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Unique Development Studios Sweden

Historical Events

Ludvika, Sweden: Two 20-something computer enthusiasts attend their first demo convention. They're in the process of developing a Snake-like game for the Atari STE, Megaline. They're developing it under the somewhat pretentious name Unique Entertainment. While working on the game this weekend, they are also looking around for people who might be interested in joining them, perhaps starting something bigger… After all, there are no companies in Sweden developing games for the Atari, although there are surely enough competent people around. These people were Peter Zetterberg and Michael Brunnström. They bumped into programmer Carl Lundqvist, and the three stayed in touch until…

Company founded

Another Swedish developer has made a successful series of pinball games for the Amiga, and the three enthusiasts are a bit annoyed that they never came out on the Atari. Mind you, this was at a time when personal identity was closely tied to the brand of computer you owned and used. Plans start to form to develop a pinball game using the rather big technical experience that the three people possess. They soon find out it isn't going to be enough, though, and work begins to find people among friends and contacts that will be able to fill the competence and experience gaps.

Unique Development Sweden HB is registered. The Obsession team now consists of seven people, of which three live in Norrköping. The rest are spread out over different parts of the country, but Norrköping becomes the natural gathering point. Here, we meet every other weekend to pull together our respective pieces of code and art. The game is taking shape. During the summer, more people join UDS and start working on what will be our last game for the Atari, the only 3D third-person shooter for the platform, SubStation.

At a celebration dinner dedicated to the completion of the game, Peter Zetterberg announces that the first review of Obsession scored 98%. Of course, the Atari software market is all but vivid at this late stage of the 16-bit era, and UDS is forced to publish and distribute the game itself. By this time, we have realised the Atari is definitely out and the PC is what counts. This poses a great deal of problems, since none of us have any experience from PC programming. Three PCs are bought and the development of Absolute Pinball is commenced.

SubStation, UDS' second game, is released. 100 square feet of concrete-encapsulated basement area constitutes our office. Later this summer, funds are really strained and in order to maintain business with a group of people working full-time together, we are forced to work in the living room of the flat where we live. The fifteen-month period between the summer of –95 and autumn –96 is still, albeit with an increasing touch of nostalgia, commonly referred to by old members of the UDS staff as the "Hell Hole" period.

Old industry premises which used to accommodate a graffiti school are rented. Six layers of white paint is applied and presto, we have ourselves a much bigger office. During the arduous time of making our first PC game using assembly language and no debugger, we have funded the company by developing a warfare submarine visualisation system, ironically enough also for the PC. Absolute Pinball is finally released by publisher 21st Century Entertainment. Also, a Pong-like "advertainment" game, The Patrick Polly Swooshball Challenge, is developed for Swedish candy manufacturer Candelia (now Cloetta). The team behind SubStation starts working on a home-made concept of a fun-filled car racing game seen from far above. This is later labelled Ignition.

Unique Development Studios AB is founded. Initial funds are provided by investor Slottsbacken Venture Capital, making it possible to uphold the new more costly situation with a real office and around 15 employees.

UDS breaks into the console market by starting to develop No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking for the Sony PlayStation.

New milestone reached as UDS acquires the world-wide game rights to Futurama which is loved by the employees.

UDS Acquires the London based developer "King Of The Jungle".

UDS Launches a new daughter-company, called "Global Fun", with the aim on the emerging games market for mobile phones.

UDS Opens new studio in Gothenburg

The announcement that CDV wouldn't publish UDS' upcoming "The Kore Gang" meant the end for the studios.
Company history contributed by Sciere (16020), tas fee (119) and JGGL (20564)