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attic Entertainment Software GmbH

Overview

Attic was a German software developer founded in 1989 and closed in 2001. Attic was founded by Hans-Jürgen Brändle, Jochen Hamma and Guido Henkel in the German town of Albstadt. All were equal partners in terms of ownership over the company.

The company's logo showed the silhouette of a bat and was probably chosen in accordance with the name because -- like many other IT-firms -- the company started out with a small number of people working in their own home which then grew into a fully-fledged business.

The "golden" years
The young company collaborated with Starbyte Software (another now defunct German software company) who owned the license of Germany's most popular pen-and-paper RPG "Das Schwarze Auge" ("The Dark Eye"). This lead to Attic developing the famous "Nordlandtrilogie" ("Northlandtriolgy"), known outside Germany as "Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny", "Realms of Arkania: Star Trail" and "Realms of Arkania: Shadows over Riva", a series of computer role-playing games based upon said franchise. The games were very successful, received good press reviews and were also translated internationally which is how a bigger audience than just the German RPG players was able to dwell in the world of Aventuria.

Breaking up
In a 2002 interview with German magazine "PC Games", Guido Henkel said that he had grown tired of making the same kind of game over and over again while the other members wanted to keep "milking" the popular "The Dark Eye" brand since they still saw potential profit in it. Due to the high cost of licensing the brand, the company barely made a profit on the games although they sold well. This lead to a disagreement about the company's strategy. Soon after Guido Henkel left Attic the company was said to "go downhill".

Where are they now?
  • Guido Henkel left Attic for the USA were he met his future wife and focused on making games for mobile devices with his own company G3Studios.
  • Hans-Jürgen Brändle passed away in 2005 in Las Vegas.
  • Jochen Hamma still works in the games industry as a consultant, teacher and project leader. He educates students at the Berlin-based Games Academy and was the project leader on Spellbound Studios' PC games "Desperados 2" and its stand-alone Add-on "Helldorado".
The attic company website (www.attic.de) is now defunct and redirects to www.fantastic-realms.com which is hosted and owned by Jochen Hamma.

The future of "The Dark Eye"
As of 2006, a PC RPG based on "The Dark Eye" is being produced by German developer Radon Labs in Berlin. The game "Das Schwarze Auge: Drakensang" is considered to be the unofficial successor or sequel to the aforementioned trilogy and would be the fourth computer game based on the pen-and-paper RPG.

Trivia

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