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Data Design Interactive

Data Design Interactive
Private
Founded United Kingdom (1983)
Founder Stewart Green
Defunct DDI UK in 2009 (2009)
Headquarters Florida, USA

Data Design Interactive is a British video game developer and video game publisher. It was founded in 1983, became a limited company in 1999 and set up a US division Data Design Interactive LLC in May 2008.[1] The UK office ceased trading in 2009.[2]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Popcorn Arcade 2
  • Critical response to Popcorn Arcade 3
  • Notable games 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

Data Design Interactive (DDI) is one of the longest established computer games companies in the world, founded in 1983 in the United Kingdom. Starting in the earliest 8 bit days, developing titles for Spectrum, C64, Gameboy, Megadrive, Genesis, NES, SNES, Amiga, Atari Jaguar, PC, PCW, CPC, Gamegear, Gamecube, Wii, PS1, PS2, Xbox and even arcade cabinets. DDI have helped create and expand the entire history of the games industry. They have published over eighty titles, with just about every type of game, arcade, racing, strategy, sports, puzzle, platform and adventure and for age groups aimed at kids to 18 rated products. The games industry is littered with companies that come and go quickly, the fact that DDI managed to not only survive, but to grow and prosper over a thirty year period is an amazing feat, and testament to the creative work that they produced. We can think of no other development company that has manged this level of sustained success. This small one man company grew to over a hundred staff, and it should be noted that in the early days when the industry was often accused of long hours of 'crunch time' of unpaid overtime, and obligatory through the night and weekend work, DDI was a company that pioneered fair treatment, paid overtime, bonuses, and even a pension scheme. Becoming a licensed publisher is a huge feat for a developer, only a small handful of developers have ever managed to prove to a manufacturer that they have the ability, and skills to manufacture, market, promote and sell product. DDI became licensed publishers for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Like all companies they have had highs and lows, with award winning titles, such as Lego Rock Raiders, (which still has an active fan base [3] and reviews 4.5/5 [4])and animations for games which had them classed as one of the top ten developers in the UK, it is a shame out of a thirty years career, that they are perhaps best known for a short two year period when they published a collection of budget Wii titles, the infamous popcorn arcade collection was a huge commercial success, they were the largest Wii publishers in Europe, with 30 titles released and selling many millions of units. DDI were pioneers in many areas, You know all those free to play games on your smart phone, paid for with advertising, well the DDI Licenced LONDON TAXI title, was the first title ever to contain interactive real time advertising.[5] Their Wii title Battle Rage was the first video game to utilize 3D glasses to give a real 3D view of the game.[6] Crazy Mini golf used the angle/rotation of the Wii remote rather than the accelerometer, to accurately detect small swings, this made the control far more sensitive than Wii Golf, which only used the accelerometer and thus requires a harder, longer swing. Mini Golf 2 improved on the sensitivity and was one of only 4 titles with Motion Plus support demonstrated at the Launch of Motion Plus at E3 2009, DDI also produced the most expensive Wii Title, the "My Personal Golf Trainer, with David Leadbetter and IMG academies". while £200 was high for a game, this was actually a ground breaking Biomechanical Golf swing simulator, utilising the Wii remote to get the swing arc, angle, direction and rotation, and then the balance board to report body movement, rocking or twist motions, it received overwhelming positive response, CGW REVIEW: "Remarkably accurate", "This sees things that you don't see on a $40,000 golf simulator for a tiny fraction of the price"[7] 4/5 [8] In May 2008, DDI expanded opening new offices in Sarasota, Florida, USA,[9] the headquarters of which are described by them as a "stunning Class-A 10-storey glass elevator building which has an open-air courtyard, a fountain and overlooks the beautiful Sarasota Bay" .

Popcorn Arcade

The Popcorn Arcade was Data Design Interactive's publishing label intended to fill a lack of Wii titles, and especially establish a low price Wii budget range. From 2007 DDI released over 30 'family friendly' titles on its Popcorn Arcade label, specializing in children's titles for LEGO and Hasbro. Under the label, it sold over 4 million units of which over 2 million were in the first year alone. Sales peaked at 40% of the European market for Wii games in this price segment.[10] Later titles such as Kidz Sports Crazy Mini Golf sold over 400,000 units.[11]

Critical response to Popcorn Arcade

The Popcorn Arcade range of titles received overwhelmingly negative reviews, highly critical of the products' quality.[12] The press strongly criticized poor graphics, flawed gameplay, unresponsive controls and lack of polish all associated with rushed production schedules or "shovelware" games.

Data Design Interactive's Kidz Sports Series were IGN's Worst Reviewed Wii Games,[13] with all 3 titles receiving 1.0 out of 10. None of Data Design Interactive's Wii games had received a review score higher than 3.0 out of 10. The lowest score of all DDI titles was 0.8 out of 10, given to Action Girlz Racing.[14]

In 2008, games reviewers on IGN and GameSpot UK declared DDI were damaging the Wii games market's credibility by saturating the market with substandard products. One review called for Nintendo to refuse publishing DDI games on the grounds that they were killing public interest in the Wii.[15]

Notable games

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/109723/Data_Design_Interactive_Opens_US_Office.php
  2. ^ "WebCHeck - Select and Access Company Information". Wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.rockraidersunited.com/forum/310-rock-raiders/
  4. ^ http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Rock-Raiders-PC/dp/B00002EPYR#customerReviews
  5. ^ http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/34722/study-in-game-ad-campaign-lifts-awareness.html
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdfmLwJ70JM
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RXD0tXaTpo
  8. ^ http://golf.about.com/od/equipmentreviews/fr/my-personal-golf-trainer-wii-review.htm
  9. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/109723/Data_Design_Interactive_Opens_US_Office.php
  10. ^   (15 September 2008). "Popcorn Arcade Hits 40% Market Share of the European Value-Priced Wii Games - Wii News at IGN". Uk.wii.ign.com. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Popcorn Arcade Range exclusive preview | Retail Biz | MCV". Mcvuk.com. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  12. ^ Lyon, James (16 October 2007). "Popcorn Arcade Roundup Wii Review - Page 1". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Worst Reviewed Nintendo Console Games - Wii Feature at IGN". IGN. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  14. ^ Thomas, Lucas M. "Action Girlz Racing Review". IGN. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  15. ^ Surette, Tim (18 September 2007). "Wii getting 13 from Data Design". GameSpot. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 

References

  • "INTERVIEW: Popcorn Arcade". MCV. 24 October 2007. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Popcorn Arcade (Data Designs Wii Range)
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