Ubisoft Blue Byte is a video game developer based in Düsseldorf, Germany, founded in 1988. The company has produced popular titles like Battle Isle and The Settlers. Since 2001, the company has been owned by Ubisoft.
Blue Byte Software was founded by Thomas Hertzler and Lothar Schmitt in Mülheim on October 1988. The first published game was the tennis simulation Great Courts, released in 1989 by Ubisoft (then called Ubi Soft). Blue Byte's first big success in Germany and Europe was the turn-based strategy game Battle Isle, completed in 1991. Inspired by the Japanese game Nectaris for the PC Engine, Battle Isle spawned numerous add-ons and sequels. The company's next big success followed in 1993 with the release of the managerial game Die Siedler, marketed internationally as The Settlers. Settlers also had numerous sequels and became the most well-known of Blue Byte's products.
Over the years, Blue Byte developed and published numerous innovative titles including Chewy: Escape from F5 and Albion, but most of them were not successful internationally. Efforts to break into the American market, usually aided with publishing by Accolade, failed and success was limited to Germany and parts of Europe. In 1995 a Chicago based entrepreneur named Julian Pretto traveled to Germany and convinced the founders to open a North American office. Following the successful release of Battle Isle 2020 in the United States, Pretto left the firm to pursue other interests. Three years later, Blue Byte moved from Chicago, Illinois, to its new facilities in Austin, Texas.
The popular turn-based strategy Battle Isle series from the early 1990s achieved cult status similar to Settlers but when revised in 1997 as a 3-D tactical game Incubation similar to UFO: Enemy Unknown and later in 2001 Battle Isle: The Andosia War, which tried to breach the gap between turn-based strategies and real-time strategies, it alienated many players who came to expect that the Battle Isle brand would represent traditional turn-based strategies.
In January 2001, Blue Byte was acquired by Ubisoft, and tasked to focus on Blue Byte's two most popular series. As of 2004, Blue Byte released the newest game of the Settlers series under the name Die Siedler: Das Erbe der Könige (literally "The Settlers: Heritage of Kings"), followed by several expansions. Recently, they announced a re-release of The Settlers II with updated graphics and gameplay to be available in autumn 2006. A downloadable demo is now available from their website. Ubisoft and Blue Byte announced in October 2006 that they plan on releasing the newest title into The Settlers franchise in 2007 with the working title of The Settlers VI.
Games developed or published
- Great Courts (1989) - Sports (Tennis) simulation
- Twinworld (1989) - Platform
- Great Courts 2 (1990) - Sports (Tennis) simulation
- Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour (1990) - Sports (Tennis) simulation
- Tom and The Ghost (1990) - Action
- Atomino (1991) - Puzzle
- Battle Isle (1991) - Strategy
- Battle Isle Data Disk I (1992) - Strategy
- Ugh! (1992) - Puzzle
- Battle Isle Data Disk II (1993) - Strategy, also known as Battle Isle '93 or Battle Isle: The Moon of Chromos)
- History Line: 1914-1918 (1993) - Strategy
- The Settlers (1993) - Strategy
- Battle Isle II (1994) - Strategy (also known as Battle Isle 2200)
- Battle Isle II Data Disk I (1994) - Strategy (also known as Battle Isle II: Titan's Legacy or Battle Isle II Scenery CD)
- Battle Isle III (1995) - Strategy (also known as Battle Isle 2220 or Battle Isle III: Shadow of the Emperor)
- Albion (1995) - RPG
- Archimedean Dynasty (orig. Schleichfahrt) (1996) - Submarine Shooter
- Chewy: ESC from F5 (1996) - Adventure
- The Settlers II (1996) - Strategy
- Dr. Drago's Madcap Chase (1997) - Strategy
- Extreme Assault (1997) - Action
- Incubation (1997) - Strategy (also known as Battle Isle: Incubation)
- Game, Net & Match! (1998) - Sport
- The Settlers III (1998) - Strategy
- Star Trek: Starship Creator (1999)
- Stephen King's F13 (2000) - Simulation
- The Settlers IV (2001) - Strategy
- Battle Isle: The Andosia War (2001) - Strategy
- The Settlers: Heritage of Kings (2005) - Strategy
- The Settlers II 10th Anniversary (2006) - Strategy
- The Settlers: Rise of an Empire (2007) - Strategy
- The Settlers: Rise of Cultures (2008) - Strategy (orig. Die Siedler: Aufbruch der Kulturen, not available in English language)
- Anno 1404 (2009)
- The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom (2010)
- ↑ Creativity at the Core Ubisoft Studios
- ↑ Ho, Jennifer. "Ubi Soft acquires Blue Byte Software", February 8 2001.
- ↑ 'The Settlers VI' In The Making - TotalGaming.net news, 10 October 2006
- Blue Byte's official website
- MobyGames' entry on Blue Byte Software
- Template:De icon List of Blue Byte productions
- The Settlers II remake (German)