Psygnosis

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Full name: Psygnosis Ltd
Established: 1984
Closed: 1999
Reason: Acquired by Sony (SCEE)
Website:

Exports of Liverpool include The Beatles, a popular music combo, Shergar, a successful racehorse and Psygnosis, a computer games company of some note.

Founded in 1984, Psygnosis pursued a two pronged strategy of producing graphically excellent games and taking young computer programmers under their wing. Both approaches produced mixed results. Shadow of the Beast was an intriguing platformer with ground breaking graphics. Theatre of Death was a poor strategy simulation that suffered from being released at the same time as Sensible Software's much better Cannon Fodder.

In 1991 Psygnosis published a game by DMA Design which put them both on the gaming map for ever. Lemmings was the first of the so called "save 'em up" type of games, where the player has to guide as many little creatures to the level exit as possible, while helping them to avoid the certain death that surrounds them. Lemmings spawned many sequels on many, many platforms.

When Psygnosis was acquired by the Sony Corporation in 1993, the company moved into a new phase of development and expansion. The company continued to support other platforms, including the Amiga, but it was clear where Sony's intentions lie; with the release of the Playstation, games for the new platform flew out of the Psygnosis studios, which began sprouting up around the UK and other countries. Destruction Derby and, most significantly, Wipeout helped the new platform to gather the respect it needed to break into the highly competitive console market.

Psygnosis continued to produce top selling titles for the Playstation, including hits such as G-Police, Colony Wars, and the inevitable Wipeout sequels, Wipeout 2097 and Wip3out keeping Psygnosis at the top of the computer games tree.

The end of Psygnosis came when, in 1999, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) completely absorbed the company. Psygnosis' head office in Liverpool and studios in Stroud, Camden and Leeds were rebranded as Sony Studio Liverpool, Stroud, Camden and Leeds, with other studios being closed.

Software Highlights from Credited Titles

Psygnosis's first work that SPOnG is aware of is the 1985 title, "Brattacas" (ST).

The company has been involved titles released on the PS3, PC, PS2, Power Mac, PSP, PlayStation, N64, Game Boy, Saturn, Sega Megadrive, SNES, Amiga, Amiga AGA, CD32, ST, 3DO, FM Towns, NEC PC Engine, Sega MegaCD, Sega Master System, NES, C64, Spectrum 48K, Sinclair Spectrum 128K, BBC/Electron and Amstrad CPC. Of these, "Wipeout 64" (N64) and "Lemmings" (PC) have been best selling titles.

The company's most recent involvement was on the 2006 release "Key of Heaven" (PSP).

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