OverviewDæsign is a multimedia studio with offices in Annecy and Paris (France). It was founded in September 1994 as In Visio, SARL in Annecy. Initially it worked together with French broadcasting company Canal+ to create multimedia products and edutainment. With the introduction of the CD-ROM, In Visio was involved with various products such as Les 10 ans de Canal+, working on the graphic design and the interface. The first games were based on the license Les Guignols de l'Info and were aimed at young children. About 250,000 copies of the first game were sold. In July 1995 the company employed seventeen people, including five programmers and five artists. The company was led by Jean-Noël Portugal.
In 1997 the name was changed to Dramæra, as In Visio faced a lawsuit by the American company Visio Corporation over a similar name. The studio started work in 1998 on an ambitious game called The Insider. A contract was signed with distributor Canal+Multimédia, but the relationship ended in March 2000 when it became apparent Canal+ did not believe in the project.
The company then signed a contract with index+ in June 2000 with an investment for the game and an additional financial promise to cover the costs to port the game to the PlayStation 2. The companies knew each other well, as Réunion des Musées Nationaux had tasked Dramæra to create the game Paris 1313: The Mystery of Notre-Dame Cathedral, published by index+. It was released in 1999.
A few weeks after the contract however, index+ was sold to Wanadoo Edition. The relationship quickly deteriorated when Wanadoo decided to focus on more mainstream products. The Insider, the project Dramæra had been working since 1998 with an investment of € 900,000, was to be turned into a classic adventure game with a new team. Jean-Noël Portugal refused and because of this the studio ran into financial troubles at the end of 2001. Infogrames showed interest into a reorganized company, but eventually it was the investment of François Salomon that brought the studio back on track. The company was relaunched in February 2002 as Dæsign. In agreement with Wanadoo, Dæsign remained owner of all developed technology and the artistic assets were divided: Dæsign (62%), Canal+Multimédia (30%) and Wanadoo Edition (8%).
After the reorganization, the company no longer worked on games.
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