Rockstar Toronto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rockstar Games Toronto ULC
Rockstar Toronto
Formerly
  • Imagexcel (198?–1995)
  • Alternative Reality Technologies (1995–1999)
  • Rockstar Canada (1999–2002)
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
FoundedEarly 1980s
Headquarters,
Canada
Key people
Kevin Hoare (studio director)
Parent

Rockstar Games Toronto ULC (trade name: Rockstar Toronto; formerly Imagexcel, Alternative Reality Technologies, and Rockstar Canada) is a Canadian video game developer and a studio of Rockstar Games based in Oakville, Ontario. The company was established as Imagexcel in the early 1980s and developed more than fifteen games under that name, including Quarantine, which was published by GameTek in 1994. The publisher bought the studio's assets through its Alternative Reality Technologies subsidiary in March 1995 and then sold Alternative Reality Technologies to Take-Two Interactive in July 1997. The studio became part of Take-Two's Rockstar Games label as Rockstar Canada in 1999 and was renamed Rockstar Toronto in 2002 when Take-Two acquired Rockstar Vancouver. Under Rockstar Games, the studio developed the 2005 game The Warriors, based on the 1979 film of the same name, as well several ports, including the Windows versions of Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, Max Payne 3, and Grand Theft Auto V. In July 2012, Rockstar Vancouver was merged into Rockstar Toronto, which then moved into larger offices.

History[edit]

Rockstar Toronto was established as Imagexcel in the early 1980s, "before the time of He-Man".[2][3] The studio developed roughly fifteen games across multiple systems until 1995.[2] It began developing a proprietary game engine in 1993, as well as a complementary game in collaboration with GameTek in December that year. Rod Humble, as GameTek's executive producer, initially wrote a script titled Bloods that revolved around gang warfare. When the company sent a revision thereof to Imagexcel, the studio reworked the concept into what became Quarantine. Humble considered the new version a "far surperior game".[4] In October 1994, Imagexcel comprised programmer and managing partner Kevin Hoare, programmers Ed Zolnieryk and Andy Brownbill, and artists Greg Bick and Ray Larabie.[2][4] GameTek released the game in the same month.[4] On 9 March 1995, the publisher announced its acquisition Imagexcel's assets through a newly founded subsidiary, Alternative Reality Technologies. The transaction included Quarantine's engine, which GameTek intended to use in other games. Hoare, Zolnieryk, Bick, and Larabie formed the core of GameTek's Canadian development operations.[2][5] After the acquisition, the studio was also referred to as GameTek Canada.[6]

Take-Two Interactive bought several assets from GameTek in July 1997, including Alternative Reality Technologies, GameTek's European offices, and distribution rights for games including Dark Colony.[7] The Alternative Reality Technologies team became part of Take-Two's Rockstar Games label in 1999 as Rockstar Canada.[8] The studio then created two expansion packs for the 1997 game Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 and London 1961, both released in 1999.[9] It developed ports of Rockstar Games' Oni and Max Payne for the PlayStation 2 that were released in 2001.[10][11] When Take-Two acquired Barking Dog Studios and renamed it Rockstar Vancouver in August 2002, Rockstar Canada was renamed Rockstar Toronto to avert confusion between the two.[12] At the same time, Take-Two announced that Rockstar Toronto was working on a video game adaptation of the 1979 film The Warriors.[13] The eponymous game was first shown at E3 2005 before being released in October that year.[14][15] A spiritual successor, internally known as We Are the Mods, was planned at the time.[16][17] After The Warriors, Rockstar Toronto developed further ports: It brought Manhunt 2 and Bully: Scholarship Edition to the Wii,[18][19] and Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, and Max Payne 3 to Windows.[20][21]

In July 2012, Rockstar Games announced Rockstar Toronto would be moving into larger, custom-built offices within Oakville, Ontario. Rockstar Vancouver was merged into Rockstar Toronto and the former's thirty-five employees were given the option to relocated to Rockstar Toronto or any other Rockstar Games studio.[22][23] The Government of Ontario contributed CA$2 million to this expansion.[24] Jennifer Kolbe, Rockstar Games' vice-president of publishing and operations, stated creating a single Canadian team that would "make for a powerful creative force on future projects", while making room for fifty new positions at the studio.[25][26] In November 2012, Rockstar Toronto's legal entity was briefly renamed from Rockstar Toronto Inc. to Rockstar Games Toronto Inc. and then transformed to Rockstar Games Toronto ULC, an unlimited liability corporation under the laws of British Columbia.[27][28]

Rockstar Toronto later ported Grand Theft Auto V to Windows. This version was initially scheduled to be released alongside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions in 2014. The port was delayed to April 2015, which the studio attributed to optimizations and the integration of a built-in video editor, which is exclusive to this release. Rockstar Games referred to the Windows port as the game's "ultimate" edition.[29][30] On 24 December 2020, CA$66,000 worth of computer equipment and accessories were stolen from Rockstar Toronto's offices. The items had just been delivered and not yet received by the company. The incident was the first in a string of robberies in Oakville that continued until 23 January 2021. The suspect, a 30-year-old woman, was arrested on 25 January.[31][32]

