Frontier Developments

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Frontier Developments plc
FormerlyFrontier Developments Limited (1994–2013)
TypePublic limited company
LSEFDEV
ISINGB00BBT32N39
IndustryVideo games
Founded28 January 1994; 27 years ago (1994-01-28)
FounderDavid Braben
HeadquartersCambridge Science Park, ,
England
Key people
David Gammon
(Chairman)
David Braben
(CEO)
Products
RevenueIncrease GB£90.7 million[1] (2021)
Increase GB£38.1 million[1] (2021)
Increase GB£19.9 million[1] (2021)
Number of employees
745 [2] (31 December 2021)
Websitefrontier.co.uk

Frontier Developments plc is a British video game developer[3] based at the Cambridge Science Park in Cambridge, England.[4] Founded by David Braben in January 1994, it has produced several games in the Elite series, including 2014's Elite Dangerous. A second studio, Frontier Developments Inc., was opened in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in August 2012, headed by David Walsh, and closed in January 2015. In 2013, the company reincorporated as a public limited company and entered the stock market.

History[edit]

Frontier Developments' first game was the 1993 Amiga CD32 port of the largely successful Frontier: Elite II followed by Frontier: First Encounters, second sequel to the seminal 1984 game Elite by Acornsoft. The company describes the original Elite as a "Game by Frontier", in its back catalogue during the company's 2013 sale of shares to the public, with David Braben owning all rights to the game assigned to the company in 2008.

Between 2005 and 2011, Frontier developed The Outsider, an action-adventure game set in Washington DC that Braben said would advance video game storytelling.[5] The Outsider was cancelled in January 2011 after it was dropped by publisher Codemasters, leading to nearly 30 staff layoffs.[6] In 2014, Braben told Eurogamer that The Outsider was probably "gone for good".[7]

Frontier had been planning a new Elite sequel, under the working title Elite 4, since 1998. The company completed a successful Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2012, where the new sequel's name Elite: Dangerous was revealed. Early-access versions of the game have been playable by backers since December 2013. The full game was released to PC on 16 December 2014.

Frontier Developments has made many other games, including Dog's Life, Thrillville, and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. The company also made games for the Wallace and Gromit franchise, and has released Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo, and a tie-in game for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. In 2008, Frontier released LostWinds, a launch title for Nintendo's WiiWare platform. It received critical acclaim, scoring 81% on Metacritic. It was followed up with a sequel in 2009, entitled LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias, which scored 86% on Metacritic. In 2010, Frontier developed Kinectimals for Microsoft's Kinect controller on the Xbox 360. In 2011 Kinect Disneyland Adventures and Kinectimals: Now With Bears were developed, along with ports of LostWinds for iOS and Kinectimals for iOS and Windows Phone. In 2012, Frontier released Coaster Crazy, and started to work on Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter, which successfully closed at the start of 2013. In 2013, Frontier released Xbox One and Xbox 360 exclusive Zoo Tycoon, published by Microsoft Studios, and launched backers alpha for Elite: Dangerous in December. In 2015 the company released Screamride, a theme park construction and management simulation game for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The company has recently released Planet Coaster, a construction and management simulation video game similar to the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise. The game is the second major self-published franchises from Frontier along with the Elite series. Frontier announced that they will begin self-publishing all their future games, starting with Planet Coaster.[8]

On 3 January 2017 TMZ reported that the company sued Atari, Inc. for not paying the company enough for royalties for their game RollerCoaster Tycoon 3; Frontier reported that they only received $1.17 million when they needed $3.37 million. David Walsh confirmed the report in a GameSpot interview, stating that they had previously attempted to resolve the issue without legal action since April 2016.[9]

On 6 February 2017 Frontier announced that they had acquired licensing rights from Universal Pictures to be used in their third self-published title, an "enduring movie franchise of global renown".[10] This was later announced to be Jurassic World Evolution, which released on 12 June 2018.[11]

On 26 July 2017 the company announced Frontier Expo 2017, a press and community event focusing on Elite: Dangerous, Planet Coaster, and Jurassic World Evolution. The event took place on 7 October 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, UK.[12]

In July 2017, Tencent, a Chinese investment company, bought a 9% share in the company.[13]

In June 2019, Frontier announced that it would begin publishing games from third-party developers under a new label named Frontier Publishing. At Gamescom 2020, Frontier announced that their publishing label would be renamed to "Frontier Foundry", and that it would publish Struggling from Chasing Rats in 2020, and Lemnis Gate from Ratloop Games in 2021.[14][15] They would also publish an upcoming project from Haemimont Games.[16]

In July 2020, Frontier announced they were sponsoring The Centre for Computing History to help support the museum's ambitious video game preservation project.[17]

On 3 June 2021 during the Games Workshop Warhammer Skulls event, Frontier announced they would be publishing a sequel to the 1998 turn based game Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate named Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters. The sequel is to be developed by Canadian developer Complex Games and published under the Frontier Foundry label. It is set to release in 2022.[18]

On 10 June 2021, Frontier announced Jurassic World Evolution 2 a sequel to their 2018 park builder game would be releasing in late 2021.[19]

On 13 June 2021, Frontier announced Lemnis Gate would be released on 3 August 2021 with an open beta being scheduled for July 2021.[20] Additionally Frontier announced a sequel to FAR: Lone Sails named FAR: Changing Tides, developed by Okomotive and published under the Frontier Foundry label with a release date scheduled for late 2021.[21]

