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 About Blue Byte

"To attain the levels of innovation in game content, quality and technology that position Blue Byte as the leading, independent force in the race to establish computer gaming as a global entertainment medium, available to and accessible by all."

The Company
In 1988 the company's founder, Thomas Hertzler and a fellow colleague employed at the German development company, Rainbow Arts, determined that their talents for game design and programming should be put to the test and employed more directly to their own personal benefit. And so was formed Blue Byte Software.

Against market trends of the time, the pair decided that home gamers were long overdue a first class sports title. Drawing upon their design and programming experience, Blue Byte created Pro Tennis Tour, a fast action tennis simulation for the Super NES.

Published under license by UbiSoft of France, the title was an immediate hit. But more importantly, the early principles for Blue Byte's long term success were established:

  • individuality in game design and excellence in gameplay,
  • the need for well managed, "in house" development resources,
  • "no compromise" sales, marketing and production qualities,
  • an international perspective to product development.

These principles have gone on to become the hallmark of one of the world's leading independent computer games software houses.

Following a number of subsequent successes, including a sequel to Pro Tennis Tour, Thomas Hertzler, now in sole control of the company, decided in 1991 to take the bold step towards Blue Byte marketing and publishing its own titles. This proved a turning point for the company, already acknowledged for the excellence of its development resources, in adding the necessary sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure that matched the quality of its development facilities.

Developing, by now, mainly for the home computer market, Blue Byte released, in this first year, the first editions of its two "signature" series - Battle Isle and The Settlers. Published under its growing status as Germany's pre-eminent software house, each was borne out of different aspects of its new found strength. Battle Isle I was wholly developed in-house. Meanwhile, The Settlers, submitted by an external developer, was brought to success through the growing expertise of the company's marketing organization and the influence of its rapidly expanding distribution network, building partnerships throughout the world.

The experience of these first two published titles set the pattern for the ensuing growth of Blue Byte and established the ethos by which Thomas Hertzler has continued to develop the company. This has been to actively encourage and establish partnerships in the development and distribution of the company's products, but to always build a strong internal infrastructure by which the company can retain control, or at the very least maintain direction, in all matters.

Early in this 'independent' phase the company recognised that, in spite of its position in the European arena, the demands of a rapidly growing global industry required that if Blue Byte was to retain a position of significance, it too must acquire a global presence. Building out from its headquarters in Germany, the company established its first international office in the United Kingdom in 1994 and followed this in 1995 with the incorporation of Blue Byte Inc., in Chicago, Illinois.

The UK office offered the company access to many of the world's export territories, as well as the distributors that service those markets. While the US represents not only the world's largest single market for PC products, it is also the home of invention of and sets the trend for much of the technology that is the future of the industry.

These three offices work together to provide Blue Byte with a coherent and effective policy of globalization. In development, the company maintains a state-of-the-art development facility, manned by a team of 30, at its headquarters in Germany and in addition a recently acquired development company based in Austin, Texas. However, it also works with independent developers in other countries - Germany, USA, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia to name a few - to either publish products or complete projects to its design and management. In bringing products to market, Blue Byte blends the experience of the sales and marketing teams in each of its offices with a network of distribution and licensing partnerships, from Iceland to Australia, from Korea to Brazil, to ensure that customers throughout the world have access to Blue Byte products as either stand-alone, localized formats, or in value- added product combinations.

Today, as Blue Byte celebrates 10 years of excellence in the computer games industry, it can look back on winning many of the challenges it has had to face and can draw upon that experience and success, to keep on creating the milestones and delivering its unique hallmark of independence, for the next 10 years to come.

Products
From its very first title onwards, Blue Byte has sustained that one critical factor common to all successful publishers - unique products, designed with the consumer in mind.

Released in 1988, Pro Tennis Tour established the benchmarks which have been followed in over 25 product releases in the subsequent 10 years. Designed for the Super NES, Pro Tennis Tour offered gamers an alternative experience to the many 2D look-alikes popular at the time, without compromising the demand for fast action, all consuming gameplay. It was an unequivocal success.

