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|Founder(s)||Richard Hanson and John Dyson|
Superior Software (a.k.a. Superior Interactive) is a video game publisher. It was established in 1982 by Richard Hanson and John Dyson, two graduates of the University of Leeds, England. They had previously programmed software published by Micro Power, and they wrote Superior's first four game releases for the BBC Micro: three were written by Hanson and one by Dyson.
Describing the early days, Hanson commented:
"We set up Superior Software with just £100 — John and I each put £50 into a company bank account; and we placed a small black-and-white advertisement in one of the early home computer magazines ... £100 was the most money that we would lose from the Superior Software venture if it had not worked out. Anyway we received a very good response to our first advertisement, and the software sales which it generated covered the cost of the advertisement several times over. We started to place larger advertisements in a few magazines, and invited other programmers to send their software to us for evaluation and possible marketing by us."
Superior initially focussed on the machines of Acorn Computers Ltd; and key management personnel have included Steve Botterill, Chris Payne and Steve Hanson.
Major software developers Peter Johnson, Tim Tyler, Martin Edmondson, Nicholas Chamberlain, Kevin Edwards, David Hoskins, Matthew Atkinson, Chris Roberts, Tony Oakden, Peter Scott, Gary Partis, Peter Irvin, Jeremy Smith, David Braben, Ian Bell, Geoff Crammond, Jonathan Griffiths and Nick Pelling have all produced software published by Superior, sometimes released under the joint Superior Software / Acornsoft brandname.
Superior, under the brandname Superior Interactive, now mainly develops and publishes software for computers running Microsoft Windows; and they have released several updated versions of their popular 1980s hits for that operating system.
Other notable Superior Software games for the BBC include Overdrive, Citadel, Thrust, Galaforce, Ravenskull, Stryker's Run, Codename: Droid (sequel to Stryker's Run), Palace of Magic, Quest, Bonecruncher, Pipeline, Ricochet and Exile.
As well as their high quality original games, Superior released a number of official BBC/Electron conversions of big games from other systems including Barbarian, The Last Ninja, Predator, Hostages and Sim City.
Superior used the title "Play It Again Sam" to re-release their old titles in compilations of four (with the exception of their earliest such compilations, The Superior Collection volumes 1–3). The original Play It Again Sam featured four games which had each made No. 1 individually (Citadel, Thrust, Ravenskull, and Stryker's Run), but subsequent compilations increasingly featured one or more makeweight games of lesser quality, mainly purchased from other software houses such as Micro Power and Alligata. The series eventually ran to approximately 18, though the latest ones were released on disc only, well into the demise of the 8-bit scene, and very few copies were sold.
As well as new versions of the Repton games, Superior Interactive has published re-releases called Galaforce Worlds, Ravenskull, Pipeline Plus, Ricochet and a new game Solid Spheres Deluxe.
Superior also published a number of educational and utility software titles.
Their most well-known games are the Repton series of games, which sold over 125,000 units for the Acorn Computers:
- Repton (retitled Repton 1 for the Windows rerelease)
- Repton 2
- Repton 3 and its extra levels expansions (all included under the Repton 3 name in rereleases):
- Repton Infinity
- Repton Spectacular (includes levels for Repton and Repton 2)