Codex Gamicus

Revolution Software Ltd. is a British adventure game company, based in York in northern England.

The company was originally founded in Hull in 1990 by Charles Cecil, Tony Warriner, David Sykes and Noirin Carmody, with a view to create the company's first game, Lure of the Temptress.

Company history[]

Released in 1992 for the Amiga, Atari ST, and PC, Lure of the Temptress was a reasonable success and set the company up for their future successes. Still fondly remembered today, Revolution made the game Freeware on 1 April 2003.

Their next game really created the company's reputation for high quality adventure games. Released in 1994, Beneath a Steel Sky became a major hit on the Amiga and PC. The game focused on protagonist Robert Foster's abduction and subsequent search for answers in a dystopian city of the future.

Despite the success of Steel Sky, it was Revolution's next game that they would become most well known for, and which would have both the biggest critical and commercial success. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars was released for PC and PlayStation in 1996 and was later ported to the GBA in 2002, and the Wii and Nintendo DS in 2009 (as director's cuts). The game revolves around the story of George Stobbart, an American tourist whose holiday in Paris is rudely interrupted by a bombing. Investigating, he runs into photojournalist Nicole Collard, and the two embark on a globe trotting adventure of epic proportions. The hand drawn graphics, story and characters, and gameplay helped make the game a major hit, and cemented the company's reputation for story driven games. The game was quickly followed by a well received sequel, Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror.

Sony asked the company to make a new game after the commercial success of Broken Sword on the PlayStation console. While working on this game, In Cold Blood, the company also developed a children's adventure to coincide with the release of the film The Road to El Dorado in 2000.

In Cold Blood was released in March 2001 for the PC and PlayStation. Set in the near future, the game focused on John Cord, an MI6 agent. Sent to the fictional former soviet region of Volgia, the player embarks on a mission to investigate a newly discovered substance, Blue Nephrine. However, Cord is betrayed and must work out by whom, while also trying to work out what plans the dictator of Volgia, General Nagarov, has for this mysterious new chemical and the implications for the world. While the game was generally well received, it was not as big a commercial success as expected.

After this, the company embarked on Good Cop Bad Cop, a 3D action game for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. However the game was eventually cancelled so that the company could concentrate on Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon. Released in November 2003, the game featured 3D graphics, and moved away from the 2D point and click style of older games. As the game was developed for PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox simultaneously, they decided to move to a direct control mechanism of the protagonist, instead of mouse control clicking on hot spots, as this was easier to convert to console game pads.

After the release of The Sleeping Dragon, the company decided to downsize, with elements of future projects to be outsourced. Charles Cecil, the managing director, explained that it was no longer viable for a small scale developer to do everything in house anymore, with costs being lower by hiring other companies for short periods.

Cecil said in 2004 "Beneath A Steel Sky 2 is a project Revolution has been considering for a while, and has started to move forward on, but we are unable to comment beyond this." On 4 March 2004 Revolution registered the domain name ''. As of November 17, 2007, the domain has been taken over by domain squatters.

Revolution released Broken Sword: The Angel of Death, on September 15, 2006. At the start of the game, George is working as a bail bonds clerk, when he falls in love with Anna-Maria, a woman who asks George to help him find an artifact.

On March 1, 2009 Revolution released the remake of the first in the series of Broken Sword, named Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars - Director's Cut, for Wii and Nintendo DS platforms. During October 2009, Beneath a Steel Sky: Remastered was made available on iPhone app store for iPhone and iPod touch devices.


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