Games developed[edit]

List of games developed by Rockstar Toronto, 1994–present
Year Title Platform(s) Publisher(s) Notes
1994 Quarantine 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, MS-DOS, PlayStation, Sega Saturn GameTek
1996 Quarantine II: Road Warrior MS-DOS Mindscape, GameTek
1997 Dark Colony Classic Mac OS, Windows Strategic Simulations
1999 Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 MS-DOS, PlayStation, Windows Rockstar Games
Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 MS-DOS, Windows
2001 Oni PlayStation 2 Port development
Max Payne Port development
2005 The Warriors PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox
2007 Manhunt 2 Wii Port development
2008 Bully: Scholarship Edition Port development
Grand Theft Auto IV Windows Port development
2010 Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Port development
2012 Max Payne 3 Port development
2015 Grand Theft Auto V Port development
2018 Red Dead Redemption 2 PlayStation 4, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One Developed as part of Rockstar Studios

Cancelled[edit]

  • We Are the Mods

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cundy, Matt (3 June 2010). "5 iconic game company logos that must not be messed with". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on 24 January 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "GameTek's Alternative Reality Technology division acquires Imagexcel, opens Canadian office" (Press release). GameTek. 9 March 1995. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018 – via The Free Library.
  3. ^ "Home". Rockstar Canada. Archived from the original on 29 April 2001. Rockstar Games Canada has been in the videogame busines for more than several years ; Since before the time of He-Man™.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ a b c Scotford, Laurence (October 1994). "Blueprint: Quarantine". PC Zone. No. 19. Dennis Publishing. pp. 30–31. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  5. ^ McCash, Vicki (10 March 1995). "Chief financial officer resigns at GameTek". South Florida Sun Sentinel. p. 1D. Archived from the original on 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "GameTek". Consoles + (in French). No. 41. March 1995. p. 52. Retrieved 3 October 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  7. ^ Johnston, Chris (31 July 1997). "GameTek Assets Sold to Take 2". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 1 December 1998.
  8. ^ "Studio". Rockstar Toronto. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. The team responsible for the cult classics Road Warrior and Quarantine joined the Rockstar family in 1999.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ Zwiezen, Zack (19 January 2017). "Ranking The Grand Theft Auto Games, From Worst To Best". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  10. ^ Olafson, Peter (25 January 2001). "GAME THEORY; Guns, And Fists, for Hire". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  11. ^ Bye, John (4 August 2001). "Payne gets some consolation". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Take-Two Acquires Barking Dog Studios". Gamasutra. 2 August 2002. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Come Out to Play-i-ay". IGN. 1 August 2002. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  14. ^ Dunham, Jeremy (12 May 2005). "Pre-E3 2005: The Warriors: From Film to Game". IGN. Archived from the original on 17 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  15. ^ "The Warriors". GamesRadar+. 14 October 2005. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  16. ^ Good, Owen (16 April 2011). "Rockstar Had Planned a 'Spiritual Successor' to The Warriors". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  17. ^ Kubba, Sinan (23 May 2013). "The Warriors rages onto PSN next week as PS2 Classic". Engadget. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  18. ^ Kuchera, Ben (8 February 2007). "Manhunt 2 coming to the PS2, PSP, and... Wii?". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  19. ^ Anderson, Luke (21 January 2008). "Bully: Scholarship Edition Impressions". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  20. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (10 July 2012). "Rockstar Expands Max Payne 3 Studio". IGN. Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  21. ^ Roberts, Samuel (11 April 2015). "Rockstar talk 4K, PC performance and more". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 7 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  22. ^ Lien, Tracey (9 July 2012). "Rockstar expands Toronto studio, closes Vancouver studio". Polygon. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  23. ^ Schramm, Mike (9 July 2012). "Rockstar Vancouver studio closed, staff asked to join new facility in Toronto". Engadget. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  24. ^ Ore, Jonathan (20 August 2013). "Splinter Cell: Blacklist a high-stakes gamble for Ontario video game scene". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 3 October 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  25. ^ Williams, Mike (10 July 2012). "Rockstar Vancouver closes, shuffles employees to Toronto". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  26. ^ Purchese, Robert (10 July 2012). "Rockstar closing Max Payne 3 studio in Vancouver". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Corporate Registry Notices – November 29, 2012". BC Laws. 29 November 2012. Archived from the original on 25 October 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  28. ^ "Corporate Registry Notices – November 29, 2012". BC Laws. 29 November 2012. Archived from the original on 25 October 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  29. ^ Edwards, Tim (8 April 2015). "Hands on with GTA V on PC: the "ultimate" port". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  30. ^ Makuch, Eddie (9 April 2015). "GTA 5 PC Is the "Ultimate" Version". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  31. ^ Mitchell, Don (27 January 2021). "Woman accused of crime spree in Oakville faces slew of charges: police". Global News. Archived from the original on 3 October 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  32. ^ Lugris, Mark (30 January 2021). "Woman Steals $66,000 Worth Of Equipment From Rockstar In Greater Toronto Area". TheGamer. Archived from the original on 3 October 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2021.