Housemarque

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Housemarque Oy
Private
Industry Video game industry
Predecessors
  • Bloodhouse
  • Terramarque
Founded 1995; 23 years ago (1995)
Founders
  • Ilari Kuittinen
  • Harri Tikkanen
Headquarters Helsinki, Finland
Key people
Ilari Kuittinen (CEO)
Website housemarque.com

Housemarque Oy is a Finnish video game developer based in Helsinki. Founded in 1995 through the merger of developer Bloodhouse and Terramarque, both founded in 1993 as Finland's first commercial developers, the company is best know for its Super Stardust series of games. It is the oldest active developer in Finland.

History[edit]

Bloodhouse and Terramarque (1993–1995)[edit]

Bloodhouse and Terramarque were founded in 1993, becoming Finland's first commercial video game developers.[1] Bloodhouse was lead by Harri Tikkanen, and released their first game, Stardust in 1993, with a version updated for the Amiga 1200, titled Super Stardust, released the following year.[1] Terramarque was founded by Ilari Kuittinen and Stavros Fasoulas, and hired Miha Rinne in 1994.[1] Fasoulas, at the time, was working on a clone of Bubble Bobble titled Galactic, but failed to find a publisher, wherefore the game ended up on a complementary disc in The One.[1] The first game from Terramarque was Elfmania, released in 1994 to mixed reception.[1] The company started a second game, P.I.D. (short for Private Investigator Dollarally), to be published by Renegade Software.[1] When the Amiga was discontinued mid-development, development on P.I.D. was halted; when Terramarque members discussed whether the game should be ported to PlayStation, Fasoulas decided not to and quit game programming altogether.[1] A demo of the game has been released, but game itself was never finished.[1] In December 1994, Kuittinen began working closely with Tikkanen, and their two companies formally merged in 1995 to form Housemarque.[1] As of June 2015, Housemarque is the oldest active video game developer in Finland.[1] Both Bloodhouse and Terramarque were developing games for personal computers (PCs) at the time, with the joint team deciding to focus specficially on the evolving PC gaming market.[1] The new company setup their first office in the Punavuori area of Helsinki.[1]

Housemarque (1995–present)[edit]

The first CD-ROM games for PCs developed by Housemarque were the space shooter game Super Stardust (1996), the adventure game Alien Incident (1996) and the shooter game The Reap (1997). None of the games were commercial hits even though they received good reviews from the game press.[2][3][4][5]

In 1999, Housemarque signed a contract with Infogrames Entertainment to develop the PC CDROM extreme sports game Supreme Snowboarding (known as Boarder Zone in the US).[6] The game took advantage of the rapid PC component development, and it was claimed to be one of the most visually stunning games of its time.[7][8][9][10] The game was presented by 3D graphics processing units manufacturer 3dfx Interactive at their stand at E3 in 1998 in Atlanta,[11] by Intel Corporation at the Game Developers Conference in 1998 in San Francisco and at the official launch event of Pentium III processors in February 1999 in San Jose. Supreme Snowboarding sold over 1,5 million copies worldwide.[12]

At the start of the new millennium, Housemarque shifted its focus from PC games to new game platforms. Following the genre of Supreme Snowboarding, their first console game Transworld Snowboarding was published for Microsoft Xbox in 2002 and Floboarding for Nokia's new handheld game console N-Gage in 2003.[13][14] Other mobile platforms that Housemarque developed games for included Gizmondo (Gizmondo Motocross in 2005), J2ME and Brew (The Chronicles of Narnia 2005, based on the movie of the same name).[15][16] Housemarque developed games also for PlayStation 2 but they were never published.[17]

Housemarque's commercial success came with PlayStation 3. In 2007, Housemarque developed an updated and revised version of the space shooter game Super Stardust called Super Stardust HD for PlayStation Network (PSN). The game received very good reviews, praised for its great visuals, attention to detail in the graphics and gameplay with a surprising amount of depth in its demolition scenes.[18][19] The game was one of the top 10 selling PSN games in the PAL and NTSC regions according to 2008 statistics.[citation needed]

Housemarque continued to develop for new platforms with the golf game Golf: Tee It Up! for Xbox 360 (XBLA) and the PSP version of Super Stardust in 2008, and the zombie shooter game Dead Nation for PlayStation 3 (PSN) in 2010. Although different in styles, both of the games received acclaim for theirs visuals, amount of details and gameplay suitable to the genre.[20][21][22][23][24]

In 2011, Harri Tikkanen still works as the Creative and Technical Director of the company and Ilari Kuittinen is the CEO of Housemarque. The game Outland was published in April 2011 for both PSN and XBLA. The game puts together 2D platformer, action game and rich graphics, and has received very good reviews for its beautiful visuals, gameplay and music.[25][26]

With the release of the Playstation 4 in November 2013 Housemarque released Resogun as a launch game.[27] The next month the game was released for the Playstation 3 and Vita as well.[28] The studio released the PS4 exclusive Aliennation in 2016 [29] Later that year for the launch of Playstation VR, Housemarque released Super Stardust Ultra VR, an update of their Super Stardust series.[30][31]

The next year saw Housemarque again release 2 games, Nex Machina as well as Matterfall,[32] the former being a collaboration with classic video game developer Eugine Jarvis, who among other games, worked on Robotron as well as Defender [33] After sales of Nex Machina proved disappointing Housemarque announced that they would abandon the "arcade genre " for future releases [34]

Games developed[edit]

As Bloodhouse

Year Title Platform Publisher
1993 Stardust Amiga, Atari ST, DOS Bloodhouse
1994 Super Stardust Amiga, Amiga CD32 Team17

