Distinctive Software

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File:DSI EGA.png
Distinctive Software logo

Distinctive Software, Inc. (DSI) was a Canadian software house established in Burnaby, British Columbia, by Don Mattrick and Jeff Sember. It is the predecessor to EA Canada.

Distinctive Software was best known in the late 1980s for their ports, racing and sports games, distributed in most part by Accolade, with whom they worked closely.

DSI became known for various titles. It is synonymous with racing games in the late '80s and early '90s, including the Test Drive series and Stunts. The base coding for 1987's Test Drive was replicated for not only Test Drive II: The Duel, but 1989's The Cycles: International Grand Prix Racing and 1988's Grand Prix Circuit.

DSI also made sports games like 4D Boxing, and the second title in the Hardball series.

In 1991, DSI was acquired by Electronic Arts, and became EA Canada (and a major component on the future EA Sports studios), in a deal worth US$11 M. This also meant a significant blow on Accolade, which lost credibility and market share in the following years.

Trade-named as Unlimited Software, Inc., and lawsuit[edit | edit source]

In 1989, programmers Pete Gardner and the "Old Kid" (Amory Wong) of DSI, under the pseudonym USI (Unlimited Software, Inc.), converted Sega's arcade game Out Run into a PC-DOS version.

Consequently, Accolade charged that DSI violated a working agreement, and sued.

Notable games[edit | edit source]

Game Published Publisher Platform
4D Sports Boxing 1991-06-15 Mindscape/Electronic Arts PC-DOS, Amiga, Atari ST
4D Sports Tennis 1990 Mindscape PC-DOS
Accolade Comics 1987 Accolade Commodore 64
Ace of Aces 1987 Accolade Atari XL/XE
After Burner 1988 Sega PC-DOS
Altered Beast 1990 Sega PC-DOS
Bill Elliott's NASCAR Challenge 1990 Konami MS-DOS, Amiga, Macintosh, NES, handheld
Castlevania 1990 Ultra Games PC-DOS
Grand Prix Circuit 1988 Accolade PC-DOS, Commodore 64, Amiga
Hardball! 1985 Accolade Commodore 64
Metal Gear 1990 Ultra Games PC-DOS
Mission: Impossible 1991 Konami PC-DOS
Out Run 1989 Sega PC-DOS
Stunts/4D Sports Driving 1990 Brøderbund/Mindscape PC-DOS, Amiga
Super C 1990 Konami Amiga, PC-DOS
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Ultra Games PC-DOS, Commodore 64
Test Drive 1987 Accolade PC-DOS, Commodore 64, Amiga
The Cycles: International Grand Prix Racing 1989 Accolade PC-DOS, Commodore 64
The Duel: Test Drive II 1989 Accolade PC-DOS, Commodore 64, Amiga
Wings of Fury 1990 Broderbund Amiga, PC-DOS
The Need for Speed 1995 Electronic Arts PC-DOS

External links[edit | edit source]

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