Dream Pod 9
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Dream Pod 9 (also known as DP9) is a Montreal-based Canadian game publisher. In addition to games, they have been known to work on special projects, creating worlds and stories to order for a variety of clients.
The company got its start as the game design studio of what was then IANUS Publications, a Canadian publisher of anime-related magazines (Mecha Press, Protoculture Addicts). The team took care of the gaming sections of the magazines. They started publishing games on their own, releasing licensed Cyberpunk 2020 supplements and two Mekton books in the early 1990s. The group split off in 1994 to become DP9.
The company had a rise to fame in the mid and late 1990, fueled by the purported quality and depth of their books. It suffered from the general depression of the game industry after 9/11. Since 2004, the company has put an increased emphasis on wargames and has recently released the Heavy Gear Blitz! miniature game; both actions have done a great deal to counteract the problems encountered after the market downturn. While the company has not published RPG books prior to 2009, they have repeatedly stated they will continue to support the SilCORE system and the game lines, and have also noted they will publish new books once the company can branch out again. In August 2008, the DP9 brokered a deal with Steve Jackson Games to publish Heavy Gear RPG for DP9 using their new Silcore rpg system.
The group needed a name for their game design studio, and did not want the tired form "Such-and-such Games, Inc." An intense late night brainstorming session brought forth the name "Dream Pod." The number "9" was added to add a bit of pulp sci-fi flair.
A few other less well-known settings for use in various publications include CORE Command, a space opera universe set millennia in the future.
The company also tells its stories through the media of computer games. A partnership with computer game giant Activision produced two PC games in the mid-1990s: Heavy Gear: the New Breed, and its sequel, Heavy Gear II: Black Talon.As of 2014 a new game based on the franchise Heavy Gear Assault is in development, being produced by MekTek Studios and Stompy Bot Productions. the game is currently in an Early Access, Alpha state
In late 1999, Dream Pod 9 licensed the worldwide television rights to its Heavy Gear game universe to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The 40-episode computer animated series was made by Mainframe Entertainment. It debuted in syndication across the world in Spring 2001, and was shown in the United States in the Fall of 2001. It is now available on DVD. It is generally thought to be not as complex or engrossing as the world of Heavy Gear as shown in the RPG and tabletop game, aiming instead at a considerably lower age demographic.