Annals of Rome
Amiga cover art
|Developer(s)||Level 9 Computing|
|Publisher(s)||Personal Software Services|
Annals of Rome is a turn-based strategy video game developed by Level 9 Computing and published by Personal Software Services. It was first released in the United Kingdom for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Atari ST in 1986. It was then released in Germany for the Commodore 64 and Amiga in 1987 and 1988, respectively. The game revolves around the Roman Empire and its objective of surviving for as long as possible against rebelling European states.
Personal Software Services was founded in Coventry, England, by Gary Mays and Richard Cockayne in November 1981. The company was known for creating games that revolved around historic war battles and conflicts, such as Theatre Europe, Bismarck and Falklands '82. The company had a partnership with French video game developer ERE Informatique, and published localised versions of their products to the United Kingdom. The Strategic Wargames series was conceptualised by software designer Alan Steel in 1984. During development of these titles, Steel would often research the topic of the upcoming game and pass on the findings to other associates in Coventry and London. Some games of the series were met with controversy upon release, such as Theatre Europe. In 1983, the company received recognition for being "one of the top software houses" in the United Kingdom, and was a finalist for BBC Radio 4's New Business Enterprise Award for that year.
In 1986, Cockayne took a decision to alter their products for release on 16-bit consoles, as he found that smaller 8-bit consoles, such as the ZX Spectrum, lacked the processing power for larger strategy games. The decision was falsely interpreted as "pulling out" from the Spectrum market by video game journalist Phillipa Irving. Following years of successful sales throughout the mid 1980s, Personal Software Services experienced financial difficulties, in what Cockayne admitted in a retrospective interview that "he took his eye off the ball". The company was acquired by Mirrorsoft in February 1987, and was later dispossessed by the company due to strains of debt.
- "History of PSS". Your Computer. 6 (6): 84–85. 13 June 1986. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- "Personal Software Services overview". Retro Aisle. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- Connor, Peter (March 1986). "Special: PSS". Amstrad Action (6): 97–99. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- "PSS: Blade Alley Competition". Crash (5): 28. June 1984. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Jarratt, Steve (May 1988). "Seasonal Drought". Crash (52): 7. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Mirrorsoft has new strategy with PSS". Personal Computing Weekly. 6 (7): 6. 12 February 1987. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- Arnot, Chris (26 March 1995). "Taking pain out of gain". The Independent. Retrieved 4 October 2015.