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RedLynx Ltd

Overview

RedLynx is a game development studio based in Helsinki, Finland and it is owned by Ubisoft. The origins date back to around 1997 when the brothers Atte Ilvessuo and Antti Ilvessuo established the independent game development studio Wah-Software. They created four games, both freeware and shareware, as well as a 3D engine, and Atte also joined Housemarque in 2000 for a part time job. In September 2000 Wah-Software announced a change of company structure and in November 2000 a separate studio Red Lynx Laboratories Ltd. was announced. It was officially established in August 2000. The variation Redlynx Laboratories Ltd was also used and the name was changed to RedLynx Ltd. in 2004. Red Lynx Laboratories would be used for all commercial projects, while Wah-Software would be maintained for freeware games. No more Wah-Software games were released however and most likely around 2002 the studio disappeared. Atte had the role of CEO and lead programmer, while Antti worked as art director and IT specialist. They were soon joined by 3D animator Saku Jalkanen from Zero Gravity Productions.

The studio developed its own 3D engine called Theatre Engine. Early JAVA games by the company are Micro Rowing (2000), Micro Fill-it (2000), Micro CaveQuest (2000), Micro Boxing (2000), Micro Basketball (2000), Basket2 (2000), Hunters' Club (2001) along with RollerCoaster and SkyFliing. Possibly the company initially worked together with Axentor Solutions for JAVA titles, a partnership announced when they still operated as Wah-Software. One of its first JAVA games that would later become the company's most important franchise was the stunt bike game Trials (2000).

Other projects are the browser games Moominpappa Goes Fishing! and Kimi Burning (2002) based on the F1 racer Kimi Räikkönen, and the TV SMS game Katapultti (Catapult - 2001). The sequel Catapult II was released in 2004. In 2002 two more TV SMS games for the Finnish TV channel SUBTV were launched as Bumber Cars (2002), a 3D game with cars that can be driven and crash into each other using SMS messages, and Astronaut 1: Earth Defender (2002), where Earth needs to be saved against invaders by launching astronauts through coordinates using SMS messages. The latter was also licensed to TV channels worldwide and in December 2002 the company made the complimentary Symbian game Astronaut along with the sequel Astronaut 2: Intergalactic Missions launched in November. At the end of 2002 the company contributed to the charity TV show Tahti Lapselle - A Star to a Child that collected funds for the Children's department of Lapland's central hospital in Finland. They created an application where Christmas greetings could be sent and were show on TV with an animation. This application too would in later years be licensed to many TV stations worldwide.

The studio continued its Wah-Software legacy of the Alien Phobia series with the release in 2002 of the third and final game in the series, the freeware title Phobia III. Red Lynx also contributed to the marketing campaign with animations and art of the mobile game Botfighters (2001) by It's Alive Mobile Games AB and they created animations for the first Assembly demo party event held in August 2001 in Helsinki, Finland as well as animations for TV (commercials). At the end of 2001 and early 2002 the studio created titles such as the browser downhill sledding game Pulkkamäki (Sled Slide - 2002), the skiing game DNA Spin (2002) and Cartoon Fishing (2002). Most of these projects were commissioned.

New games launched in 2003 include Mountains of Pharao, Bean-Stalk, Dodgeball, Formula Racing, Gold Rush, RallyX and Bulldozer. In that year the studio also revamped one of its earliest titles Trials for the first time as Trial Bike Basic followed by the sequel Trial Bike Pro.

The year 2004 was an important one for the company. By then the studio employed about 40 people, moved to a new premise in Helsinki, changed its name to RedLynx Ltd. and presented itself as an AAA developer. The CEO of the company was Tero Virtala. Games released in 2004 include Penalty Soccer, Misse & Murre in Space, Splash! and the TV game Dance Shakedown. On 13th September the company announced it would develop games exclusive for Nokia's new N-Gage phone/handheld. A first title Pathway to Glory was released in November and the sequel Pathway to Glory: Ikusa Islands in 2005. In the same year they also completed the turn-based N-Gage game High Seize.

Meanwhile RedLynx continued its broad activities in 2005 with two browser games, another entry in the Trials series called Trials Construction Yard, and the rollercoaster management game Fantasy Rollercoaster. They also created the TV games Be a Rap Star for a live TV show where lyrics to beats were sent using text messages, Hockey as a hockey match played against a TV host, animated characters called The Talking Heads for a TV chat show, and the TV show SchoolDay. The studio also launched the website FooGamers to play web based physics games.

In February 2006 the venture capital company 3i acquired a 12.5% stake in the company. In that year the company mainly focused on TV games with the interactive mind games Sudoku, WordCoiner, Minesweeper, WordSplinter and WordCoiner Final, as well as the football competition TV show Voittopotku.

In 2007 the company launched the dating service 247avec and returned to major game development. Even though its three N-Gage games were received favorably, the N-Gage platform lacked popularity. Its next title Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command was developed for PSP and Nintendo DS and launched in November 2007. It was met with mediocre reviews. RedLynx launched another game in the same month: RedLynx Trials 2: Second Edition, a new version of its long-running series. Launched on Windows with a limited web based version, it would become a worldwide success and there were updates the year after that expanded the content significantly. In 2008 three more games were released: Reset Generation (N-Gage / browser / J2ME) with cross-platform multiplayer, Scrabble (J2ME) and Monster Trucks Nitro (PC).

In 2009 three titles were released, the iOS games DrawRace and Monster Trucks Nitro II, and an Xbox 360 version of Trials 2 as Trials HD. Just like the PC version a lot of content was added afterwards through DLC and by May 2011 sales exceeded two million units. The success was celebrated in 2010 with the release of the game Trials Legends, offered for free to all Facebook fans of the series. It was created to capture the Trials experience of the first games in the series released between 2000 and 2005. Also in 2010 the Symbian location based top-down racing game Ovi Maps Racing was released.

In 2011 1000 Heroz (iOS), DrawRace 2 (iOS / Android) and MotoHeroz (WiiWare) were released. In November of that year the company was acquired by Ubisoft. From then on the focus was entirely on game development. In 2012 RedLynx released a new Trials game called Trials Evolution (Xbox 360) and the iOS game Nutty Fluffies Rollercoaster with an Android release in 2013. In 2013 the Xbox 360 Trials sequel was also released for the PC as Trials Evolution: Gold Edition.

The team is currently working on Trials Fusion (Xbox 360 / Xbox One / PlayStation 4 / PC) and the mobile adaptation Trials Frontier.


Contributed by Jouni Utriainen (20) on Nov 01, 2007. [revised by : Jason Bates (1) and Sciere (245358)].