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Introversion Software

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Introversion Software
Basic Information
Company Type
[[Uplink]], [[Darwinia]], [[DEFCON]] and [[Subversion]]
Computer and video game industry
Key People
Chris Delay
Mark Morris
Thomas Arundel
John Knottenbelt

Introversion Software is a UK based company that originally labeled itself "The last of the bedroom programmers" due to the team working out of their homes rather than having an office. (They finally moved into an office when working on their fourth game.) The company was founded in 2001 by three friends, Chris Delay, Mark Morris and Thomas Arundel, who met when they were undergraduates at Imperial College London.[1] Their first game, Uplink was programmed and designed almost exclusively by Chris, while Mark and Tom handled marketing, materials and the other 'business' elements. Their small initial investment enabled them to buy CD-Rs and printer cartridges. Early copies of the game were hand-made. The company was able to fully make back their investment within a few hours of accepting orders. A large community formed, and the team, along with a new programmer Andy Bainbridge started work on two new games, Darwinia and DEFCON.

Darwinia was released to much critical acclaim and was eventually re-released over Steam on December 14, 2005. Uplink has also since joined Darwinia on Steam, as of summer 2006. On September 29, 2006, Introversion Software launched its third game DEFCON. Shortly after its release, Introversion had measured their bandwidth in terabytes for the first time. Their latest game Multiwinia is a multiplayer follow up to Darwinia and was released on September 19, 2008; sales have so far failed to live up to the example set by DEFCON. Despite this, it was well received by the community and indie gamers alike.

Introversion has a relatively small but growing following and its games are considered cult classics. Both Uplink and Darwinia have a strong modding community.

Financial history[edit | edit source]

After a low-key launch, the critical and (relatively-speaking) commercial success of Uplink flushed Introversion with success. A visit to E3 2002 saw the team "rinse £10k in a week on speedboats and fast cars", but regret soon set in as they watched their income steadily decline, as "in the games industry, you make 75% of your total revenue for the product in the first 6 months".[2] By Christmas 2002 then-publisher Strategy First had stopped paying royalties for Uplink (they would later file a Consumer Proposal AKA Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, but were then acquired by Silverstar Holdings in Spring 2005); even with the cashflow from direct sales Introversion ran out of money in Summer 2003.[3] The company hovered on the edge of bankruptcy, with the team selling most of their worldly goods, as their second project and only hope for funds -- Darwinia -- "slipped relentlessly".[4]

Darwinia was eventually released in March 2005, but despite a strong opening weekend and a superb critical reception sales soon slipped too low to sustain the company (a fact now put down partly to the "optimistic" AAA price point). Within six months the developers were back on UK government benefits until November, when they contacted Valve Corporation "on a whim" [5] to try and set up a digital distribution deal on their Steam platform. Valve responded enthusiastically and following a 14 December 2005 online launch digital sales (which exposed the game to a new, global audience) kept the company going through to the release of their third game, DEFCON.

On 15 September 2006, the day DEFCON pre-orders were made available, Introversion spent their last £1500. Fortuitously the game "did much much better than [they] ever imagined" and funds for at least the forthcoming twelve months quickly rolled in to replace it. Now financially secure, the company place their eventual success largely at Valve's feet: "Steam has made Introversion a commercial success", Tom Arundel is quoted.[6]

Games[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Introversion Software. About us
  2. "Becoming a proper company....," Tom, Introversion staff.
  3. "Becoming a proper company....," Tom, Introversion staff.
  4. "Becoming a proper company....," Tom, Introversion staff.
  5. Introversion talk Steam. The Steam Review (15 July 2006). Retrieved on 2007-04-12
  6. Hyman, Paul (March 2007). "State of the Industry: Digital Distribution". Game Developer (CMP Group): pp. 14. 
  7. "'Last of the Bedroom Programmers' Announce Multiwinia on PC" from Introversion's press release Introversion Announces Multiwinia, 27 February 2007, 2:57 p.m.
  8. "'Welcome to Paradise' Announce official name"
  9. "Darwinia+ - Development Blog"
  10. The Next Game
  11. Introversion Blog

External links[edit | edit source]

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