The success of Runaway: A Road Adventure is testament to the determination of three childhood friends with a passion for adventure games. Join them as they repeat their adventure success with Runaway 2. How do they do it? What have they got planned for the future? Would you like a chance to ask them for yourself? Speak to Ruth or Bec at Chaloner Associates to arrange an interview.
Madrid, 1992: 3 childhood friends, all video game fanatics, decided to create their own development studio that they called Pendulo Studios. Adventure games was then at its peak. Lucas Arts had revolutionised the genre only several years previously with the Point & Click, instrumental in masterpieces such as Indiana Jones, Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion.
Our 3 friends at Pendulo Studios had always had a predilection for adventure games and decided to devote themselves to their passion.
In 1994, their first game appeared: Igor: Objective Uikokahonia. The game was only released in Spain but met with vast success. It became the first graphic adventure game to really make it big in the country.
Intent on reaching an international audience, Pendulo Studios then decided to start on a much more ambitious project, with graphics and style similar to the big productions from Lucas Arts. In 1997, they produced Hollywood Monsters, published and distributed in Spain by Dinamic, who linked up with the US publisher Acclaim for the world release. Spain adored Hollywood Monsters, and it sold in hundreds of thousands. The game became a classic of Spanish video games and is still available in stores nearly 10 years after its release. Unfortunately, the arrival of 3D graphics cards distracted the major publishers of graphic adventure and Hollywood Monsters didn't leave its freight packaging at Acclaim. It was never released anywhere but Spain and the English master disappeared with the American publisher who went bankrupt in 2004.
Our three Pendulo buddies never lost hope of seeing one of their games published elsewhere than in their home country. Convinced that a good adventure game will always win through in the end, but wary of foreign publisher's reticence, they came up with a cunning process that enabled them to combine 2D and 3D. With hope in their hearts, they started developing Runaway, a road adventure their biggest project so far, which included extensive cartoon sequences, an original soundtrack of 24 songs, and brought together a huge team of graphicists and programmers.
Via the financial support of Dinamic, who were eager to become the first Spanish publisher to conquer the international market, the team enjoyed a good budget to play with. Unfortunately, Dinamic proceeded to run into serious financial difficulty and the final months of Runaway's development were chaotic. Dinamic finally went bust in 2000, several weeks after the Spanish release of Runaway. The game had just fallen short of international distribution.
After many attempts and a long wait, Pendulo managed to retrieve the rights for Runaway two years later. However, publishers weren't too interested in the game. The latest 3D adventure games had met with a poor press and the genre was considered a dying breed. Without sufficient resources to continue the adventure, our Pendulo trio elected to close the studio ten years after its creation. By chance, one of their final contacts for distributing the game came up trumps. It wasn't a major publisher but several minor independent distributors who released Runaway, that became one of the best PC sales around Europe of 2003. A crowning point in their career, snatched from the jaws of defeat that launched the studio back on its way and put the adventure game back on the map.
In 2007, Runaway, The Dream of The Turtle will be Pendulo's fourth game, no doubt the most eagerly awaited game from the Spanish trio, available in Spain and all around the world.
"93 Games" is a subsidiary label of FHI France, and in just a few years has become one of the leading publishers and distributors of PC games in France. FHI is critically acclaimed and recognized for its savoir-faire and the numerous successes the company has achieved since its creation.
Focus Home Interactive is a French publishing and distribution company based near Paris, France. Founded in 1996, Focus earned an early success by publishing the music software range eJay. With over 400,000 copies sold in France thanks to strong promotion and a solid marketing campaign, Focus has made eJay one of the most popular brands for contemporary youth.
The last 5 years have been very successful for Focus and many of its PC licences such as Cossacks and Sudden Strike have been sold in thousands of units throughout France. Focus have also discovered and released many original titles that have become true references such as the adventure game Runaway, the notorious Cycling Manager and the famous TrackMania.
Known for the diversity, the quality and the originality of its catalogue, Focus now publishes and distributes most of its titles in numerous European territories and also Worldwide through a performing distributors' network or even digitally for some specific products. In French-speaking territories, Focus Home Interactive also distributes exclusively some famous editors' catalogues.
The coming months will be exciting and full of surprises with the release of quality games such as TrackMania United, Runaway 2, and Sherlock Holmes.
About Ascaron Entertainment
Ascaron Entertainment is one of the pioneers in the development of computer games. It is also one of the leading developers of computer games in Germany and has been prominent in the sales charts for more than a decade with titles such as Patrician, ANSTOSS, Port Royale, DarkStar One and SACRED.
Ascaron is headquartered in Gütersloh, Germany, and maintains a development studio in Aachen (Germany) and Berlin, as well as an international department in Birmingham (UK). The UK office provides a bespoke publishing, sales and marketing function to selected European affiliate label partners. Currently, Ascaron markets its products in more than 30 countries and over 15 languages.
For further information about Ascaron Entertainment visit: http://www.ascaron.com
For UK press enquiries please contact Ruth Fraser or Bec Sands:
Tel: +44 (0) 1954 270599