Lobotomy Software

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Lobotomy Software, Inc.
Industry Computer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded January 13, 1993
Defunct April 27, 1998
Headquarters Redmond, Washington, U.S.
Products PowerSlave

Lobotomy Software, Inc. was an American video game company, best known for their game PowerSlave (Exhumed in Europe and A.D. 1999: Pharaoh's Revival in Japan). They also developed the Sega Saturn ports of Quake and Duke Nukem 3D, both of which were successful.


Lobotomy Software was founded in 1993, when a group of friends working at Nintendo of America left to form their own company, becoming the Creative department of Lobotomy, with the engineering talent coming from Manley & Associates[1] (Manley & Associates was later acquired by Electronic Arts in 1996, renamed Electronic Arts Seattle, and subsequently shut down in 2002). They originally worked out of co-founder Paul Lange's apartment, but soon set up an office in Redmond, Washington. The team began working on various game demos, Joe Louis Boxing, Pigball, Hippie Man, and Ruins: Return of the Gods, the last of which later became the first-person shooter PC game, PowerSlave.

PowerSlave and ports[edit]

PowerSlave was similar to Doom, though it featured an Egyptian theme. The PC version ran on 3D Realms' Build engine (the same game engine that ran the PC version of Duke Nukem 3D).

PowerSlave received enough success to help Lobotomy Software secure a contract to port the game over to the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation. Lobotomy Software originally wanted to port PowerSlave from the PC to the Saturn and PlayStation with no changes. However, the weaker hardware of the consoles made this impossible. Instead, Lobotomy Software created their own fully 3D game engine known as SlaveDriver and decided to recreate PowerSlave with new level designs for the Saturn and PlayStation; the console versions of PowerSlave were a success. A game developed by Lobotomy Software member Ezra Dreisbach, Death Tank, could be unlocked in the Sega Saturn version of PowerSlave after fulfilling specific requirements.

Shortly after PowerSlave was released, Sega secured the rights from GT Interactive to publish Duke Nukem 3D and Quake. Sega originally handed the projects to two other developers, but were unhappy with their work. Once the media buzz around PowerSlave started to heat up, Sega saw potential in Lobotomy Software and let them work on the two games.

The Sega Saturn ports of Quake and Duke Nukem 3D both used the SlaveDriver engine and were well received. Lobotomy Software had ported Quake to the Sony PlayStation, but could not find a publisher, which exasperated their financial troubles.[2] In the Sega Saturn version of Duke Nukem 3D, an update/sequel to Death Tank, Death Tank Zwei, could be unlocked by fulfilling specific requirements in the game or by having a save game file from PowerSlave or Quake.


In 1998, Lobotomy Software was acquired by the now defunct Crave Entertainment and renamed Lobotomy Studios. The team worked on a Caesar's Palace gambling game for the Nintendo 64, but after a year of development, the game was postponed and eventually cancelled. At that point, Lobotomy Studios was closed and employees were let go or given the option to be relocated to another position at Crave Entertainment. The next title that the team would have worked on was a sequel to PowerSlave.[3]

Games developed as Lobotomy Software[edit]

  • Joe Louis Boxing (SNES boxing game demo)
  • Pigball (pinball game demo)
  • Hippie Man (side-scrolling platform game demo)
  • PowerSlave (Sega Saturn, PC, Sony PlayStation)
  • Death Tank (unlockable game in the Sega Saturn version of PowerSlave)
  • Quake (Sega Saturn port)
  • Duke Nukem 3D (Sega Saturn port)
  • Death Tank Zwei (unlockable game in the Sega Saturn version of Duke Nukem 3D)
  • PowerSlave 2 (cancelled)

Games developed as Lobotomy Studios[edit]

  • Caesar's Palace gambling game (Nintendo 64, cancelled)