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Harmonix (creators of Guitar Hero, which they sold, and Rock Band) has a similar story. They created a handful of games over a decade or so, all music based, that never really caught on. When they released Guitar Hero and a few karaoke games, they did a little better than breaking even, and with the release of Guitar Hero 2 sales exploded.

http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2007/02/dice_harmonix_b/




Yep, I've worked here since 1996 (the company was founded in 1995) and we didn't release Guitar Hero until 2005 (actually, we didn't release a game at all until 2001, although we had done other music apps before). It was a total hockey stick curve.


I worked at SCEE in 2003, and Frequency and Amplitude were played a lot by the gamers in the office. I guess those in the know knew.


Great to see a Harmonix employee on HN! I still break out Amplitude from time to time, which I'm guessing you worked on?


Yep.


Take a look at Rare's game list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Rare_games

I don't have familiarity enough with any of the titles to say I had actually heard of them until Donkey Kong Country. Then suddenly virtually every game by them I knew of and liked.

Blast Corps was hugely fun. Golden Eye... Banjo-Kazooie. Perfect Dark. Now recently Viva Pinata.


You must not have been a NES player. A bunch of their NES games were loads of fun: Marble Madness, R.C. Pro-Am, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and probably their biggest NES success: Battletoads.




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