THE ICONS OF SEVEN SQUARED - CODIES/MICROPROSE/DATASOFT TEE ADDITIONS

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This week we’re having a look at the particular journeys that several of the officially-licensed developer/publishers of Seven Squared have taken over the years.

With many ups and downs, it’s clear that making videogames is never easy – thankfully, it’s all about the ride! 

Codemasters

Known colloquially as ‘Codies’, Codemasters is the biggest and brightest games developer in the UK, still operating 34 years since the release of its first game, BMX Simulator. Founded by brothers Richard and David Darling, the pair of programming wizards had actually been developing games since 1982 with a range of playable budget games for Mastertronic. Striking out on their own, Codemasters soon had a formidable line up of low-price software itself before eventually moving into full price games, from 8-bit to 16-bit and beyond. A cornerstone of the Codemasters journey is the ovular character Dizzy and the many games that have featured this adventurous hero over the years. Now, in addition to our Dizzy and Dizzy Fantasy World tees, Seven Squared brings you the iconic Codemasters logo, ready to be proudly worn wherever you go!

Codemasters Officially Licensed Tee by Seven Squared #KeepingTheGameAlive

Did you know?

While it became rightly recognised for its work across the NES and 16-bit consoles, Codemasters began its journey developing budget games for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC. It was here that its promotional talents were first displayed – absolutely brilliant!

Datasoft

Formed in 1980, Datasoft was one of the oldest and most respected software developers in the US during the videogame explosion of the Eighties. In its short time, Datasoft produced a huge number of licensed games in particular, such as The Goonies, Zorro, Bruce Lee and Zaxxon, released over a wide variety of systems including the Atari 8-bit, Apple II, TRS-80 and Commodore 64. And while the company ended its journey in 1987 – the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, remember – you can today celebrate its legacy with our officially licensed Datasoft icon logo tee.

Officially Licensed Datasoft Tee by Seven Squared #KeepingTheGameAlive

Did you know?

A strange major investor in Datasoft was the razor blade company, Gillette, which was dabbling in venture capitalism during the Eighties.

MicroProse

This legendary American company was also forged in the early Eighties and quickly made its name as a source of quality flight and combat simulations, combining the entrepreneurial nous of “Wild” Bill Stealey and the games design skills of Sid Meier. The adventures of Bill and Sid began at the latter’s Atari user group, and the two were soon working together creating games based around their shared passion of aviation. Microprose expanded quickly, opening UK offices and releasing dozens of smash hit videogames; simulations such as Gunship, Stunt Car Racer, F-15 Strike Eagle and Silent Service defined the company, before Sid Meier set to work with his renowned strategy titles Railroad Tycoon and Civilization. The Microprose story ended commercially in 2002, but at Seven Squared we’re keeping the flame alive for this illustrious publisher as we welcome it into our Icons collection.

Microprose Officially Licensed Tee by Seven Squared #KeepingTheGameAlive

Did you know?

Microprose was celebrated for its glossy and loaded game boxes, complete with lengthy manuals, keyboard guides and other informative extras. You got a lot of boom for your buck with Microprose!

Bitmap Brothers

On the Commodore Amiga computer in particular, the Bitmap Brothers carved a rebellious path throughout the Nineties, and left a few amazing games in its wake, too. Formed by a trio of games industry veterans eager to shift the fame and fortune to the creatives rather than the publisher, the Bitmap Brothers has a fantastic array of games in its locker, with titles such as Xenon, Gods, The Chaos Engine and Speedball 2 all becoming smash hits. The Bitmap Brothers’ famous hand logo makes a striking entry in Seven Squared’s Icons range.

Bitmap Brothers Officially Licensed Tee by Seven Squared #KeepingTheGameAlive

Did you know?

The Bitmap Brothers breakout hit, Xenon, was originally titled Kelly X. The game was so good-looking and entertaining that many reviewers thought it was an arcade conversion rather than original property.

First Star Software

Here’s another famous software house from across the pond, and another shining light in our Icons collection. From 1982 onwards, First Star were behind many great games, in particular two wonderful series: the cave-exploring Boulder Dash and the devious two-player trap-setting licence from Mad Magazine, Spy vs Spy. First Star’s first game Astro Chase kick-started its story, and it continues today, chiefly with more gem-collecting underground adventures of its eminent mascot, Rockford.

First Star Software Officially Licensed Tee by Seven Squared #KeepingTheGameAlive

Did you know?

The name First Star comes from an amalgamation of coder Fernando Herrera’s game, My First Alphabet, and the prize it won, Atari’s Star Award.

 

Thanks to the legendary Graeme Mason aka Wizwords for his work on this Blog post. If you want to see the Tees for each Icon listed above, please click the company title and you will be taken to them. 

#KeepingTheGameAlive #WearYourStory 

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