Sunday, November 18, 2007

Virgin Interactive
Virgin Interactive was a successful and influential British video game publisher. It was formed as Virgin Games from the remnants of the large-scale 1980s label, Mastertronics, which was purchased by Virgin in 1987. It was part of the Virgin Group, and it was once considered the "Electronic Arts" of Europe. In 1994 it was renamed Virgin Interactive.
It published games for PC as well as other systems, including the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, C64 and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
It helped the career of many developers, including Westwood Studios and Synergistic. Also, many workers for Shiny Entertainment, including David Perry, worked for Virgin before splitting off to create Earthworm Jim. Also among Virgin Interactive alumni are famed video game composer Tommy Tallarico, artist Doug Ten Naplel, designer David Bishop, animator Bill Kroyer, animator/artists Andy Luckey and Mike Dietz and programmer Andy Astor.
In 1994 Virgin Interactive created the "Digicel" process, originally for an unpublished game called "Dynoblaze." Key to developing the process were Dr. Stephen Clarke-Wilson, David Perry, designer David Bishop, animator Bill Kroyer animator/artists Andy Luckey<animator Mike Dietz and programmer Andy Astor. The technology was first released to the general public in the Disney's Aladdin (video_game) for the Sega Genesis and, subsequently on such projects as the Lion King Video Game.
The Company's assets were acquired in 1999 by the French publisher Titus Software -- its name was changed to Avalon Interactive on July 1, 2003.
The British studio operations were acquired in a management buyout led by fomer Managing Director Tim Chaney in 1998. The U.S. operations were sold to Electronic Arts as part of its acquisition of Westwood Studios that same year.
Some popular games published by this company:

Doriath (1985)
Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future (1986)
Realms (1991)
Corporation (1991)
M.C. Kids (1991)
Global Gladiators (1992)
The 7th Guest (1992)
Disney's Aladdin (1993)
Cannon Fodder (1993)
Cool Spot (1993)
Lands of Lore series (1993)
Goal! (1994)
The Lion King (1994)
Command & Conquer (1995)
Hyper 3D Pinball (1995)
Zone Raiders (1995)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert (1996)
Resident Evil (Europe only) (1996)
Agile Warrior F-111X (1997)
Subspace (1997)
Resident Evil 2 (Europe only) (1998)
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (Europe only) (2000)
Project Justice (Europe only) (2001)

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