Train2Game News Rebellion hits 25th birthday


Happy birthday Rebellion! 

The independent UK studio behind Sniper Elite, Battlezone and Zombie Army Trilogy has hit the big milestone, celebrating its 25th birthday this week.

To give this context, Rebellion was formed by Jason and Chris Kingsley on 4th December 1992. It was a time when Mega Drive and SNES were doing battle on the pages of CVG. When Home Alone 2: Lost In New York was just a week away from its long-awaited cinema release. When ‘Would I Lie To You’ by Charles & Eddie stormed up the UK charts.

Yes, people actually bought that single in droves. Truly, they were strange times.

But more importantly, it was also the start of a long and successful journey for Rebellion. From the humble beginnings of Eye of the Storm to the co-op adventuring of Strange Brigade, Rebellion’s story has seen the studio offer gamers new experiences through VR tank showdowns, zombie Hitler battles and the chance to snipe testicles from three postcodes away.

Rebellion’s pop-culture influence even reaches beyond gaming now, as the studio has also become the custodian of all things 2000 AD and Judge Dredd, while Rebellion Publishing pushes the coolest authors and artists from the fringes of counterculture.

As part of Rebellion’s celebrations this week, here are 25 facts about the UK studio… and here’s to the next 25 years!

1) Rebellion was founded in 1992 in Oxford by two brothers – Jason and Chris Kingsley

2) The iconic Rebellion logo was inspired by the Solidarity logo used by the Polish trade union of the same name.

3) The name ‘Rebellion’ comes from the Kingsleys wanting a name to represent how they would ‘do things slightly differently’

4) Five people worked on Rebellion’s first game, Eye of the Storm, compared to Rebellion’s current team sizes of typically up

5) Jason and Chris Kingsley were among the first three people in Europe to hear about the Atari Jaguar

6) Rebellion has developed games for a number of well-known franchises including Aliens vs Predator, James Bond, Harry Potter, The Simpsons and Star Wars

7) Rebellion has developed over 85 games to date

8) Rebellion’s biggest-selling licensed game is The Simpsons Game

9) Rebellion’s biggest-selling original game is Sniper Elite V2

10) Rebellion has 32 platform number 1 games to its name

11) In 2000, Rebellion bought 2000AD

12) Rebellion has made 10 acquisitions throughout its history, including 2000AD and Elixir Studios

13) Over 200 issues of the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine have been published under Rebellion’s aegis

14) Over 800 issues of the weekly 2000AD comic have been published under Rebellion’s aegis

15) Rebellion has published over 1,000 books to date

16) Jason and Chris Kingsley were Producers on the 2012 Dredd film starring Karl Urban

17) Jason and Chris Kingsley are Producers on the new Judge Dredd: Mega City One TV series

18) Rebellion uses its own development engine, ‘Asura’

19) Rebellion has won four awards as a studio, including Best Independent Studio in 2017…

20) …while Rebellion has also won 28 awards for its games, on top of the many awards won by 2000 AD and Rebellion Publishing.

21) Rebellion has developed for 35 different gaming platforms including Amiga, Wii and PlayStation VR

22) Rebellion has over 200 staff across their studios

23) Rebellion is one of the UK’s largest fully independent studios

24) Jason Kingsley was awarded an OBE due to his ‘services to the economy’

25) Jason and Chris Kingsley created the computer graphics for the Adamski’s ‘Killer’ music video featuring Seal

Train2Game News Celebrate retro gaming

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Help Celebrate 30 Years of Super Mario at the Centre for Computing History.

Whilst Xbox One’s and Playstation 4’s strive ahead with high definition graphics, immersive online gameplay, and seductive surround sound scores, there are some people that see through the gloss and yearn for the simple 8-bit tunes and addictive 16-colour graphics of their childhoods.

With Mario turning 30 years old (yes really!) and the Sony Playstation turning 20 the Centre for Computing History is holding a special Retro Gaming Night on September 25th that celebrates all that is wonderful about those simple video games of yesteryear.

Adrian Page-Mitchell, volunteer at the museum said “Our retro gaming nights have been attracting more and more people with each event. They’re a really great mix of people – both young and old(er) – who have a shared experience of gaming and enjoy the opportunity to talk about, and re-play, the games that once rocked their world!”

It’s not just for guys – a recent poll showed that 52% of gamers are women. With the rise of gaming on social media platforms and mobile devices video games are now played in stolen moments on the train, waiting for a meeting, or making the most of a lunch break.

The games created specifically for these platforms need to be non-gender specific and just as playable in 5 or 30 minutes, or even more. Game developers turn back to the classic games of the 80s for inspiration and you can see elements of those games in the some of the most popular online games today.

Simplicity is king. Games like Flappy Bird are ingeniously simple yet insanely addictive and rooted in the easy to understand (but hard to master) gameplay of games you may have played on your Sinclair ZX Spectrum back in ‘82. In fact Flappy Bird is such a simple game that a version has recently been written for the Sinclair ZX81 and is on display at the museum!

Flappy Bird is even used to show a new generation of potential game designers how to create a game in a modern programming system called Scratch. Children at school use Scratch to learn the fundamentals of programming and can create a simple game in a single lesson.

So have the retro games had their day now multi-million pound block busters like Call of Duty rule current gen consoles? It would seem not. There is just as much love for Pacman and Mario as there ever was, in fact with a new generation discovering the classics there is now even more!

If you’re missing your old Sega Megadrive, Nintendo SNES, or Sony Playstation the forthcoming retro gaming night at the Centre for Computing History could just be the answer. With possibly the most complete collection of game consoles and over 8000 games in the archive, you’ll have the chance to play not only on the consoles you remember but also the ones you lusted after!

The event on the 25th September opens at 7pm and is open to anyone above the age of 18.

Booking is essential. Visit www.ComputingHistory.org.uk to book online.