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The history of Worms

by Billy Berghammer - January 15, 2002, 1:27 pm PST

Everything you ever wanted to know about Worms is here. Everything. Seriously.

WORMS

A brief history…

1994… a game is born!

"Total Wormage" spotted and signed at ECTS. A rough looking game, written in Amiga Blitz Basic has "potential". We intend to develop it further. WORMS is born. Andy Davidson, the author achieves a lifetime ambition to have a game published, at 20 years old.

1995… unleashed!

Versions are developed for the PC, Playstation and Saturn, with more formats planned. The game is expanded and re-worked. It is released in November 1995 to rave reviews, unbelievable press and an adoring public. Despite it's relatively "weak" graphics, the game-play shone and a franchise born.

1996… fame and fortune!

More editions followed on just about every conceivable format, contributing to a huge sales phenomenon for the game. An expansion title was released in Easter, which again knocked up massive sales.

Team17 won a huge number of prestigious industry awards for 'Best Game', 'Most Original Game', 'Best Strategy Game' and also the coveted BBC-TV "Live & Kicking Viewers Award for Best Game".

1997… bigger and better!

The first full sequel to the original was released on PC and was the first to be Internet ready. Worms2 was a huge critical and commercial success - and also a brilliant hit with its Internet play (it's turn-based nature perfectly suiting the rudimentary technology of the time).

1999… Armageddon!

Worms Armageddon was another expansion of the original game, now featuring over 60 weapons and utilities and more options, switches, bells and whistles than you could shake a stick at. With advanced Internet play, people could play people from all four corners of the globe, at the same time. Another critical success. Armageddon was also converted for console and made Dreamcast, N64, Gameboy Colour and PlayStation. Worms sales of the series blasted through the 4million mark.

2000… World Party!

Worms continues to succeed with Worms World Party on PC, Dreamcast.

2001… Blast Off!

Worms development continues with Worms World Party for PlayStation and Gameboy Advance. Worms Blast is the first title developed around the Worms universe characters.

…And there's more to come!

WORMS - SOFTOGRAPHY

WORMS

1995: Amiga, CD32, PC, PlayStation.

1996: Saturn, Jaguar, SNES, Megadrive, Gameboy, and Macintosh.

WORMS REINFORCEMENTS

1996: PC

WORMS UNITED

1996: PC (Worms & Worms Reinforcements combo)

WORMS PINBALL

1997: PC

1998: PlayStation

1999: Dreamcast

WORMS 2

1997: PC

WORMS ARMAGEDDON

1999: PC

1999: PlayStation, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Gameboy Colour

WORMS WORLD PARTY

2000: PC, Dreamcast

2001: PlayStation, Gameboy Advance

WORMS BLAST

2001: PC, PlayStation

2002: GameCube, Gameboy Advance, Macintosh.

29 Skus not including compilations, budget releases.

Worms Armageddon localized in 20 languages.

Released in all world territories.

Original 1995 game still selling well on PC and PlayStation in budget sector.

In excess of 6 million unit sales across the franchise to date.

WORMS - THE GAME & ITS APPEAL

Worms succeeded because it plays so well. The original game was always a better multiplayer game than it was a single player game. We've addressed this in later editions and in future designs, so it's important to note this.

Infinitely re-playable, it relies upon darker human emotions such as jealousy, anger, rage and sarcasm to stir the feelings of your opponents.

People can name their Worms and feel as if they are their own - it isn't nice when your best mate sticks a lump of dynamite up Cyril's arse - and you generally let him know about it, usually with a banana bomb or exploding sheep.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, as someone once suggested.

Worms is stupendously playable. It looks simple, basic even, but the depth of the game belies it's looks and I think it's fair to say that a lot of the initial promotion and marketing activity when the original was launched was based on getting people to play the game - since once they did, they'd be hooked.

Because the original was such a mammoth success, there's certainly a lot less effort required for people to look at Worms games now, but that shouldn't be an excuse as to not reminding people exactly what they are getting. And they're getting a hell of a lot of game, perhaps the gaming bargain of the century!

There's no easy way to make people see the depth of options and strategies, no easy way to sum up the constant range of emotions and belly laughs that the game creates. To play it is to love it. It takes a couple of hours, but it's time well spent.

The game rewards skill, the more you play it, the better you become, although rarely a master. It invites luck and never allows for total comfort.

It's as enjoyable to watch as part of a 4-player game, as it is to play - the entertainment shared between the group. It's a perfect party game.

It doesn't take itself seriously; it has humour in spades, but does not force it.

Above all, Worms has a charm and attention to small detail rarely found in many 'factory production' titles. It's been finely honed and crafted over 8 years and after a few days playing, it's very apparent that this was no accident.

People are still playing the original some 6 years on. Enough said, really.

WORMS - EXPANDING THE BRAND

With the success of the game, came the expectations and sequels. Worms in itself became a "franchise", a marketable commodity.

It was important that we seized the opportunity to develop this franchise and explore the potential within it. Not only for new platforms, new media and digital/mobile applications, but in terms of the whole Worms "Universe".

Worms Blast is the first such benefactor of the Worms Universe properties appearing in a games title.

We looked closely at the most appealing and successful aspects of Worms titles and identified "must have" content.

Wacky humour

Graphic style, bright, colourful, cartoon images.

Addictive, "battle based" multi-player modes (Socially interactive)

Mad weapons, depiction and use of weapons

Strategic Variety

Easy to pick up and play

Re-playability (non linear, non-story based)

Suitable for all formats, territories, genre, gender and age-groups

In addition to this, we created a character cast based on popular entities within the Worms universe, such as the Old Woman (formerly an exploding weapon!), Exploding Sheep, Homing Pigeon and the inimitable Concrete Donkey.

These characters have been expanded and developed and Worms Blast uses them to the max. Another title is also in development featuring this cast and a couple of new ones.

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

PC & PlayStation2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance 2002

Worms Blast is a game deep-rooted in Worms tradition.

Worms Blast introduces and develops a range of madcap characters from the cult world of Worms, including Calvin the Super Sheep, Ethel the Old Woman, Stavros Skunk and Rocky the much-maligned Concrete Donkey. There are nine characters in all and three to find and unlock in the single player game.

Worms Blast pits these characters against each other in a furious battle of wits, dexterity and speed of thought, each clambering aboard it's own vessel and whizzing across the water, blasting the advancing cells, shooting the opponent and gathering bonus items. The player can destroy the advancing cells by shooting coloured missiles and drop combinations, loosen stars and unlock special weapon crates. At the same time, their opponent is doing the same and all hell breaks loose when the walled divider opens up for a brief head to head no-holds-barred action!

Worms Blast is a real mix of genres; it's part strategy, part brainteaser but certainly all action. The game offers many ways to play for both single and multiplayer;

In single player there is a large puzzle game featuring 60 different levels and a map to explore, with original new puzzles, a training section and characters to find and unlock. There is also a huge tournament mode where a number of disciplines can be undertaken - and a versus mode where you can fight the AI characters! In multiplayer mode there are 8 completely different game-modes, which change the focus and tactics required. From more cerebral challenges to all out warfare and action, it is a blast between two players. The game has been designed to be very easy to pick up and play, it's great fun for 1 or 2 players and has a high replay value, no great manual or plot to read - just like the good old days!

Mad characters - Outlandish Weapons - Non Stop Action - Tremendous Fun!

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