Games[edit]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Publisher(s) Platform(s)
1995 Frontier: First Encounters GameTek MS-DOS, Windows, Classic Mac OS, Linux
1995 Darxide Sega Enterprises Sega 32X
1998 V2000 Grolier Interactive Windows, PlayStation
2000 Infestation Ubisoft Windows, PlayStation
2003 Darxide EMP Frontier Developments Pocket PC
2003 RollerCoaster Tycoon Infogrames Xbox
2003 Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo BAM! Entertainment Windows, Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube
2003 Dog's Life Sony Computer Entertainment PlayStation 2
2003 RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Wacky Worlds Infogrames Windows
2003 RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Time Twister Atari, Inc. Windows
2004 RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Atari, Inc. (PC), Frontier (iOS) Windows, OS X, iOS
2005 RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! Atari, Inc. Windows, OS X
2005 RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Wild! Atari, Inc. Windows, OS X
2005 Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit Konami PlayStation 2, Xbox
2006 Thrillville LucasArts PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable
2007 Thrillville: Off the Rails LucasArts PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Wii, Windows
2008 LostWinds Frontier Developments iOS, Wii, Windows
2009 LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias Frontier Developments iOS, Wii, Windows
2010 Kinectimals Microsoft Game Studios Xbox 360, Windows Phone, iOS, Android
2011 Kinectimals: Now with Bears! Microsoft Studios Xbox 360, Windows Phone, iOS, Android
2011 Kinect: Disneyland Adventures Microsoft Studios Xbox 360
2012 Coaster Crazy Frontier Developments iOS
2013 Zoo Tycoon Microsoft Studios Xbox 360, Xbox One
2013 Coaster Crazy Deluxe Frontier Developments Wii U, iOS
2014 Tales from Deep Space Amazon Game Studios Fire OS, iOS
2014 Elite: Dangerous Frontier Developments Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2015 Screamride Microsoft Studios Xbox 360, Xbox One
2015 Elite Dangerous: Horizons Frontier Developments Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
2016 Elite Dangerous: Arena Frontier Developments Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
2016 Planet Coaster Frontier Developments Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
2018 Jurassic World Evolution Frontier Developments Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
2019 Planet Zoo Frontier Developments Windows
2021 Elite Dangerous: Odyssey[22] Frontier Developments Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
2021 Jurassic World Evolution 2[19] Frontier Developments Windows, Steam PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
2022 Unnamed Formula One management game[23] Frontier Developments Windows, consoles
2023 Unnamed Warhammer Age of Sigmar strategy game[24] Frontier Developments Windows, consoles

Games published under the Frontier Foundry label[edit]

Year Title Developer(s) Platform(s)
2020 Struggling Chasing Rats Games Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2020 RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition[25] Frontier Developments Windows, Nintendo Switch
2021 Lemnis Gate Ratloop Games Canada Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
2022 FAR: Changing Tides Okomotive Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
2022 Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters Complex Games Windows
2022 /

2023

Unnamed Haemimont game Haemimont Games Windows, consoles

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Annual Results". London Stock Exchange. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  2. ^ "FY22 Interim Results". www.londonstockexchange.com. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Big tech presents next chapter for UK gaming companies". Financial Times. 26 April 2019.
  4. ^ Barton, Seth (July 2018). "Life on the Frontier". MCV. No. 937. Future Publishing. pp. 14–18.
  5. ^ Houlihan, John (23 September 2005). "Xbox Interviews: David Braben - The Outsider". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  6. ^ "The Outsider 'not cancelled' | Game Development | News by Develop". Develop-online.net. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  7. ^ "David Braben says The Outsider "probably is gone for good"". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  8. ^ Jarvis, Matthew (31 March 2016). "Frontier cements total independence with self-published Planet Coaster". Develop. NewBay Media. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  9. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (3 January 2017). "Atari Being Sued for Alleged Unpaid Rollercoaster Tycoon Royalties". GameSpot. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Frontier Developments Secures Movie Licence For Third Game Franchise". London Stock Exchange. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Frontier Announces Jurassic World Evolution". www.frontier.co.uk.
  12. ^ "Elite Dangerous developer announces Frontier Expo 2017". PC Gamer. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Chinese game giant Tencent buys 9% of Elite Dangerous dev Frontier". Eurogamer. 28 July 2017.
  14. ^ Wales, Matt (27 August 2020). "Flesh-flailing co-op platformer Struggling is the first game from Frontier Development's new publishing label". Eurogamer. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  15. ^ Tack, Daniel (27 August 2020). "Time Looping Lemnis Gate Featured At Gamescom 2020". Game Informer. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  16. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (12 June 2019). "Frontier signs first deal as third-party publisher". Gameindustry.biz. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Cambridge Game Company Helps Push the Frontier of Video Game Preservation". computinghistory.org.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  18. ^ Hall, Charlie (3 June 2021). "Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters will reboot the turn-based classic". Polygon. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  19. ^ a b Barbosa, Alessandro (10 June 2021). "Jurassic World Evolution 2 Announced, Launching in 2021". GameSpot.
  20. ^ Park, Morgan (13 June 2021). "Time loop FPS Lemnis Gate gets a release date at the PC Gaming Show". PC Gamer. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  21. ^ Watts, Rachel (13 June 2021). "Far: Changing Tides is a lonely post-apocalyptic voyage, coming late 2021". PC Gamer. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  22. ^ "IP Licence with Games Workshop and Trading Update, Frontier Developments PLC". London Stock Exchange.
  23. ^ "Elite developer Frontier now making F1 management games". 10 March 2020.
  24. ^ "A Warhammer Age of Sigmar RTS is coming from Elite Dangerous developer Frontier". 2 May 2020.
  25. ^ Phillips, Tom (8 September 2020). "Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Complete Edition headed to PC and Switch". Eurogamer. Retrieved 14 June 2021.

External links[edit]