A Short History of Rare

Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh recounts Rare's journey from a ZX Spectrum developer to an icon of innovation — and to a company searching for its next big hit

1982 seems like a sort of holy nexus for the game industry; it's the year of EA, the year of Lucasfilm Games, and the year the Stamper brothers, then in their early twenties, who began to tackle the ZX Spectrum. The Spectrum was an odd system, a phenomenon in Europe (especially the UK) yet completely unheard of here. The best analogy I can come up with is that it served as a parallel for our Apple II – except even more mainstream. Therefore, where we got Sierra and Origin the Brits got the Stampers, buried under two levels of pseudonym ("Ashby Computer Graphics" for the company, "Ultimate: Play the Game" for the public brand).

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.