This is the first blog post in a series meant to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Housemarque. While we threw the official anniversary party already earlier in June (some pictures are available on our Facebook page), there are many milestones worth exploring here on the blog. Today, we take a look at the letter that started it all.
“I was still in Tampere at the time”, recalls Ilari Kuittinen, Housemarque’s CEO, “the company was founded together with Harri Tikkanen, our current Creative Director”. Housemarque, as many of you know already, came into being in 1995, as the fusion of two existing companies, Terramarque (Elfmania) and Bloodhouse (Stardust).
“The first agreement Housemarque got was accepted exactly the 10th of June 1995. We negotiated it with a company called Gametek, for whom we were doing a game called Alien Incident”, he stops, trying to recall if that was indeed the game’s name. “I’m not sure how did we call it at the time… I think it was something like Benjamin’s Adventures.”
It was on a weekend when the wheels of fate were put into motion: “One Saturday morning I heard the buzzer ring, so I went to the door and to my surprise the mailman handed me this signed agreement. And that was the start of Housemarque basically – a couple of weeks later we got the signature fee of our first agreement, and a week after that we were able to rent out our first office. So by the end of June there was an Housemarque office in Helsinki.”
Alien Incident wasn’t Housemarque’s first published game though. That achievement goes to Super Stardust on PC, released in the spring of 1996; Alien Incident reached the market a few months later, in September of the same year.