Relentless Software

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Relentless Software
IndustryVideo game industry
FounderDavid Amor
Andrew Eades
Key people
Andrew Eades
(chief executive officer)
Bruce Heather
(chief technical officer)
Chris Gorsuch
(business development manager)
Ricard Reixach
(product lead)
Martijn van der Meulen
(product lead)
Michael Hyland
Number of employees

Relentless Software was a British video game company formed in 2003 that was based in Brighton. The company was best known for developing 12 games in the BAFTA award winning and multi-million selling Buzz! franchise from 2005 to 2010. Relentless released its first self-published title, Blue Toad Murder Files on PC and PSN in 2009 and Quiz Climber Rivals, for iPhone in 2011. Relentless has also developed Air Band and Mutation Station, for the Kinect Fun Labs series. In 2012 it released Kinect Nat Geo TV, after which co-founder David Amor left the studio. In 2014 the studio released Murder Files: The Enigma Express on iOS, Google Play, Google Chrome and Kindle Fire. In 2016 the studio was shut down. The studio was working on an unannounced title for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One before closure.


Relentless timeline
2004DJ: Decks & FX
2005Buzz!: The Music Quiz
2006Buzz!: The Big Quiz
2007Buzz!: The Mega Quiz
Buzz!: The Hollywood Quiz
2008Buzz!: The Schools Quiz
Buzz!: The Pop Quiz
Buzz!: Quiz TV
Buzz!: Master Quiz
2009Buzz!: Brain of...
Buzz!: Quiz World
Blue Toad Murder Files
2010Buzz!: The Ultimate Music Quiz
Buzz!: Quiz Player
2011Quiz Climber Rivals
Air Band
Mutation Station
2012Kinect Nat Geo TV
2013Murder Files
2014Murder Files: The Enigma Express

Relentless Software was founded in 2003 by David Amor & Andrew Eades, who had previously worked together at the Brighton office of Computer Artworks.[1]

Computer Artworks had been in the process of creating a DJ simulation game for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), but the company went into receivership in October 2003[2] before the title could be completed. Amor and Eades persuaded SCEE that they could set up a company and complete the DJ project for them. Much to their shock, SCEE agreed and Relentless was set up just 36 hours after their meeting with SCEE.[1]

The company name arose from Amor & Eades ambition to develop video games in a different way to the perceived norms of the industry. They wanted development to be a steady flow of work rather than the more normal cycle of a slow start leading to a project ending with long "crunch" periods. They typed unstoppable into an online thesaurus and of the synonyms returned they chose Relentless as the company name.[1]

Whilst Relentless were completing work on the DJ simulator - that had by now been named DJ: Decks & FX - they also carried out the conversion of an SCEE published title, EyeToy: Groove, for the Japanese market. DJ: Decks & FX was released in September 2004 and was nominated in the audio category of the 2004 BAFTA awards.[3] More conversion work for SCEE followed, with the conversion of SingStar Popworld for the Swedish and Norwegian markets.

Buzz! (2004 - 2010)[edit]

In 2004 SCEE were approached by a company called SleepyDog who had secured the rights to a large number of music tracks and wanted Sony to use them as the basis of a quiz game.[1] SCEE approached Relentless and asked them to design a quiz game using the music that Sleepydog had the rights for. Relentless ditched the idea Sony had presented them with, a board game on a screen, and instead developed the game along the lines of the player being in a TV studio, actually taking part in a TV quiz show. Buzz!: The Music Quiz was released in the run-up to Christmas 2005. Initially the game sold poorly, so poorly that Sony considered cancelling further titles in the series, but over Christmas sales dramatically picked up, so much so that Buzz!: The Music Quiz eventually sold over 1 million copies.[4]

A sequel, Buzz! The Big Quiz quickly followed in March 2006 and its sales kept it in the PlayStation 2 UK top 20 for a whole year.[5] In July 2006 Relentless and SCEE were joint winners of two Develop Industry awards. Winning Best New Intellectual Property for Buzz! and the Best Innovation category for the Buzz buzzers.[6] Greater recognition arrived later in the year at the BAFTA Video Games awards, where Buzz! The Big Quiz, won the BAFTA award for Best Casual and Social Game.[7]

Further Buzz! titles followed in 2007, along with an educational version of the series. Relentless had been trialling an educational version of Buzz! in schools and after a successful trial a full version - Buzz!: The Schools Quiz - was developed in association with the UK Government's Department for Education and Skills (DfES), with the game's 5,000 questions being based on the Key Stage 2 Curriculum that covers children between the ages of 7 and 11 years.[8]

In total Relentless developed 13 titles in the Buzz! series which accumulated total sales of over 10 million.[9]

Self-publishing (2009 - 2013)[edit]

In 2009 Relentless repositioned the company so that as well as developing for external publishers it would also publish its own titles as well. July 2009 saw Relentless announce their first self-published game, Blue Toad Murder Files. The episodic game was released for the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Store in December 2009.[10][11] Along with the release of a PC version at a later date. The 1-4 player game leans towards TV murder mysteries with "witnesses, alibis [and] motives" rather than being a logic puzzle like Cluedo.[12] As of July 2012, the game had sold over half a million copies, with the free episodes taking the downloaded total to 827,000.[13]

Relentless returned to its quiz heritage with its next title, Quiz Climber, an iPhone game that was released in July 2011 [14] and renamed and updated in December 2011 as Quiz Climber Rivals. It pits players against friends in a test of knowledge. Correctly answering as many consecutive questions as possible to climb the quiz tree, with questions growing in difficulty the further players progress.

