1988: DMA Design (later Rockstar North) established
Twenty-five years ago, under the shadow of the vast, expanding video games industry of the late 1990s, a small studio called DMA Design was created in Scotland. With a couple praised though not well-known games, Menace and Blood Money, of its belt, the company dove off the development cliff with its 1991 hit Lemmings. (Get it? Cliff, lemmings?…cause they…oh forget it.) This popular puzzler sold millions and made DMA a household name. And Lemmings spawned numerous sequels that were created by DMA, and some one-offs that weren’t.
In the 1990s, DMA entered into what would become a rocky relationship with Nintendo. DMA was asked by Nintendo to join its fabled list of Nintendo 64 developers, which it did. The company developed a single game for the console, Body Harvest, which, due to design and development conflicts between the two companies, never made it to market under the Nintendo brand. Instead, the game was picked up by Gremlin Graphics and Midway and became a nominal success. In 1997, DMA reached a certain level of fame and infamy with a little game called Grand Theft Auto. That same year, DMA was bought by Gremlin Interactive, a British game developer, which marked the beginnnings of it transformation into Rockstar North (which occurred several years later in 2002).
So Lemmings…love it or hate it? We’d love to hear from you or from anyone who had a chance to play some of DMA’s games!