Imagine

Moby ID: 3673

AKA +
  • Imagine Software Ltd.

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When Mark Butler and David Lawson founded Imagine in 1983, they launched perhaps the UK industry's most spectacular boom-and-bust story. Within months they were churning out hit games for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64, had lavish offices in Liverpool, and were doing features for major newspapers as part of the explosion in computer software sales. The company invested in sales and marketing teams, made multi-lingual packaging and put its programmers in offices. Two so-called Mega Games were announced - Spectrum titles that would come with hardware add-ons to vastly expand the abilities of the platform. The announced titles Bandersnatch and Psyclapse were never released however. By mid-1984 they collapsed, citing massive debts, especially to magazines for advertising. Five of their programmers went on to form Denton Designs.

Butler and Lawson were key figures at Psygnosis, while the Imagine name was bought by Ocean, who mainly used it for Konami arcade conversions - Bubble Bobble and Arkanoid were notable successes - before phasing the label out in the late 80s.

Credited on 65 Games from 1982 to 2024

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Epyx Collection: Handheld (2024 on Nintendo Switch)
Chip's Challenge (1989 on DOS, Windows, Windows 3.x...)
Renegade III: The Final Chapter (1989 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, MSX...)
Bad Dudes (1988 on DOS, Amiga, NES...)
Konami's Arcade Collection (1988 on Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum)
Taito Coin-Op Hits (1988 on ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC)
Target: Renegade (1988 on NES, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum...)
The Vindicator! (1988 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC)
Ajax (1987 on DOS, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum...)
Arkanoid: Revenge of DOH (1987 on DOS, Amiga, NES...)
Rastan (1987 on DOS, Game Gear, SEGA Master System...)
Fernando Martín Basket Master (1987 on DOS, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum...)
Freddy Hardest (1987 on PC Booter, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum...)
Game Over (1987 on PC Booter, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum...)
Game Over II (1987 on PC Booter, Atari ST, Commodore 64...)
Guerrilla War (1987 on PC Booter, NES, Commodore 64...)
Play for Your Life (1987 on ZX Spectrum)
Psycho Soldier (1987 on Windows, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum...)
Arkanoid (1986 on DOS, Amiga, NES...)
WEC Le Mans 24 (1986 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, MSX...)

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History +

May 1984

Company collapses under massive financial problems, amidst some fairly shady deals. Rights for existing titles go to Beau Jolly, who released compilations including some titles.

Trivia +

The average age of the original company's programmers in 1984 was just 19. Many of these were on contracts to earn more than £20,000 a year, a huge sum for a new industry in those days.

Company location (1984):

Imagine Software Limited

Imagine House

5 Sir Thomas Street

Liverpool

Merseyside L1 6BW

Imagine afforded its in-house programmers a shared Sage 4 "micro-mini" computer with a 12 MB Winchester drive and a whopping megabyte of RAM as a development system, a luxury most UK coders could hardly dream of.

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Related Web Sites +

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