|★ GAMES ★ DIVERS ★ THE DARLING BROTHERS: GOODBYE TO ALL THAT (1986-2007) ★|
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THE DARLING BROTHERS LEAVE CODEMASTERS
When the Darling brothers first set up Codemasters in 1986, little did they know that the company would go on to become one of the UK's biggest publishers.
Forming the new firm with money earned from selling games to Mastertronic, the Darling brothers quickly launched their own budget range and were soon riding high in the public eye thanks to hits like BMX Simulator, Slightly Magic and the Oliver Twins'Dizzy franchise.
While the brothers were very shrewd businessmen, they also weren't afraid to take risks. Sadly, the CD compilation that they released for various 8-bit computers wasn't as popular as they had hoped - mainly due to the disinterest in the formats at the time of the CD's release - but a collaboration with US firm Camerica proved extremely successful. Wanting to publish games on Nintendo's incredibly popular NES, but unable to secure a licence to do so, Codemasters created its own cartridge containing a bypass chip that enabled its games to run on the 8-bit console. Nintendo was far from happy, but the Aladdin Deck Enhancer was eventually crippled by low sales and the fact that many gamers were moving over to the SNES and Mega Drive. Codemasters'next run-in with Nintendo was when it created the Game Genie. The device allowed gamers to enter codes that would give them a variety of different abilities ranging from infinite lives to level skips. Nintendo was furious and took Codemasters to court for copyright infringement. The court battle that followed lasted for four long years, but Codemasters was eventually awarded £10 million pounds for loss of earnings.
<< Richard Darling (1992)
With the arrival of Sony's PlayStation Codemasters established itself with games like Colin McRae Rally and the TOCA series, both still popular today, while recent releases like Overlord and Heat Seeker have started to see the publisher favour originality over safe sequels.
The Darling brothers have come a long way since they first started making budget games for Mastertronic.
The brothers have now sold their remaining stake in the firm to Balderton which already owned 70%. "Codemasters is now fully funded and ready for its next stage of growth with a great pipeline of new products and a world-class management in place," commented Ynon Kreiz, a general partner of Balderton Capital and a board member of Codemasters. "We are grateful for the contribution made by Jim, David and Richard and the key role they played to position the company for the future." There's no news yet as to what the Darling brothers'next move will be, but you can guarantee that it's not the last we'll be hearing from the talented siblings.