Blue Byte has gone on to repeat this success time after time, by staying close to its audience.

Developing solely for the PC gaming platform in recent years, Blue Byte has focused its attention on developing a multi-faceted portfolio of products, bringing together the widely contrasting challenges of strategy, simulation, action, combat, sports and adventure.

Never afraid to experiment in game design or content, Blue Byte has continually introduced new standards of development, production quality and technology to its titles. Early adoption of improvements such as Windows 95 and 3Dfx graphics acceleration, as well as the development of its own award winning technology - the Extreme Vision 3D Game Engine - has ensured that Blue Byte games are amongst the most acclaimed and best-selling products of their genre.

Pro Tennis Tour
Tennis simulation

515,000 units sold in Europe, the US and Asia

The Battle Isle Series
Futuristic combat strategy series

  • Battle Isle I
  • Battle Isle 2
  • Battle Isle 3: Shadow of the Emperor
  • Incubation: Battle Isle Phase 4
  • Incubation: The Wilderness Missions

500,000 units sold world-wide

The Settlers Series
Strategic economic simulation

  • The Settlers
  • The Settlers II (including Mission CD)
  • The Settlers II Gold Edition

1,250,000 units sold world-wide

Archimedean Dynasty
Underwater action simulation

Extreme Assault
3D Helicopter shoot'em

Twin World
Jump'n'Run

Tom and the Ghost
Action Adventure

Atomino
Puzzle Game

Apidya
Shoot'em Up

Yo! Joe!
Jump'n'Run Action Adventure

Dr. Drago's Madcap Chase

Jump'n'Run Interactive Multiplayer Game

Chewy - Esc from F5
Graphic Adventure

Albion
RPG

Historyline 1914-1918
Strategy Wargame

Most recently, Blue Byte has turned its attention to the emergent online and network gaming sectors, seeking to extend the traditional single player challenge into a wider embracing multiplayer experience. The trio of key releases scheduled for 1998 reflect the company's continued commitment to provide alternative and innovative styles of gameplay, harnessing, where appropriate, the latest advances in technology.

Game Net & Match
Sequel to the successful Pro Tour Tennis series, a fast action, 3D tennis simulation. The first tennis game to offer single player, multiplayer and full online Internet action from a dedicated tennis server.

The Settlers III
The latest in this hugely popular series, featuring richly enhanced 3D graphic worlds, accelerated gameplay and advanced strategic control, combat and conquest modes.

Shadowpact
A real-time, real-world strategy of subversion, power and intrigue, in which single player mode creates an exacting and demanding challenge, but the full online environment ,offers a wholly immersive and unique gaming experience.

 

The Future
As it stands at the threshold of a whole new era in the interactive computer entertainment revolution, Blue Byte can draw strength and confidence from the achievements and experiences of its past.

As rapid changes in technology promote ever increasing uptake levels for PC's in the home; accelerate the convergence of broadcast, communications and computing media and fuel the expansion and use of the Internet, so computer games and interactive entertainment will lead from the front.

It is within this whirlpool of change that Blue Byte's independent status and experience empowers it with significant advantages over others. Long used to seeking out and adopting technical innovations and to breaking new ground in game design and delivery, Blue Byte will pioneer the popularization of computer gaming as a true global entertainment medium.

The first steps have been taken with the creation of Game Net & Match. For the first time a gamer has the opportunity to take a unique first person sports challenge, out of the home and across the globe. This commitment towards enhancing the single player experience will be consolidated with the release in late '98 of two further titles, The Settlers III and Shadowpact.

However, this is but the start in Blue Byte's program for capturing the countless millions of new entrants that will be drawn into this new world of computer entertainment.

The company has never been tied into producing game stereotypes. Its key focus has always been the interests of the individual gamer. With untold numbers of new gamers entering the fray, Blue Byte's record for innovative content, technical excellence and bold independence, will lead it to opportunities long before others have even organized their gameplan.




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