In 1987 Peter Molyneux founded Bullfrog Productions, along with his then partner Les Edgar in Guildford, Surrey, England to develop an idea he had for a revolutionary new type of strategy game for home computers. This first game, Populous, went on to sell over 4 million copies. Molyneux's follow-up designs included hits like Powermonger, Syndicate, Magic Carpet and Dungeon Keeper. Each sold in excess of 500,000 copies and firmly established Bullfrog as one of the most innovative game design studios in the world. Another Molyneux title, Theme Park sold over 3.5 million copies and became a sensation in Japan.
In 1995 Molyneux sold Bullfrog to the world's largest computer games publisher, Electronic Arts. It was a deal, which made him a wealthy man. Though he was retained as MD of Bullfrog, working within a large corporation did not suit Molyneux's style. In early 1997 he announced he was leaving Bullfrog to set up a new venture: Lionhead Studios.
Within weeks of announcing his departure from Bullfrog, he was approached by most of the major players in the industry, including Sega, Nintendo and Eidos, with offers. The new venture was immediately in the news, with lengthy features on Lionhead and Molyneux himself appearing in all the leading UK trade and consumer magazines. Similar articles appeared in dozens of overseas publications. More recently, a "Lionhead Diary" feature has been successfully syndicated to leading games magazines in over 12 territories including all the major markets (USA, Japan, UK, Germany, France). It's combined monthly circulation is over 1.3 million readers.
Since it's formation Lionhead has been working on its first game Black & White, which is the most anticipated PC release of 2000. Lionhead has also grown into a thriving company of 28 people. While Peter believes that small is beautiful, he doesn't want Lionhead to become a one product every two years, small-scale development studio. Therefore, the company has set up it's own innovative satellite scheme. This arrangement allows talented, and creative development groups to work on their own projects, while having access to Lionheads technology and resources such as sound and music, PR and administration.
The new satellite development teams have a head start in getting their first projects off the ground. Although the satellites are very much responsible for the day-to-day development and direction of their projects, they also have the invaluable advice and guidance of Peter Molyneux.
To date there are three satellite groups: The first, Big Blue Box Studios is based in Godalming, Intrepid Games are based in London and Black & White Studios Ltd are close to Lionhead Studios in Guildford. This third satellite is set to work solely on conversions, extras, add-ons and ultimately a sequel to Black &White, whilst both Big Blue Box and Intrepid are hard at work on their first games.
Lionhead Studios represents a unique new model, allowing games to be developed in a small scale, creative, family style environment, whilst having a higher output of releases than the average small development house. Black & White, which is due for release later this year, has attracted a huge amount of interest and will prove that this is the best development model for original, innovative, but commercially successful games.
Lionhead's first work that SPOnG is aware of is the 2000 title, "Black & White" (Power Mac).
The company has been involved titles released on the Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360, PS2, Power Mac, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation and Dreamcast. Of these, "Black & White" (PC), "Fable: The Lost Chapters" (Xbox), "Fable II" (Xbox 360), "Fable" (Xbox), "Black and White 2" (PC) has been a best selling title.
The company's most recent involvement was on the 2015 release "Fable Legends" (Xbox One).
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|John Needham||CEO||23 Apr 13||-||...|
|Stuart Whyte||Executive Producer||1 Jun 04||-||...|
|Steve Goss||Art/Design Management|
|Andy Bass||Lead Artist||98||-||...|