John Pickford was born in Stockport, near Manchester, UK, in 1967, and became interested in home computers aged 13, teaching himself to program in BASIC on a Sinclair ZX81. John sold his first commercial game, Ghost Town
, to Virgin Games
while still at High School, then left to join the newly formed proto-developer Binary Design
as their ZX Spectrum programmer in 1986, designing and programming home computer games like Glider Rider
Forming Zippo Games
with his brother Ste Pickford
in the late 1980s, John helped create NES classics such as Solar Jetman
, before selling up and turning the studio into Rare Manchester.
John joined Software Creations
in the early 1990s, becoming senior Producer and designing SNES classics such as Equinox
and Maximum Carnage
, before leaving to form the studio Zed Two
once again with his brother in 1996, where he co-created Wetrix
, Aqua Aqua
and Future Tactics
In October 2006, he founded The Pickford Brothers
along with his brother Ste. The company is more like a laboratory than a studio, and they create original game concepts and new video game IP. Their first self-funded indie video game is Naked War
. They also work with established developers on new game concepts based on existing IP. At the same time, the two founded the licensing and publishing venture, Zee-3
, a virtual company to exclusively publish and distribute all new Pickford Brothers games over the internet, as well as license their IP for other video game platforms and other media.
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- Nobody Shooter (2008),
- Future Tactics: The Uprising (2004), Crave Entertainment, Inc.
- Taz Express (2000), Infogrames Europe SA
- Wetrix (1998), Ocean Software Ltd.
- Cutthroat Island (1996), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
- Foreman for Real (1995), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
- The Simpsons: Bart & the Beanstalk (1994), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
- Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994), Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
- The Tick (1994), Fox Interactive, Inc.
- Tin Star (1994), Nintendo of America Inc.
- Blaster Master 2 (1993), Sun Corporation of America
- Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Quest (1993), SunSoft
- Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Roar of the Beast (1993), Sun Corporation of America
- Equinox (1993), Sony Music Entertainment (Japan), Inc.
- Plok (1993), Tradewest, Inc.
- Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (1993), THQ Inc.
- Tom & Jerry (1991), Hi-Tech Expressions, Inc.
- Cabal (1990), Milton Bradley Co.
- Gazza II (1990), Empire Software
- Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship (1990), Tradewest, Inc.
- Amaurote (1987), Mastertronic Ltd.
- Bubble Bobble (1987), Firebird Software Ltd.
- Feud (1987), Mastertronic Ltd.
- Rasterscan (1987), Mastertronic Ltd.
- Zub (1987), Mastertronic Ltd.
- Glider Rider (1986), Quicksilva Ltd.
- Ghost Town (1983), Virgin Games, Ltd.