Speedball II

Rebellion has just announced that it has purchased the brand and IP portfolio of The Bitmap Brothers, one of the UK's most exciting and influential '90s studios.

Founded in 1987 by Mike Montgomery, Eric Matthews and Steve Kelly, The Bitmap Brothers were responsible for the likes of Xenon II: Megablast, Speedball II, Gods and The Chaos Engine. Considered to be the first 'rock stars' of the games industry, the studio produced titles which were visually stunning as well as incredibly playable and gained an enviable reputation amongst the press and gamers alike.

While most of the company's key staffers moved onto other projects, Montgomery retained control of the brand and has recently worked with external studios to update existing Bitmap properties (Gods was recently remastered for modern systems, including Switch).

Here's the PR:

Rebellion, one of Europe’s largest independent creative studios, is proud to announce its acquisition of the iconic The Bitmap Brothers brand and portfolio.

Described as “Gaming’s first rockstars,” The Bitmap Brothers were responsible for what many regard as some of the stand-out games of the late 80s and early 90s, including titles such as Xenon, Z: Steel Soldiers, Speedball and Chaos Engine. Rebellion plans to bring classic The Bitmap Brothers games to new platforms, and going forward to create new titles based on its beloved licenses.

The news comes as the UK’s National Videogame Museum unveiled its new UK Collection which launches with a focus on Rebellion, recognizing the studio’s achievements across multimedia, spanning more than a quarter of a century. This will lead to Rebellion being featured in the first Great British Studios exhibition, launching at a future date in the museum.

“We’re delighted with the addition of The Bitmap Brothers to the ever-growing Rebellion portfolio,” said Rebellion CEO and Co-founder Jason Kingsley OBE. “The Bitmap Brothers are renowned for making great games and for bringing gaming into the mainstream with inimitable style. We’ve known Mike Montgomery for many years, and we’re honoured by the faith and trust that he has shown in us by passing on the torch. We’ll strive to be vigilant custodians of one of gaming’s great names.”

To celebrate today’s announcement, Rebellion have unveiled a special photo featuring company Co-founders Jason and Chris Kingsley OBE and The Bitmap Brothers co-founder Mike Montgomery, harking back to the classic images of The Bitmap Brothers that gained mainstream attention in the 1990s.

What do you make of this news? What Bitmap Brothers titles would you like to see resurrected?