On the fourth day, Peter Molyneux OBE created the God game. Well, it probably took longer than that, but when Guildford’s Lionhead Studios released Populous, it forged a new genre. More recently its devs dreamed up the Xbox’s Fable series and helped get things moving with Kinect.
Before being swallowed up by EA where they now produce the Need For Speed games, Criterion gave birth to the fun grown-up racing genre with the bumper crushing, hectic lane-weaving Burnout. They also created Renderware, a game creation tool used by other developers, including Rockstar, for their infamous GTA series.
GoldenEye 007 (1997)
Formerly known as Ultimate Play The Game, Twycross-based Rare has unleashed gem after gem upon the gaming masses over the past few decades, including the legendary GoldenEye on the N64, Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong country. No wonder Nintendo bought a stake in the company and Microsoft took them under their well-financed wing. Rare indeed.
We don’t know what the devs at Team 17 were smoking when they created a game in which earthworms were given a host of heavy artillery, but it worked wonders. The Wakefield games outfit has created little else to match its warmongering invertebrates, but it didn’t have to.
SCE Studio Liverpool began life as Psygnosis back in 1984, and went on to produce legendary classics including Shadow of the Beast. Recent successes come in the form of the eye-bleedingly futuristic WipEout racing series in which our puny mortal reflexes had to navigate hovering racing ships at ridiculous speeds whilst avoiding and firing projectiles.