hits of the 80s aussie games that rocked the world
beam software timeline
Melbourne House (Publishers) Ltd established by Alfred Milgrom and Naomi Besen in the UK as a book publishing company
Melbourne House Publishers become interested in distribution of US computer games and books for the UK market
Sinclair ZX80 released in the UK
Alfred Milgrom writes the first computer book for Melbourne House, '30 Programs for the Sinclair ZX80' and Melbourne House distributes the book in the UK
Alfred Milgrom and Naomi Besen return to Melbourne, Australia, and establish Beam Software as a computer development company
William Tang becomes first Beam employee in December 1980
Sinclair ZX81 released
Melbourne House continues to develop computer books
Commodore Vic 20 released
Beam obtains the licensing rights to 'The Hobbit' by promising to release the book in conjunction with the game, and begins development of a new style of adventure game
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (full-colour computer) released
Commodore 64 released
Adam Lancman joins Beam Software as Financial Director
Hungry Horace and Horace Goes Skiing released. These are packaged with the new Sinclair Spectrum and are the first arcade games for the Spectrum
The seminal game,The Hobbit, is released for the Spectrum. It reaches number one in Europe and creates an obsessive culture of fans
The Hobbit gets converted to most computer formats
Sophisticated arcade game, Penetrator, is released
Melbourne Draw, a graphic toolkit created specifically for the ZX Spectum isreleased. It was user-friendly and had fast screen handling. It was a program that was considered useful to professional graphic artists and programmers
Apple Macintosh released
HURG (High-level User-friendly Real Time Games) released. A revolutionary concept, HURG offered a menu driven program that enabled people with little or no programming knowledge to make their own games.
Geoff Heath is appointed Managing Director for Melbourne House. By this time Melbourne House has 12 full-time employees in the UK.
The highly anticipated sequel to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings is released. This is released for most formats and also came packaged with the book 'Fellowship of the Ring'.
The Way of the Exploding Fist, the first martial arts combat game for the home computer, is released. It immediately becomes the best-selling title across Europe.
Beam starts reverse engineering of the Japanese console, Nintendo Famicom.
Beam International sales have 10% of the UK market across all formats.
Rock 'n Wrestle (Bop 'n Wrestle in the US), the first wrestling game for the home computer market released.
Sequel to text adventure game Mugsy, Mugsy's Revenge is released. The comic book style graphics were applauded.
Fist 2, sequel to The Way of the Exploding Fist is released.
Nintendo releases the Famicom into the US market under the name Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
The UK company, Melbourne House (Publishers) Ltd, is sold to the Mastertronic Group.
Beam develops its own Nintendo development system as a result of its reverse engineering. Beam Software starts development for the Nintendo NES.
Street Hassle released on most formats including the NES (also known as Bop 'n Rumble and Bad Street Brawler).
Nintendo grants Beam Software a developer licence for the NES on condition that it discontinues sale of its development system. Beam becomes only the second non-Japanese company to be granted a Nintendo development licence.
Melbourne House is included in the Virgin Group after Virgin's take-over of Mastertronic. Virgin ceases distribution of games under the 'Melbourne House' imprint.
Beam develops for Nintendo publishers in the US and in Japan.
T-Wrecks (aka The Muncher for commercial tie-in) released only on the Spectrum.
Exploding Fist + released
Nintendo releases Gameboy
Beam releases Aussie Games into the US market
Beams starts to develop games for the NEC PC-9801 and NEC PC-Engine for the Japanese market
Adam Lancman becomes shareholder and Joint Managing Director of Beam
Hunt for Red October released for the Gameboy. It was the first Gameboy game to feature head-to-head arcade action
Star Wars for Lucas Films is completed for the NES
There are now 30 people working in games development at Beam Software
Nintendo SNES released in the US and Japan (1992 for the UK)
Super Smash TV released for the SNES and was the first game to feature fast arcade action on the SNES
Beam Software starts LaserBeam Entertainment as a subsidiary to publish Nintendo games. They become the only Australian company to obtain a licence from Nintendo to publish games
Aussie Rules Footy and International Cricket (released by LaserBeam for the NES) released, reaching number one in Australia
Four Beam titles are nominated at the Nintendo Power Nestor Awards
Sony Playstation released (1994 Japan)
SNES Cricket reaches number one in both Australia and the UK
Melbourne House develops a monthly CD-ROM based magazine called 'The Disc', distributed by newsagencies throughout Australia
Nintendo 64 released
Beam becomes the first publicly listed games company on the Australian Stock Exchange under the name Beam International Limited
Beam International Limited re-registers the lapsed Melbourne House brand name
Beam is the five-time winner at the ATOM Awards (Australian International Multimedia)
Beam wins Australian Multimedia Export Award
Beam establishes hotgames.com - creating a community for news, reviews and downloads for PC games. The site wins the Best Games Site award at the Australian Internet Awards
Krush Kill 'n Destroy (KKND) and Cricket 97 are released with worldwide distribution through Electronic Arts
Beam announces 'Smarty Pants', a division of Beam devoted to educational multimedia
Beam International Limited sells the games development and publishing businesses (Beam and Melbourne House) to Infogrames, which becomes Infogrames Melbourne House. At the time of this sale, there were 130 people in games development at Beam
As part of the sale, the listed company (Beam International Limited) changes its name to Blaze Limited and develops software and provides services for the entertainment, telecommunications and education industries
Adam Lancman continues as CEO of Infogrames Melbourne House
GP500 released for Windows. It is considered to be one of the milestones in games development because of its attention to detail
Sony Playstation released
Le Mans Dreamcast released and voted 'Best Driving Game' on any platform worldwide by EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly)
Nintendo Game Cube released
Nintendo Gameboy Advance released
Microsoft Xbox released
Founder Alfred Milgrom and CEO/MD Adam Lancman resign from the board of Blaze Limited, selling all their shares
Alfred Milgrom takes control of Smarty Pants Publishing Pty Ltd, the educational development business initially developed by Beam International
Infogrames adopts the brand name Atari for its global commercial operations
Infogrames Melbourne House is renamed Atari Melbourne House
Grand Prix Challenge released and voted 'Top Driving Game' for the Sony Playstation 2
Transformers Armada released. Voted one of the Best Games of 2004
Melbourne House is purchased in November 2006 by Australia's largest games developer, Krome Studios, as an extension of their Brisbane Studios