Founded in 1992, Rebellion® is one of Europe’s leading independent game developers and comic book publishers. The studio’s flagship Sniper Elite games series leads the way for authentic stealth and sniping gameplay with more than 10 million units sold worldwide. Whether it’s the breathtaking intensity of Sniper Elite 3, the face-hugging terror of Aliens vs. Predator or the grindhouse frenzy of Zombie Army Trilogy, the Oxford-based studio is known for creating stand-out games that thrill players.
The Formative Years
Rebellion’s reputation was firmly established with Alien vs Predator in 1994. With ambitious design, strategic gameplay and a haunting atmosphere, it’s widely regarded as one of the Atari Jaguar’s best games. Rather than just living off a license, AvP added considerable value to it. Rebellion continues to apply that ambition to every licensed game it works on. Five years later the studio won acclaim again with Aliens vs Predator, described by GamePro as “the most frightening game since Half-Life.”
Rebellion showed an eye for genre-leading IP – and a canny sense of timing – by purchasing 2000 AD in 2000. The cult comic thrived under new owners, with weekly issues continuing to showcase some of the most exciting talent in the comics industry, and 2000 AD remains widely regarded as the cutting edge powerhouse of British comics. Rebellion also created games featuring 2000 AD’s most popular series, such as Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death and Rogue Trooper. The latter was recognized by BAFTA, earning award nominations for Best Character and Best Screenplay.
In 2006, Rebellion again broadened its horizons by launching Abaddon Books, a publishing arm with a focus on sci-fi and fantasy work. The acquisition of Solaris Books further strengthened Rebellion’s portfolio, and the two imprints boast a truly substantial body of award-winning fiction. .
All the while, Rebellion maintained its focus on making great games. 2005’s Sniper Elite showed the studio could work its magic with original properties too, and its authentic mechanics saw it lauded as “The Gran Turismo of war games.”
Rebellion continued lending its expertise to major properties. Its portfolio brimmed with big names, including the hilarious The Simpsons Game and the all-action multiplayer of Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron and Elite Squadron. The new Aliens vs. Predator of 2010 became the UK’s fastest selling game of the year, and a No. 1 hit for Sega.
Crucially, 2012 also saw Rebellion bring back the Sniper Elite series with a bang. Co-published with 505 Games, Sniper Elite V2 quickly became one of the studio’s biggest ever titles. It quickly topped pre-order charts for almost all major retailers and territories, and went on to earn millions of sales.
Even more impressively, the release of Dredd 3D at cinema – co-produced by company founders Jason and Chris Kingsley - meant Rebellion had number one film and game properties in the same year, a rare feat indeed.
Rebellion didn’t rest on its laurels as a console and PC developer either. Since 2012, the studio released a slew of successful mobile and tablet games, including Zombie HQ, Joust Legend and Judge Dredd vs. Zombies.
Undoubtedly, the studio’s standout success of 2013 was the self-published Sniper Elite spin-off Nazi Zombie Army. PC exclusives back then, the games’ zombified B-movie take on the Sniper Elite series was so popular that a follow-up soon became inevitable.
The Present and the Future
The last two years have arguably been the greatest in Rebellion’s 23-year history.
2014 began with a hugely successful open beta for Evil Genius Online on Facebook, and the game has gone on to launch on both Apple and Android mobile devices.
The summer of 2014 brought the launch of hotly anticipated Sniper Elite 3 on PC, current and next-gen consoles. Taking the series into the vast, beautiful environments of North Africa, Sniper Elite 3 went straight to number one in the UK charts and many others across the globe. Praised by critics and fans alike, it quickly cemented itself as one of Rebellion’s greatest and most successful titles.
In early 2015, Rebellion underlined its independence with the release of its first-ever self-published console title, Zombie Army Trilogy. Developed for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, Zombie Army Trilogy included remastered versions of the first two Nazi Zombie Army games, as well as a brand new third campaign. It proved an immediate success too, becoming the studio’s second UK Top 10 release in less than a year. Incredibly it was joined just a week later by Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition, meaning Rebellion joined a very small list of UK independent studios with two simultaneous Top 10 games.
Rebellion’s achievements were recognized by the industry too. The company took home two trophies from the TIGA 2014 Awards; Sniper Elite 3 picked up the Best Design award, while studio co-founders Chris and Jason Kingsley won the Best Leadership award. Rebellion itself was also nominated for Develop’s Best Independent Studio in both 2014 and 2015.
The extent of Rebellion’s recent success means the company’s future is bright. A number of exciting projects are in the works across a breadth of areas, and the company’s Oxford and Runcorn studios continue to grow. And at E3 2015, Rebellion revealed a new project right on the cutting edge of the industry: a virtual reality reboot of arcade classic Battlezone for Sony’s Project Morpheus and PC. The E3 demo was a hit too, with Wired UK describing it as “one of the most entertaining games at the entire E3 conference.”
One thing’s for sure: You’ll hear a lot more from Rebellion in the coming year.