Julian Gollop

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Julian Gollop
Julian Gollop.png
Born1965 (age 52–53)
ResidenceSofia, Bulgaria
OccupationGame designer and producer
Years active1982 - present
EmployerSnapshot Games
(founder and CEO)
Known forX-COM
Notable workChaos: The Battle of Wizards
Rebelstar series
Laser Squad
UFO: Enemy Unknown
Chaos Reborn
Phoenix Point
Spouse(s)Reni (m. 2003)[1]

Julian Gollop is a British video game designer and producer specializing in strategy games,[2] who has founded and led Mythos Games, Codo Technologies and Snapshot Games. He is known best as the "man who gave birth to the X-COM franchise."[3]



Julian Gollop was born in 1965.[4] He came of age in Harlow, England.[5] When he was a child, his father introduced him to many different types of games, including chess, card games, and board games.[5][6] His family played games regularly, choosing to play games instead of going to see movies.[5] When he was about 14 years old, Gollop started playing more complex games like Dungeons & Dragons, SPI board games, and Avalon Hill board games.[5][6] After home computers became a reality while he was in secondary school, Gollop's fascination for complex strategy games helped him recognize how computers could allow him to make and play games he enjoyed.[5][6]

Early career (1982 to 1988)[edit]

In 1982, while he was still in secondary school, Julian Gollop started designing and programming video games.[1][6][7] For £25, Gollop bought his first computer, a ZX81, from a school friend to learn programming.[6] Even though the ZX81 only had one kilobyte of memory and no real graphics processing ability, he was "amazed" at its capabilities.[6] His first published games were Islandia and Time Lords, which he made for the BBC Micro in 1983 with programmer Andy Greene, a school friend.[7][8][9] Gollop subsequently upgraded to a ZX Spectrum and began creating video games like Nebula in BASIC.[6] He recognized that his future involved computers.[6]

When Julian Gollop went on to the London School of Economics to study sociology, he spent more time creating video games such as Chaos: The Battle of Wizards and Rebelstar than he spent studying.[1][6] He created the first Rebelstar by himself as a two-player game and brought it to a publisher that had an office near his college.[6] They wanted it to be a single-player game, something he had not made before,[6] so Gollop created functional path-finding algorithms from scratch, the game got published, and it ended up doing well.[6]

Mythos Games (1988 to 2001)[edit]

In 1988, Julian Gollop was joined by his brother, Nick Gollop, in founding Target Games, a video game development company that subsequently changed to Mythos Games.[6][10] Under the Mythos name, Gollop and his brother designed and developed video games such as Laser Squad, UFO: Enemy Unknown and X-COM: Apocalypse.[2][10][11] Up to this time, Gollop had only made video games for home computers commonly found in Europe.[6] It was with UFO: Enemy Unknown that Gollop first beginning making video games directly for personal computer sold primarily in the United States.[6] Despite the success of these and other games, Mythos Games was forced to close in 2001 after an essential publisher was acquired by a company that withdrew commitments for The Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge, which Mythos Games was in the process of developing.[6][12][13][12]

Codo Technologies (2001 to 2006)[edit]

After closing Mythos Games, Julian Gollop and his brother founded Codo Technologies.[12] They were disheartened by how mainstream publishers treated them at Mythos Games, so they tried a different business model.[12] The inaugural game of Codo Technologies in 2002 was Laser Squad Nemesis, a turn-based tactics game with asynchronous, multiplayer play-by-email features which required a monthly subscription.[12] The Gollop brothers developed only one other game, Rebelstar: Tactical Command, before Julian moved to Bulgaria with his wife in 2006.[14][15]

Ubisoft Sofia (2006 to 2012)[edit]

After moving to Bulgaria, Julian Gollop began working for Ubisoft in Sofia as a game designer.[6] He was promoted quickly to producer, eventually leading the development of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars for the Nintendo 3DS.[6][16] He then became the co-creative director of Assassin's Creed III: Liberation for the PlayStation Vita.[16] Gollop left Ubisoft in 2012 with ideas to remake games from earlier in his career.[14][15][16][17]

Snapshot Games (since 2013)[edit]

As of 2017, Julian Gollop works in Sofia as the CEO and chief designer for Snapshot Games, an independent video game developer he co-founded in 2013 with David Kaye.[3][18][19][20] His most recent game, Chaos Reborn, was released by Snapshot Games in 2015.[21] He currently leads his company's development of Phoenix Point, which is expected to be released in 2018.[3]