The game was Relentless' first title following its restructuring to a digital release only, multi-platform developer.[15]

In May 2011 Relentless announced a deal with PlayJam to create content for their TV based gaming network.[16]

Relentless released two titles for Microsoft's Kinect Fun Labs series in 2011. Air Band (formally known as Music in Motion) is an augmented reality gadget that allows users to play virtual musical instruments.[17] The second title Mutation Station is set in a mad scientist's lab and uses morphing of the Kinect video feed to transform players' appearances.[18]

In 2012 Relentless announced Kinect Nat Geo TV which combines National Geographic wildlife films with interactive entertainment using Kinect.[19]

Self-publishing (2013 - Current)[edit]

After the release of Kinect Nat Geo TV, co-founder David Amor left the studio. In 2014 Relentless released Murder Files: The Enigma Express on iOS, Google Play, Google Chrome and Kindle Fire. The studio is currently working on The Trace for iOS and Google Play, as well as an unannounced title for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Company culture[edit]

Relentless was notable amongst video game developers in that it never had a crunch period during the development of its games.[9] The company used to operate on a 9 to 5 basis with no overtime or weekend working.[20]


Year Title
2004 DJ Decks & FX
2005 Buzz!: The Music Quiz
2006 Buzz!: The Big Quiz
2007 Buzz!: The Mega Quiz
Buzz!: The Hollywood Quiz
2008 Buzz!: The Schools Quiz
Buzz!: The Pop Quiz
Buzz!: Quiz TV
Buzz!: Master Quiz
Buzz!: Brain Bender
2009 Buzz!: Brain of...
Buzz!: Quiz World
Blue Toad Murder Files
2010 Buzz!: The Ultimate Music Quiz
Buzz!: Quiz Player[21]
2011 Quiz Climber Rivals
Air Band
Mutation Station
2012 Kinect Nat Geo TV
2013 Murder Files
2014 Murder Files: The Enigma Express
2015 The Trace


  • 2006 BAFTA for Buzz!: The Big Quiz. Casual and Social Game category[7]
  • 2006 Develop Award in conjunction with SCEE in the category Best New Intellectual Property for Buzz![6]
  • 2006 Develop Award in conjunction with SCEE in the category Best Innovation for Buzz buzzers[6]


  • 2004 BAFTA Nomination in Audio category forDJ Decks & FX: House Edition[3]
  • 2007 Develop Award Nomination for Business Development
  • 2007 Develop Award Nomination for Independent Developer


  1. ^ a b c d Simons, Iain (2007). Inside Game Design. Laurence King Publishing. pp. 107–113. ISBN 978-1-85669-532-9.
  2. ^ "Computer Artworks goes into receivership". Eurogamer. 24 October 2003. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Bafta Games Nominations 2004: Audio category". BAFTA. 2004. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
  4. ^ Elliott, Phil (24 April 2008). "David Amor - Still Buzzing". Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  5. ^ "Buzz!: The BIG Quiz". Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  6. ^ a b c Loveday, Samantha (13 July 2006). "Big night for development talent". Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Games Nominations 2006". BAFTA. 2006. Retrieved 1 February 2006.
  8. ^ Bramwell, Tom (11 January 2007). "Buzz!: The Schools Quiz". Eurogamer. Retrieved 11 January 2007.
  9. ^ a b "FEATURE: Relentless, Buzz! and Social Gaming". 8 May 2008. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  10. ^ Robert Purchese (14 July 2009). "Relentless reveals non-Buzz! venture PlayStation 3 News - Page 1". Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  11. ^ "Relentless Software". Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  12. ^ Stuart, Keith (1 July 2009). "Tech Weekly: Develop videogames conference special" (Podcast). Retrieved 31 July 2009. Cluedo's quite, sort of a logic puzzle really. We were kind of looking to recreate the kind of experience that people are used to with seeing TV shows like Midsomer Murders, Agatha Cristie type stuff where there are witnesses, alibis, motives, more that kind of style.
  13. ^ "We love Blue Toad!". 24 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  14. ^ Robert Purchese (16 February 2011). "Relentless Software reveals Quiz Climber News - iPhone - Page 1". Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Report – Relentless lays off 20 staff following restructure". VG247. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  16. ^ "News - Buzz! Developer Relentless Signed For PlayJam TV Games". Gamasutra. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  17. ^ Stuart, Keith (19 August 2011). "Gamescom 2011: Microsoft Kinect and dashboard goodies | Technology |". Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  18. ^ "Relentless Software". Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  19. ^ Batchelor, James (27 June 2012). "Kinect Nat Geo TV | games industry | MCV". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  20. ^ Fahey, Rob (10 November 2005). "Focus: Relentless puts its finger on the Buzz!". Retrieved 12 August 2008.
  21. ^ "Relentless Software". Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.

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