OverviewTantalus Interactive Ptd. Ltd. was established in 1994 in Melbourne, Australia. The company worked on every major platform since the SNES, and often with established licenses such as SpongeBob SquarePants and the Olson twins. They started as a conversion house, adapting coin-op titles to console and PC (e.g. Manx TT SuperBike), and designing a cross-platform engine. They later starting porting between consoles, converting WipeOut (PSX) to other platforms, and working on Unreal II for the Xbox.
Their first original title was South Park Rally, completed for four platforms in just 7 months. Their first handheld game was ATV Quad Power Racing for the GameBoy Advance, and they released Space Race, their first PS2 game, the same year. They used two cross-platform engines: CRIS for handhelds, with skinned mesh rendering, and The Mercury Engine for new generation consoles. In its early years.
The developer’s best performing title was the 2007 girl’s horse riding simulator Pony Friends for the Nintendo DS which sold more than 1 million copies, making it the largest-selling single-format game developed in Australia.
During this time the companies in-house engine was updated to become Hydra, a multi-platform compiler and exporter that could export data from a single Maya file into multiple platforms.
In December 2008 Tantalus established an office in Brisbane at the time and across two offices employed just over 70 staff. During that time the studio worked on Disney/Pixar Cars: Race-O-Rama and MX vs ATV Reflex for the DS and PSP, as well as Pony Friends 2 for the Wii and DS. Shortly after the completion of Cars: Race-O-Rama (DS) in 2009 the Brisbane studio started work on the company's first digitally distributed title Drift Street International for the DSi. Meanwhile the Melbourne office worked on Megamind: The Blue Defender for PSP and DS, while also prototyping demos for 360, iPhone, and PS3.
During the last half of 2009, due to a shift in the games industry in Australia, Tantalus Media closed its Brisbane office, while also making much of the staff in the Melbourne office redundant. During the first half of 2010 the company was reduced to a staff of under 18. At a time when many Australian development studios were closing Tantalus seemed to weather the storm.
In the first half of 2011, the company has three new titles in development. The company currently focuses on handhelds, with titles for the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP and iPhone\iPad.
Also Known As
- Tantalus Interactive Pty. Ltd. (from 1994 to 2007)
- Tantalus Entertainment (from 1994 to 1996)
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Related Web Sites
- Tantalus Media Pty Ltd. (official website)