Defunct 2010
Headquarters Luton, England
Key people
Paul Andrews, CEO
Matt Bateman, Head of Creative Development
Chris Bailey, Head of Technical Operations
Products Eternity's Child
GT Racer (GBA)
Etrom
Power of Destruction
Concrete Surfer (DVD)
Johnny Morris: The Magic Memoirs (DVD)
Website www.alten8.com

Alten8 Ltd. is a British video game developer and publisher, with offices in Luton. It produces both licensed retro games and current format video games. As of 2008, Alten8 has been under contract to develop the emulation code for C64 titles on Nintendo's Virtual Console service.[1]

The company was formed by the former CEO Paul Andrews after his involvement with the website Retro-Trader, which led him to be commissioned to gather retro game licenses for a plug-into-TV video game console using games such as Ant Attack (originally on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum). For financial and business reasons out of the control of Andrews, this was never realised. He then formed Alten8 to make use of the gathered licenses. Since then, it has expanded its remit, gaining Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii and Xbox 360 developer status, as well as other formats and publishing following.[2] An initial GBA release, GT Racer, through another publisher convinced Alten8 to self-publish all titles where possible from that point onwards, or to develop console titles under contract only from major publishers. Alten8 now bills itself as the "Alten8 way of publishing games".

Alten8 now publishes over 500 licensed retro games across formats such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amiga and other computers. With many mobile phone games,[3] both developed and owned by Alten8, and with other licensed PC and Nintendo DS games also published across the globe, including the DS remake of the popular homebrew Dreamcast game, Cool Herders.[4] As well as developing the code for several retro titles on the VC, Alten8 has also worked with new pioneering mobile phone companies such as Greystripe and Vollee. As well as video games, Alten8 also licenses content for release on DVD, as well as publishing its own DVD content. DVDs like the upcoming Johnny Morris DVD; "The Magic Memoirs". Magic Memoirs in particular is a poignant release, as it was the last recorded Johnny Morris episode, and was co-hosted by TV's Terry Nutkins. In 2008, Alten8 restructured its corporate layout to accommodate the many new staff and many new directions the company was heading in.[5] Whilst the name of the company is the same, Alten8 itself is more of an umbrella term for the many studios underneath its banner, as well as the publishing brand for upcoming releases. Games development created with new IP will be created by the Skull Monkey Games division, whilst Retro-Soft will take care of the licensing and recreation of classic game brands owned by the company, such as the virtual console conversions and some upcoming retro content for the iPhone. Film and CGI group mangledpixel provide the group with FMV for all internal projects, as well as the creation of external projects like shorts and 4D films; with its first outing, A Dream of Christmas 4D debuting at Babbacombe Model Village.[6] Audio division Octave Sound audio to internal development efforts as well as outside clients. Media manufacturer and distributor Entain8 will act as the sister-company to Alten8, catering to the needs of both its sibling company and other external clients.

Alten8 is also involved with the production, licensing and eventual distribution of an upcoming, major movie production, Multiple Destiny. Recently Alten8 has 'bucked the trend' of larger dev companies shedding employees, and has actually expanded by some 300%[7] by taking on a range of new starters for all roles. Alten8 ceased trading in December 2010.

Products[edit]

Released Products[edit]

2005[edit]

2006[edit]

2007[edit]

2008[edit]

Controversies[edit]

In March 2006, Alten8 declared it would be publishing the mobile phone game, Office Massacre. This precluded a torrent of community and media backlash, with many people feeling offended at the potentially gory and violent content. Bethesda Softworks founder Christopher Weaver even went to lengths of name-calling Alten8 "... [a] bunch of idiots who don't understand the first thing about social responsibility".[8] The game was quickly cancelled, with Alten8 stating "No offence ... was intended by this game, and we resent the comments made [and] the unfair and unjust comparison of this game to other extreme games."[9] Office Massacre re-appeared, some months later as a reskinned, censor-friendly Office Zombies,[10] not too dis-similar to the controversy (and subsequent solution) surrounding Stainless Games' Carmageddon.

In 2008 Alten8 came under fire inadvertently, after an independent contract designer Luc Bernard who had done a single phone game for Alten8 did an independent interview, Bernard's anti-holocaust-themed DS game ‘concept’ was discussed, and then sub sequentially misquoted by the press in an interview with the NY Times, Imagination Is The Only Escape, which was then immediately met with a media 'controversy' storm, with everyone from Destructoid who stated the concept was “the evolution of gaming, and the chance for videogames to tackle sensitive issues”[11] to the New York Times itself having an distorted view on the interview they themselves carried out.[12] But despite the initial press fuelled public confusion over the concept, an official quote from the Anti-Defamation League spokeswoman Myrna Shinbaum in which she appeared to actually endorse the game concept being made stating “We certainly believe that we have to find new ways of teaching lessons of the Holocaust as new technologies are being developed“ [13] According to several erroneous internet sources, Nintendo themselves claimed that the game would never be released, however this was confirmed to not be the case,[14][15] and the game never went past the developers concept art.[16] Imagination and its well-meant intentions by the developer was strongly backed by Alten8,[17] but Alten8 itself had never known of its concept prior to the media storm, nor had any contract with the developer to produce it. Bernard went on to try to crowd fund and develop the game himself in 2013, but was unsuccessful.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kaasa Interview – Commodore 64 on Virtual Console". vc-reviews.com. 21 October 2008. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2008. 
  2. ^ "Alten8 on the expansion path". edge-online.com. 12 March 2008. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2008. 
  3. ^ "Greystripe Partners With Alten8, Bringing 38 Classic Mobile Games to Entertainment Portal GameJump.com in Biggest Mobile In-Game Advertising Deal to Date.". accessmylibrary.com. 7 September 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2008. 
  4. ^ "Cool Herders coming to DS". gameplanet.co.nz. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Alten8 Restructures Company". edge-online.com. 2 October 2008. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Mangled Pixel's First 4D Animated Feature Released". Game News. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "Alten8 Media Group Expansion". www.mcvuk.com. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "Bethesda founder calls Alten8 idiots". Game Politics. 31 March 2006. Archived from the original on 28 December 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "Alten8 cans Office Massacre following negative press". eurogamer.net. 4 March 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2008. 
  10. ^ "Controversial Alten8 game gets new lease of life". gamesindustry.biz. 4 March 2006. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  11. ^ "Exclusive: The truth about the 'Holocaust' game". Destructoid. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  12. ^ Pappu, Sridhar (3 October 2008). "No game about Nazis for Nintendo". New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2008. 
  13. ^ heidilore (2008-12-26). "Lovely…Nintendo to Release Holocaust Video Game". Heidi-Lore's Musings. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  14. ^ "Alten8 disputes reports of Nintendo blocking DS release". gamesindustry.biz. 10 March 2008. Archived from the original on 14 April 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2008. 
  15. ^ "Will we ever see Imagination Is the Only Escape?". Engadget. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  16. ^ Purchese, Robert (2008-03-10). "Creator defends Holocaust DS game". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  17. ^ "'Imagination is the only escape'". MCV online. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2008. 

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