Kuju Entertainment

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Kuju Entertainment
Subsidiary of Catalis S.E.[1]
Industry Video game industry
Founded 1998; 19 years ago (1998)
Products Video games
Owner Catalis S.E.
Parent Catalis S.E.
Website Kuju Entertainment

Kuju Entertainment Ltd (Kuju) is an international video game developer. Kuju was formed in 1998 in Shalford, Surrey, England, after a management buyout of Simis from Eidos Interactive.

Kuju has released titles across different devices, ranging from Art Academy on the Nintendo DS, The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest for the Wii, and an Xbox One title, Powerstar Golf.

The name "Kuju" originates from the initials of the founders’ first names: Ian Baverstock and Jonathan Newth. Jonathan was leafing through a Japanese dictionary when he found the numbers nine and ten – “ku” and “ju” – corresponding to the positions of “I” and “J” in the English alphabet. The combined result was Kuju.


In 1998, Ian Baverstock and Jonathan Newth were running Simis, an in-house development studio owned by Eidos. In the same year, Ian and Jonathan led a management buyout of the studio from Eidos Interactive, forming Kuju Entertainment. Their first game was Tank Racer – a 3D action racer for PC, PlayStation and Mobile.

By 2001, Kuju was employing a team of 80 developers, in three separate offices around the UK in London, Surrey and Brighton. Their most notable project at the time was Microsoft Train Simulator.[2]

In 2002, Kuju floated on the Alternative Investments Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. Shortly thereafter the company signed its first game with THQ based on the Games Workshop franchise – Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior. In the following years between 2002 and 2007, Kuju developed titles including SingStar games and the Battalion Wars franchise.

In 2007, Kuju Entertainment was acquired by a German media investment firm, Catalis SE. Soon after, Kuju Brighton was rebranded to Zoë Mode, and in 2008, Kuju London rebranded to Headstrong Games.

In 2010, Headstrong Games completed development of Art Academy for the Nintendo DS console.[3]

In 2012 Dominic Wheatley of Domark Software and Gary Bracey from Ocean Software were appointed as CEO and Commercial Director respectively.

Kuju Startups Fund[edit]

On 4 August 2014, Kuju launched a fund-raising campaign with Seedrs – an online seed-equity crowdfunding platform based in the UK – for their latest initiative, the Kuju Startups Fund.[4] The Kuju Startups Fund is a new programme by Kuju seeking to find, invest in and mentor UK games companies.


Kuju currently has two UK studios: Headstrong Games in London and Zoë Mode in Brighton.

Headstrong Games[edit]

Headstrong Games has developed versions of The House of the Dead: Overkill , The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest and Top Gun: Hard Lock. Original IP include Art Academy and Battalion Wars.

Zoë Mode[edit]

Zoë Mode have worked on the EyeToy series, Zumba dance franchise and most recently, an official Xbox One exclusive title, Powerstar Golf. They also developed games for PlayStation's EyeToy and Xbox's Kinect.

Previous Kuju Studios[edit]

  • Simis
  • Kuju Surrey
  • Kuju Sheffield (latterly rebranded as Chemistry)
  • Nik Nak Games
  • Kuju America
  • Kuju Manila
  • Vatra


Cancelled games[edit]

  • Knight Wars
  • Redwood Falls

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Corporate Info". Kuju Entertainment. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Alfred Barten. "MSTS: First of the Big Ones". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "Kuju Entertainment - Art Academy". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Kuju Startups Fund". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 

External links[edit]