Company focus by Al Giovetti
Date: 08/21/96
Website: www.bullfrog.co.uk
Contact the company: bullfrog@idiscover.net

History: Bullfrog and Peter Moleneaux, co-founder of Bullfrog and Vice President of Electronic Arts have been at the forefront of game production and development since their inception in 1987. Populous, lived up to its name and attracted three million members of the gaming populace to plop down their money and purchase the product. Populous has been translated into various formats. (Check out Al’s bibliography and you will see he has reviewed several of Bullfrog’s titles on several formats including Populous on the Macintosh. - Ed.)

Powermonger, my personal favorite which incidentally Peter did not have a hand in, Populous II, and Syndicate provided Bullfrog with three more hits, to become the all time champions of god games. In 1994, Theme Park and Magic Carpet were released also to sell out of the computer stores in record numbers. Bullfrog’s latest release is Hi-Octane. Currently Bullfrog is working on six games: Magic Carpet II, Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate Wars, Gene Wars, Creation, and Super Heroes (tentative title).

In a recent interview, Peter said ". . .I would predict that within 2 years there will be a renaissance of gameplay oriented games. . ." This revolution would effectively reverse the current trend toward mindless games of violence and cinematic excess. Wing Commander IV (WC4) successfully increased the quality and quantity of cinematic content over its predecessor with a budget of $10 million, two and one half times greater than the four million dollars spent on Wing Commander III. This extra time spent on cinematics severly limited game play in the space flight simulator sequences. Gameplay was sacrificed for graphics. Peter predicts this trend will reverse.

Peter went on to say that products like Wing Commander IV claim to be interactive movies but in fact are not and at the present time cannot be interactive movies. Peter blames this trend and tendency on the hype of the media, pushing for more sensationalism in television, radio, and print in order to sell advertising.

Peter thinks that the view that games developers would become more like film makers is bunk. Peter went on to say "I think what I am trying to say is that games development is infinitely more complex than creating a film. . . It is the gameplayer, that has to judge whether we have managed to retain the philosophy of mixing brilliant graphics, superb sound and gameplay to make all o these games true classics,"