|Core Design #168 |
Games developed: 13
Games published: 9
Period: 1989 - 2001
Excerpt from the excellent AARGH's Core Design page:
Four Derby based developers - Andy Green (programmer), Chris Shrigley (programmer), Rob Toone (designer) and Terry Lloyd (artist) - working for Gremlin Graphics managed to persuade Gremlin boss Ian Stewart to open an office in Derby to save the daily commute up to Sheffield. Gremlin Derby was established and a few other names were added to the mix; Greg Holmes (programmer/manager), David Pridmore (programmer), Stu Gregg (programmer), Bob Churchill (artist/designer) and Simon Phipps (artist/programmer).
1988 was a difficult time for many software companies, the move towards 16-bit computers meant that Spectrum and C64 games suddenly looked a lot less cool. Gremlin went through some financial difficulties and decided to rationalise by closing Gemlin Derby. Kev Norburn, Greg Holmes and Jeremy Smith - Gremlin's old Marketing person and a former salesman at the electronics chain Curry's - offered to take over Gremlin Derby and launched it as Core Design.
Although Core continued to write games for the 8-bits, it became clear that the company's focus would be for the then cutting edge Amiga and Atari ST. The first release was the hugely successful Rick Dangerous - a cartoon style plaformer parodying the Indiana Jones films.
Further internal reshuffles saw Jeremy Smith buy Kev Norburn's and Greg Holmes' share of the company. Kev left Core shortly after.
When the Amiga's market share began to fall, Core began to convert games to the PC and Sega MegaDrive. The sometimes over-protective Japanese giant meant that some of Core's humour had to be toned down. The original Amiga version of Chuck Rock had a section where the hero had to dodge droppings as they fell from a giant dinosaurs umm... posterior. Sega felt that this was unsuitable and ordered that it be cut from the MegaDrive version. Ripping a spine clean out your best mate when playing Mortal Kombat was fine - but cartoon style Dino doo-doo? No way...
Despite these restrictions, MegaDrive sales took an increasingly large percentage of the company's sales and Core developed a close working relationship with Sega, and Core's Thunderhawk was just about the only decent game for Sega's ill-fated MegaCD."
Core Design was bought out by Eidos Interactive, along with US Gold, in 1997. The company now ceases to exist as an independent company.
Related companies: SEGA, GremlinRelated companies: SEGA Gremlin