Gremlin Interactive's logo used from 1994 to 1999
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Fate||Dissolved by parent|
|Founded||2 April 1984|
|Paul Porter (studio manager)|
Infogrames Studios Limited (formerly Gremlin Graphics Software Limited and later Gremlin Interactive Limited) was a British software house based in Sheffield, working mostly in the home computer market. Like many software houses established in the 1980s, 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 was acquired by French video game publisher Infogrames in 1999, and was renamed Infogrames Studios in 2000. Infogrames Studios closed down in 2003.
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. Gremlin enjoyed major success with the Zool and Premier Manager series in the early 1990s, and then with Actua Soccer, the first football game in full 3D; other successful games included the Lotus racing series; a futuristic racing game, Motorhead; a stunt car racing game, Fatal Racing (1995); and the 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 1997, 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 latterly occupied near Devonshire Green 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
- Shaun McClure - Graphics artist / Art Resource Manager
- Antony Crowther ('Ratt') - 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
- Peter Harrap - Programmer
- Chris Kerry - Programmer
- Shaun Hollingworth - Programmer
- MicroProjects Ltd (Jason Perkins, Mark Rogers, Anthony Clarke)
- Zoo Digital: Digital media company founded by Ian Stewart.
- Sumo Digital: Game developer founded by former members of Gremlin management.
- Martech: Video game publisher founded in the 1980s by David Martin.