With the rights to The Bitmap Brothers' "brand and portfolio" now under its banner, Rebellion plans to both re-release retro favorites and create new games based on classic licenses.
Rebellion Developments, an England-based independent game developer perhaps best known for the Sniper Elite series, announced today that it has acquired another UK developer: the Bitmap Brothers. Founded in 1987 by Mike Montgomery, The Bitmap Brothers were responsible for a variety of hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, among them the Xenon, Speedball, and The Chaos Engine series.
In a press release on its website, Rebellion called the Bitmap Brothers “gaming’s first rockstars” and revealed its plans for the latter developer’s catalogue. “Rebellion plans to bring classic The Bitmap Brothers games to new platforms, and going forward to create new titles based on its beloved licenses.”
The Bitmap Brothers was quite busy in the first few years after the studio opened, creating a slew of titles for the Amiga, Atari ST, and MS-DOS platforms, among others. Production slowed down in the mid-1990s, and most of its post-2000 work has been porting older games to PC and mobile. As Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley put it, “The Bitmap Brothers are renowned for making great games and for bringing gaming into the mainstream with inimitable style.”
It’s important to note that the press release specifies that Rebellion has acquired the Bitmap Brothers’ “brand and portfolio,” meaning the original studio will not stay intact. “We’ve known Mike Montgomery for many years and we’re honoured by the faith and trust that he has shown in us by passing on the torch. We’ll strive to be vigilant custodians of one of gaming’s great names,” Kingsley said.
Though Rebellion is best known for its video game library, the developer is also exploring interests in tabletop gaming, film, and TV. Just last week, it unveiled its new tabletop division called Rebellion Unplugged; the developer also opened a film studio last year.
There are no further details on Rebellion’s plans for its newly acquired catalog, so we don’t know which games will get modern-day ports or sequels. It’s fitting that the news comes just as the United Kingdom’s National Videogame Museum revealed its upcoming UK Collection, in which Rebellion plays a large part. With the museum “recognizing the studio’s achievements across multimedia, spanning more than a quarter of a century,” The Bitmap Brothers’ brand and portfolio appear to be in good hands.
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