Developer and publisher Rebellion has acquired classic 1980s and ’90s developer The Bitmap Brothers, along with all of the IPs that they held. The Bitmap Brothers was founded in 1987 and released several well-received titles. Their first game was top-down shooter Xenon, which released in 1988. Since then the studio was behind several successful franchises, such as cyberpunk sports series Speedball, top-down shooter The Chaos Engine, and sci-fi RTS series Z. Their most recent original game was 2003’s World War II: Frontline Command, after which they mostly rereleased or made updated versions of their older games.
While they haven’t given specifics yet, Rebellion says they have two major plans for The Bitmap Brother’s IPs. The first is to update and port the games to new platforms, so as to reach a bigger audience and give fans a chance to replay the classics. The second is to create new titles using these IPs. They haven’t said which ones they’ll start with, but there’s plenty to choose from.
Rebellion CEO and co-founder Jason Kingsley OBE had the following to say about the acquisition:
We’re delighted with the addition of The Bitmap Brothers to the ever-growing Rebellion portfolio. The Bitmap Brothers are renowned for making great games and for bringing gaming into the mainstream with inimitable style. 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.
This isn’t Rebellion’s first move towards expanding their reach. They started this year off by acquiring TickTock Games, who put out Rogue Trooper Redux and were also the developers behind remasters of The Bitmap Brother’s RTS games Z and Z: Steel Soldiers. Recently, Rebellion also opened up the brand new Rebellion Unplugged studio, whose focus is to make board games based on Rebellion’s IPs and is currently working on a board game based on the Sniper Elite series of games.