IGN included him among the top hundred video game creators of all time.[2] In the X-COM reboot, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis Games gives homage to Gollop in the form of a "Gollop Chamber" facility in the game.[22] Jake Solomon, creative lead for this XCOM and its sequel, XCOM 2, credits Gollop for much of his success.[23]

List of video games[edit]

Title Year Developer Publisher
Time Lords 1983 Julian Gollop Red Shift
Islandia 1983 Julian Gollop Red Shift
Battlecars 1984 SLUG
Julian Gollop
Games Workshop
Nebula 1984 Julian Gollop Red Shift
Rebelstar Raiders 1984 Julian Gollop Red Shift
Chaos: The Battle of Wizards 1985 Julian Gollop Games Workshop
Rebelstar 1986 Julian Gollop Firebird
Rebelstar II 1988 Julian Gollop Silverbird Software
Laser Squad 1988 Mythos Games Blade Software
Lords of Chaos 1990 Mythos Games Blade Software
UFO: Enemy Unknown/X-COM: UFO Defense 1994 Mythos Games MicroProse
Spectrum HoloByte (Japan)
X-COM: Apocalypse 1997 Mythos Games MicroProse
Magic and Mayhem 1998 Mythos Games
The Dreamland Chronicles: Freedom Ridge Cancelled Mythos Games
Laser Squad Nemesis 2002 Codo Technologies
  • EU: Merscom
Rebelstar: Tactical Command 2005 Codo Technologies Namco
Rebelstar 2: The Meklon Conspiracy Cancelled Codo Technologies
Chessmaster Live 2008 Ubisoft Sofia Ubisoft
Feral Interactive (Mac OS X)
Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars 2011 Ubisoft Sofia Ubisoft
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation 2012 Ubisoft Sofia Ubisoft (PlayStation Vita)
Chaos Reborn 2015 Snapshot Games Snapshot Games
Phoenix Point In development Snapshot Games Snapshot Games


  1. ^ a b c "The Lords Of Chaos Downloads for Commodore Amiga and Atari ST Tribute Website". amigalordsofchaos.tripod.com. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  2. ^ a b c "Top 100 Game Creators - IGN.com". IGN. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  3. ^ a b c "X-COM spiritual successor Phoenix Point hits $500K crowdfunding goal". polygon.com. 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  4. ^ "Chaos Reborn • View topic - Happy Birthday Julian!". www.forum.chaos-reborn.com. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Julian Gollop". Notey. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Interview With XCOM Creator Julian Gollop". Notey. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  7. ^ a b "Legendary Game Designers: Julian Gollop". GamesNostalgia. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  8. ^ "Julian Gollop (Person) - Giant Bomb". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  9. ^ "Julian Gollop | Retro Gamer". Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  10. ^ a b Bickham, Al (2010-11-28). "0". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  11. ^ "Mythos Games Ltd - UFO Enemy Unknown". 2001-06-06. Archived from the original on 2001-06-06. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  12. ^ a b c d e Gillen, Kieron (2007-11-09). "Making Of: Laser Squad Nemesis". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  13. ^ Staff, I. G. N. (2001-04-11). "The Dreamland Chronicles is Set Free". IGN. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  14. ^ a b "Julian Gollop - Google". Plus.google.com. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  15. ^ a b Jenkins, David (2014-04-01). "XCOM creator Julian Gollop interview – Chaos Reborn on Kickstarter | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-19.
  16. ^ a b c Yin-Poole, Wesley (2014-04-09). "What XCOM creator Julian Gollop did next". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  17. ^ Micek, Greg (2014-04-03). "Julian Gollop Discusses Chaos Reborn". Cliqist. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  18. ^ "Inspired by X-COM, Snapshot Games is creating Phoenix Point for fall 2018". venturebeat.com. 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  19. ^ "Phoenix Point has hit its funding target". gamereactor.eu. 2017-05-03. Retrieved 2017-06-13.
  20. ^ "Phoenix Point Boss Battle Gameplay Revealed". ign.com. 2017-06-05. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  21. ^ Meer, Alec (2015-10-09). "X-COM Creator's Chaos Reborn Is Born This Month". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  22. ^ "X-Com creator Julian Gollop on how he would have designed Enemy Unknown differently, and why it would have failed | News". PC Gamer. 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  23. ^ Hall, Charlie (26 June 2017). "XCOM 2 dev is hyped for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle". Polygon. Retrieved 26 June 2017.

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