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Psygnosis Limited

Overview

Psygnosis was a British video game developer and publisher. The company was founded in Liverpool in 1984 from the ashes of Imagine, and initially developed games (mostly in the action genre) for Amiga and Atari ST.

After their initial success with their early games, such as Brataccas, Psygnosis' biggest hit came with Lemmings, released in 1991 and spawned many sequels. This success led to the acquisition of the company by Sony Corp. on May 23, 1993.

After the acquisition, in early 1995, Psygnosis retreated from the Amiga market, and just after several months, in September 1995, Psygnosis released WipeOut. WipeOut was Psygnosis' second biggest hit, after Lemmings. Like Lemmings, WipeOut has spawned many sequels.

Just after WipeOut was released, in late 1995, Psygnosis abandoned development on 16-bit platforms, leaving some games, like the Genesis port of Bill's Tomato Game, unreleased.

Psygnosis also operated two labels: Psyclapse and Sizzlers. Psyclapse was a publishing label, and Sizzlers was a budget label, responsible for re-releasing old Psygnosis games. Both labels disappeared in the early 90's. The last of its subsidiaries was a studio, called Wheelhaus, closed in 1999-2000.

In late 1998, Eidos Interactive bought Psygnosis' European operations. Psygnosis' US operations were folded into Sony's own development outfit, 989 Studios. Finally, in 2000, Psygnosis (as a Sony brand) abandoned the PC game market for good, with all games that in development at the time were either cancelled, moved to PlayStation, or licensed to different publishers. All US studios closed. The UK studios were absorbed by SCEE, renamed SCE Studio Liverpool and became part of the SCE Worldwide Studios. The last game released under Psygnosis name and logo was Team Buddies, developed by Studio Camden.

Trivia

Their official homepage used to be at http://www.psygnosis.com/

Related Web Sites

  • The Purple Owl (A quality fan site dedicated to Psygnosis and its more well-received games. As of the time of this writing, it is still in the beginning stages, but the History page is particularly well-done.)
  • Wikipedia (The Psygnosis company profile at Wikipedia)


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