As Terramarque

Year Title Platform Publisher
1994 Elfmania Amiga Renegade Software

As Housemarque

Year Title Platform Publisher
1996 Super Stardust DOS GameTek
1996 Alien Incident DOS GameTek
1997 The Reap Microsoft Windows Take-Two Interactive
1999 Supreme Snowboarding/Boarder Zone Microsoft Windows Infogrames
2002 Transworld Snowboarding Xbox Infogrames
2003 Floboarding N-Gage Nokia
2005 The Chronicles of Narnia 3D J2ME, BREW Buena Vista Internet Group
2005 Gizmondo Motocross 2005 Gizmondo Fathammer
2007 Super Stardust HD PlayStation 3 (PSN) Sony Computer Entertainment
2008 Golf: Tee It Up! Xbox 360 (XBLA) Activision
2008 Super Stardust Portable PlayStation Portable (PSN) Sony Computer Entertainment
2010 Dead Nation PlayStation 3 (PSN), PlayStation Vita (PSN) Sony Computer Entertainment
2011 Outland PlayStation 3 (PSN), Xbox 360 (XBLA), Microsoft Windows, Linux Ubisoft
2012 Furmins iOS Marquee Productions
2012 Super Stardust Delta PlayStation Vita (PSN) Sony Computer Entertainment
2012 Angry Birds Trilogy PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Activision
2013 Resogun PlayStation 4 (PSN) Sony Computer Entertainment
2014 Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition PlayStation 4 (PSN) Sony Computer Entertainment
2014 Resogun PlayStation 3 (PSN), PlayStation Vita (PSN) Sony Computer Entertainment
2016 Alienation PlayStation 4 (PSN) Sony Computer Entertainment
2016 Super Stardust VR PlayStation 4 (PSVR) Sony Computer Entertainment
2017 Nex Machina PlayStation 4 (PSN), Microsoft Windows Housemarque
2017 Matterfall PlayStation 4 (PSN) Sony Interactive Entertainment

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kuorikoski, Juho (5 June 2015). Finnish Video Games: A History and Catalog. McFarland & Company. pp. 43–44. 
  2. ^ "Suomipelien Kronikka". V2.fi. 6 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Super Stardust". Pelit.fi - p.38. 4 April 1996. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Reap". Pelit.fi - p.50. 10 October 1997. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Muukalaisten yö (Alien Incident)". Pelit.fi - p.27. 8 August 1996. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Infogrames Supreme Snowboarding Gets a Name Change". Dreamcast. 6 August 1999. 
  7. ^ "Supreme Snowboarding Review". PCZONE. 13 August 2001. 
  8. ^ "Supreme Snowboarding (Boarder Zone) Review". Actiontrip. 5 February 2000. Archived from the original on 16 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Supreme Snowboarding (PC)". Gamesxtreme. 8 December 1999. 
  10. ^ "Boarder Zone". IGN. 10 March 2000. 
  11. ^ "IGNPC's Best of E3 1999". IGN. 17 May 1999. 
  12. ^ "Review of The Finnish Games Studios - An Analysis Beyond Angry Birds' Wings". TechnopolistOnline. 20 September 2010. Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "Pelibisnes - Pelibisnes räiskii IT-alan kärjessä". Tietokone.fi. 3 March 2004. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Transworld Snowboarding: Housemarque Interview". TeamXbox. 7 October 2002. Archived from the original on 25 September 2004. 
  15. ^ "Gizmondo Motocross 2005". GameFAQ. 7 October 2005. 
  16. ^ "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". Allgame. 10 October 2005. 
  17. ^ "Interview: Seeing Stardust With Housemarque's Kuittinen". Gameswatch. 30 June 2009. 
  18. ^ "Super Stardust HD - Review". Eurogamer. 18 June 2007. 
  19. ^ "Super Stardust HD review". Gamestyle. 2007. [permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Golf: Tee It Up Review". Xboxlive.IGN. 9 July 2008. Archived from the original on 22 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "Golf: Tee It Up! Review". Gamespot. 22 July 2008. 
  22. ^ "Golf: Tee It Up!". Eurogamer. 10 July 2008. 
  23. ^ "Dead Nation review: It's dangerous to go alone". Joystiq. 30 November 2010. 
  24. ^ "Dead Nation Review". Gamespot. 1 December 2010. 
  25. ^ "Outland Review". Gamespot. 28 April 2011. 
  26. ^ "Outland Review - A color-bending downloadable adventure". XboXLive.IGN. 28 April 2011. Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. 
  27. ^ MORIARTY, COLIN. "NEW DETAILS AND ART EMERGE FOR PS4-EXCLUSIVE RESOGUN". IGN. Retrieved 2 November 2017. 
  28. ^ Narcisse, Evan. "PS4 Hit Resogun Coming to PS3 and Vita". Kotaku. Retrieved 2 November 2017. 
  29. ^ PASSALACQUA, MICHAEL. "HOUSEMARQUE'S ALIENATION RELEASE DELAYED". IGN. Retrieved 2 November 2017. 
  30. ^ Clark, Brian. "These are the 7 best launch titles for the PlayStation VR". The Next Web. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  31. ^ Barker, Sammy. "Review: Super Stardust Ultra VR". Push Squared. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  32. ^ Campbell, Evan. "E3 2017: MATTERFALL RELEASE DATE REVEALED". IGN. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  33. ^ "HOUSEMARQUE AND EUGENE JARVIS WORKING TOGETHER!". Housemarque. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  34. ^ "ARCADE IS DEAD". Housemarque. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 

External links[edit]