Actions

Virgin Interactive

From Sega Retro

(Redirected from Virgin Games)
VirginInteractiveEntertainment logo.png
Virgin Interactive
Founded: 1983[1]
T-series code: T-70
Merged into: Titus (UK division), EA (US division)
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom/Irvine, CA

{{#seo:

|og:image=//retrocdn.net/images/4/4e/VirginInteractiveEntertainment_logo.png
|og:site_name=Sega Retro
|title=Virgin Interactive
|twitter:card=summary_large_image
|twitter:[email protected]
|twitter:image:src=//retrocdn.net/images/4/4e/VirginInteractiveEntertainment_logo.png
}}

Virgin Interactive was a British video game developer and publisher. Founded in 1983[1] as Virgin Games Ltd., it was the Virgin Group's first foray into the video game market.

History

In its initial form, Virgin Games, like many British video game companies of the day, developed and published video games for home computer platforms, such as the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64.

In 1987, Virgin Games bought a minority stake in budget label cash-strapped Mastertronic, as Virgin Games wanted to be in the budget computer games business[1]. Mastertronic, set to be the official distributor of the Sega Master System in the UK, suffered a setback after Sega delivered the first order of consoles too late, leading to Virgin Games acquiring the company in full later in the year, creating Virgin Mastertronic, Ltd. in the process[1].

Virgin Mastertronic, essentially given free reign over Sega's products after they left Japan, was extremely successful at marketing the Master System in the region. It was given control over France and Germany in mid-1988[1], later taking on the launch of the Sega Mega Drive in 1990.

Seeing its success, Sega acquired the publishing arm of Virgin Mastertronic in 1991, turning it into Sega Europe[1]. The development arm, which Sega was not interested in, returned to its original name as Virgin Games. Over the next few years, Virgin Games would see a string of successes, the most notable of which being the hand-animated Disney's Aladdin which redefined computer animation in games.

1993 saw the company rename itself as Virgin Interactive Entertainment. During this period it capitalised on the work of Westwood Studios, among others. Virgin Interactive would transition more towards a publishing and distribution company in the years which followed. In late 1995 it acquired the distribution rights for Capcom titles in EuropeMore...[2].

The British studio operations were acquired in a management buyout led by former Managing Director Tim Chaney in 1998. The U.S. operations were sold to Electronic Arts as part of its acquisition of Westwood Studios that same year. The company's assets were acquired in 1999 by the French publisher Titus Software, with its name being changed to Avalon Interactive on July 1, 2003.

In May 2002, the Spanish division of Virgin Interactive, known as Virgin Interactive España, was purchased by Tim Chaney along with former Spanish president and founder Paco Encinas. The branch was then separated from the main Virgin Interactive company, already part of Titus Software, and kept its own identity as a Virgin brand. Renamed Virgin Play in October 2002, this Spanish publisher remained as the sole representation of the Virgin Group in the video game industry until it filed for liquidation in 2009. Virgin Play distributed the PSP version of Puyo Pop Fever in the spanish market.

Softography

Master System

Mega Drive

Game Gear

Mega-CD

32X

Saturn

Saturn (Capcom Titles Europe)

Dreamcast

Dreamcast (Capcom Titles Europe)

Promotional material

Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:5px; padding-right:2px;">Mega Drive/Master System software library print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #134: "January 1993" (1992-12-15)

Gallery

References

Necretro-round.svg
NEC Retro has more information related to Virgin Interactive Entertainment.