The Royal Mail has just launched a set of 12 stamps celebrating the joy of gaming with pioneering and influential UK-designed games from the 1980s and ’90s.
The new set traces the roots of the UK’s games industry to the very early 1980s and includes four stamps that chart the evolution of the iconic Tomb Raider game – a franchise that has sold over 74 million copies worldwide and has even exploded into a series of blockbuster films based on the original Tomb Raider game and 2013 reboot. Its protagonist Lara Croft has been a contemporary global icon for over two decades.
Gamers (and designers) will be overjoyed to also see tributes to classics such as Worms, created by the Wakefield-based, Team 17 – “I’m going to get you, just you wait!”. And Wipeout developed in Liverpool by Sony’s Psygnosis studio with graphics by Sheffield’s The Designers Republic. There’s Micro Machines, the ground-breaking race game developed by Codemasters, where players race miniature toy vehicles on fun landscapes (the toilet seat was the worst, in our opinion). And Dizzy from 1987, devised and created by the Oliver twins and published by Codemasters. It went on to become one of the most successful British game franchises of the era.
Stamps also feature Elite, the pioneering space-trading game originally made for BBC Micro and Acorn Electron. Made by Cambridge based duo, David Braben and Ian Bell, the game is legendary and arguably changed the face of computer gaming.
There’s also Populous (remember that?!) by Bullfrog Productions – the first-ever civilisation building game and one of the most successful games for PC ever produced; Sensible Soccer, considered by many to be the father of digital football games, and still retains a following, and ’90s favourite Lemmings – created by Dundee-based DMA where the objective is to save lemmings, and apply abilities to individuals to aid their escape.
Royal Mail worked with the industry body, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie), and video game experts, Julian ‘Jaz’ Rignall and Sam Dyer on the stamp issue.
Dr Jo Twist, OBE, CEO of Ukie, said: “This collection celebrates a selection of the great British video games that have helped define both the national and global development scene over decades. Video games are a key part of our cultural footprint and we’re pleased to see their contribution recognised in such memorable style.”
The full set of 12 stamps, available in a Presentation Pack, retails at £14.25. The stamps and a range of collectable products are available to pre-order now at www.royalmail.com.