Gremlin Interactive's logo from 1994–1999
|Fate||Absorbed into Infogrames, later picked up by Urbanscan Ltd. (Ian Stewart's new company)|
|Headquarters||Sheffield, United Kingdom|
|Patrick Phelan (software manager)|
|Products||Wanted: Monty Mole, Thing on a Spring, Premier Manager, Actua Soccer, Normality|
Gremlin Interactive (originally Gremlin Graphics) was a British software house based in Sheffield and working mostly in the home computer market. Like many software houses established in the eighties their primary market was the 8-bit range of computers such as the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Commodore 16 and Commodore 64.
The company, originally a computer store called Just Micro, was established as a software house in 1984 with the name Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd by Ian Stewart & Kevin Norburn. Gremlin's early success was based on games such as Wanted: Monty Mole for the ZX Spectrum and Thing on a Spring for the Commodore 64.
In 1994, it was renamed as Gremlin Interactive, now concentrating on the 16-bit, PC and console market. Also the HQ moved, from Carver Street to localities near Devonshire Green. Gremlin scored big with the Zool and Premier Manager series in the early 1990s, and then with Actua Soccer, the first football game in full 3D, while having success with other games such as the Lotus racing series, a futuristic racing game Motorhead, a stunt car racing game Fatal Racing (1995) or a 1998 flight simulator Hardwar. Following EA's success with the EA Sports brand, Gremlin also released their own sports videogame series, adding Golf, Tennis and Ice Hockey to their Actua Sports series. During this time, they used a motif from the Siegfried Funeral March from Götterdämmerung as introductory music.
In 1996, Gremlin acquired DMA Design (creators of Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings). After 1999, they themselves were bought by Infogrames and renamed "Infogrames Sheffield House", for a reported fee of around £24 million, but the studio closed in 2003. The building they occupied has since been demolished when Infogrames Sheffield House was supposed to be renamed "Atari Sheffield House".
Gremlin Interactive's catalogue and name have since been bought up by Ian Stewart's new company Urbanscan.
In its heyday the Gremlin staff included:
- Kevin Bulmer - Designer/graphics artist
- Jon Harrison - Designer/graphics artist
- Gary Priest - Programmer
- Bill Allen - Programmer
- David Martin - Marketing Director
- Ben Daglish - Outsourced Musician
- Ade Carless - Designer/graphics artist
- Antony 'Ratt' Crowther / Designer, programmer
- Paul Whitehead - Tester / Designer
- Ian Stewart - Managing director
- Kevin Norburn - Operations director
- Patrick Phelan - Software manager/sound engineer
- Chris Harvey - Lead console programmer
- Zoo Digital — Digital media company founded by Ian Stewart (founder of Gremlin Interactive).
- Sumo Digital — Game developer founded by former members of Gremlin management.
- Martech — Video Game Publishers founded in the 80's by David Martin.