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The logo of Argonaut Games from 1986 to 2004.

Argonaut Games plc was a British video game developer. Founded as Argonaut Software by teenager Jez San in 1982 the company name is a play on his name (J. San) and the movie title Jason and the Argonauts. It had its head offices in Edgware, London.[1]

Contents

History

The company produced its first game Skyline Attack for the Commodore 64. It later produced the 3D Starglider games for the Amiga and Atari ST platforms.

In 1993 Argonaut were working with Nintendo during the early years of the NES and SNES. They developed a prototype of the game Star Fox, initially codenamed "NesGlider" and inspired by their earlier 8-bit game Starglider, that they had running on the NES and then some weeks later on a prototype of the SNES. Jez San told Nintendo that this was as good as it could get unless they were allowed to design custom hardware to make the SNES better at 3D. Nintendo said yes, and San hired chip designers and made the Super FX chip (originally codenamed by then the “MARIO chip”).[2] So powerful was the Super FX chip that was used to create the graphics and gameplay that they joked that the Super Nintendo was just a box to hold the chip.[3]

After building the Super FX they went on to design a chip for Philips for a videogame machine that never came out (codenamed GreenPiece aka CD-I 2) and also designed one for Apple Inc. which was also for a videogame machine that never appeared (codenamed VeggieMagic) – and one for Hasbro – for a Virtual Reality game machine that similarly never appeared (codenamed MatriArc).

In 1996, Argonaut Software was split into Argonaut Technologies Limited (ATL) and Argonaut Software Limited (ASL). With space being a premium at the office on Colindale Avenue, ATL was relocated to an office in the top floor of a separate building; Capitol House on Capitol Way, just around the corner, where they continued the design of CPU and GPU products and maintained 'BRender', Argonaut's proprietary software 3D engine.

In 1997 the two arms of the company once again shared an office as the entire company was moved to a new building in Edgware.

In 1998 ATL was rebranded ARC after the name of their main product (aka Argonaut RISC Core) and became an embedded IP provider. This company still exists today [1] but is no longer connected with the videogame industry.

Argonaut Software Limited became Argonaut Games and was floated in 1999.

In late October 2004 Argonaut Games called in receivers David Rubin & Partners, fired 100 employees and was put up for sale. Lack of a constant stream of deals with publishers led to cashflow issues and a profit warning earlier in the year.

BRender

BRender (abbreviation of Blazing Renderer) is a development toolkit and a real-time 3D graphics engine for computer games, simulators and graphic tools. It was developed and licensed by Argonaut Software. The engine had support for Intel's MMX instruction set and it supported Microsoft Windows, MS-DOS and Sony PlayStation platforms. Support for 3D hardware graphics accelerator cards was added.

Selected games

References

  1. ^ "Argonaut Contact information." Argonaut Games. 13 January 1998. Retrieved on 9 November 2009.
  2. ^ Bolton, Syd. "Interview with Jez San, OBE". Armchair Empire. http://www.armchairempire.com/Interviews/jez-san-interview.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-28.  
  3. ^ "Interview with Jez San". arwinglanding.net. http://www.arwinglanding.net/articles.php?page=writeups/jezsan. Retrieved 2007-09-04.  

External links

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Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Category:Argonaut Games article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

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Pages in category "Argonaut Games"

The following 7 pages are in this category, out of 7 total.

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Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Argonaut Games PLC
Type Private (Defunct as of 2004)
Founded 1982
Headquarters UK
Products
Parent Company N/A
Website

Argonaut Games was also known as Argonaut Software Ltd. from 1982 to 2000.

Developer stub
This video game developer-related article is a stub. You can help by adding to it.

Stubs are articles that writers have begun work on, but are not yet complete enough to be considered finished articles.


This article uses material from the "Argonaut Games" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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