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Introversion Software

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Introversion Software
Type Limited
Industry Computer and video game industry
Founded 2001
Headquarters England
Key people Chris Delay
Mark Morris
Thomas Arundel
John Knottenbelt
Will Morris
Morten Pedersen
Joanna Stansfield
Products Uplink, Darwinia, DEFCON, Multiwinia, Subversion, Prison Architect
Employees 7[1]

Introversion Software are British video game developers.


The company was founded in 2001 by three friends, Chris Delay; Mark Morris; and Thomas Arundel, who met when they were undergraduates at Imperial College London.[2] The company originally labelled itself 'the last of the bedroom programmers' due to the team working out of their homes rather than having an office - they finally moved into an office when working on their fourth game, Multiwinia. Their first released game, Uplink, was programmed and designed almost exclusively by Chris, while Mark and Tom handled marketing, materials and the other 'business' elements. Their small initial investment enabled them to buy CD-Rs and printer cartridges. Early copies of the game were hand-made. The company was able to fully make back their investment within a few hours of accepting orders. A large community formed and the team, along with a new programmer, Andy Bainbridge, started work on two new games: Darwinia and DEFCON.

Darwinia was released to much critical acclaim and was eventually re-released via Steam on 14 December 2005. Uplink has also since joined Darwinia on Steam, as of summer 2006. On 29 September 2006, Introversion Software launched its third game, DEFCON. Shortly after its release, Introversion had measured their bandwidth in terabytes for the first time. Soon after the release of DEFCON Introversion began work on a fourth game called Subversion.[3] Their fourth game, however, was Multiwinia, a multiplayer follow up to Darwinia, and was released on 19 September 2008. Sales have so far failed to live up to the example set by DEFCON. Despite this, it was received well by the community and indie gamers alike[who?].

Darwinia and Multiwinia were eventually ported for the Xbox 360. This resulted in the eventual release of Darwinia+, which included both games, to the Xbox Live Arcade on 10 February 2008

Introversion has a relatively minute, but dedicated, following.

Delay of Subversion and announcement of Prison Architect

After the release of Multiwinia in 2008, Introversion then announced the commencement of working on a game called Subversion in December of that year.[3] This was followed by a series of blog-posts about the development of the game and its procedurally generated urban areas[4] and more recently the game was demoed at the World of Love event in 2010.[5] Eventually, in October 2011, after 3 years in development, Subversion was announced as delayed.[6]

During the Humble Indie Bundle release of Introversion games and tech demos of Subversion material, their new game was announced as Prison Architect along with a treasure hunt of information on the new game hidden within the tech demos.[7]

Financial history

After a low-key launch, the critical and (relatively speaking) commercial success of Uplink flushed Introversion with success. A visit to E3 2002 saw the team 'rinse £10k in a week on speedboats and fast cars', but regret soon set in as they watched their income steadily decline, since 'in the games industry, you make 75% of your total revenue for the product in the first 6 months'.[8] By Christmas 2002, then-publisher, Strategy First, had stopped paying royalties for Uplink (they would later file a Consumer Proposal AKA Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, but were then acquired by Silverstar Holdings in early 2005); even with the cash flow from direct sales, Introversion ran out of money in the middle of 2003.[8] The company hovered on the edge of bankruptcy, with the team selling most of their worldly goods, as their second project and only hope for funds -- Darwinia -- 'slipped relentlessly'.[8]

Darwinia was eventually released in March 2005, but despite a strong opening weekend and a superb[citation needed] critical reception, sales soon slipped too low to sustain the company. Within six months, the developers were back on UK government benefits until November, when they contacted Valve Corporation 'on a whim' [9] to try to set up a digital distribution deal on their Steam (software)|Steam platform. Valve responded enthusiastically and, following a 14 December 2005 online launch, digital sales (which exposed the game to a new, global audience) kept the company going through to the release of their third game, DEFCON.

On 15 September 2006, the day DEFCON pre-orders were made available, Introversion spent their last £1500. Fortuitously, the game 'did much much better than [they] ever imagined' and funds for at least the forthcoming twelve months quickly rolled in to replace it. Now financially secure, the company place their eventual success largely at Valve's feet: 'Steam has made Introversion a commercial success', Tom Arundel is quoted saying.[10]

Introversion's games were featured in a Humble Indie Bundle that launched in November 2011. This "Humble Introversion Bundle" sold 190,261 bundles and generated $779,026.33. Introversion is using the money for the ongoing development of their upcoming game Prison Architect.[11]



External links

Introversion Software Games
Prison Architect
Prison Architect