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EA looking to revive classic Bullfrog games

EA looking to revive classic Bullfrog games

Electronic Arts may be looking to revive a few of Bullfrog's old licenses in one form or another, it seems.

Electronic Arts may be looking to revive a few of Bullfrog's classic game licenses in the future it seems, though not as simple remakes a spokesperson for the publisher has claimed.

Bullfrog was Peter Molyneux's original studio which developed a strong reputation for off-the-wall strategy titles in the mid 90s. The most notable titles were Theme Park, Theme Hospital, Syndicate and, of course. Dungeon Keeper. Unfortunately, when Bullfrog was sold to Electronic Arts at it's peak a lot of the key talent left the company and went to join Molyneux at Lionhead.Since then EA has made a few token efforts to use the Bullfrog licenses and is heavily rumoured to be making a new Syndicate game as we speak.

Now, according to EA's Harvey Elliot, those old series may soon get revived in some form - though they almost definitely won't come as straight-up remakes.

"If you remember all the old classics you played, if you go back and play them now, they're not the same. They were right for their time, and the trick with those games is coming up with what's right for the time now," Elliot told Kikizo.

"I'm going to look at them at some point, I think there's an opportunity to bring those back in the future, but only if it's right for the time and not just a 'remake' or something. We'd need to do it in a way that's true to the original values, but would still make a great game today."

Which Bullfrog license are you most interested in? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

50 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
steveo_mcg 11th August 2009, 12:23 Quote
Quote:
"If you remember all the old classics you played, if you go back and play them now, they're not the same. They were right for their time, and the trick with those games is coming up with what's right for the time now,"

Any one else read this and think consoleised? :(
Paradigm Shifter 11th August 2009, 12:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Any one else read this and think consoleised? :(

You're not the only one.

Despite that, however, I'd love to see Dungeon Keeper 1&2 again (found my DK2 disc the other day - might install that again now...) and most especially Syndicate... :D
interzen 11th August 2009, 12:45 Quote
"Dungeon Keeper" and "Populous", please. Anything else is a bonus ....

(cue misty-eyed nostalgia of playing Populous on the Atari ST many, many years ago ...)
Mister_Tad 11th August 2009, 12:46 Quote
Syndicate!!!!!!1111one!!!

I've even played that through again recently enough - such a legendary game.
DragunovHUN 11th August 2009, 12:49 Quote
OI!!! You leave Dungeon Keeper alone you perverts! Remake or nothing!
chocolateraisins 11th August 2009, 12:49 Quote
Does this mean Theme Hospital will be made crap?
Lizard 11th August 2009, 13:19 Quote
Given that a Syndicate sequel is already rumoured to be in the works I'd like to see Magic Carpet revisited. It was great fun and (at the time) really gave PC hardware a good workout, especially if you tried to play it in the special 3D mode.
Denis_iii 11th August 2009, 13:31 Quote
yea some magic carpet would be sweet
i've been waiting for new dugoen keeper for aaaages, loved the one
and syndicate :) kick ass, but need some new populous to, old school populous II not the latest one with the shamens and stuff
though i've got a feeling EA will cock it up, prob move syndicate to an FPS or over the shoulder shooter
I was so disapointed with the Golden Axe remake, all they had to do was update the grpahics but keep it a 3nd side scroller but noooo they go 3D and drop the best cvharacter, ie lil drwarf dude with the "golden axe"
B1GBUD 11th August 2009, 13:32 Quote
Please EA, leave these games well alone. Any meddling will surely put a nail in the coffin for these titles.

Now here's an idea, instead of spending all that time and money effectively ruining the memories of those that hold these little gems dear to their hearts.... why not direct all that energy into actually developing games?
Gunsmith 11th August 2009, 13:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Please EA, leave these games well alone. Any meddling will surely put a nail in the coffin for these titles.

Now here's an idea, instead of spending all that time and money effectively ruining the memories of those that hold these little gems dear to their hearts.... why not direct all that energy into actually developing games?

agreed, but theres no money in innovation these days, only recycling. :/
Paradigm Shifter 11th August 2009, 13:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunsmith
agreed, but theres no money in innovation these days, only recycling. :/

Haven't you heard? Recycling saves precious resources, and the planet!

:) :D
Xir 11th August 2009, 13:56 Quote
Syndicate and Populous come to mind...
I've still got populous installed on an old PC somewhere..
general22 11th August 2009, 14:03 Quote
I played Dungeon Keeper recently, basically all it needs is a graphical and interface update and it could hold its own with any modern RTS.
AshT 11th August 2009, 14:45 Quote
On the one hand I can agree that recycling a games innovations and designs may hold back our evolution, on the other hand Bullfrog did make exceedingly good games and I can't wait to play a new version of anything they do. Especially Dungeon keeper!
Omnituens 11th August 2009, 15:16 Quote
YOUR DUNGEON HEART IS BEING ATTACKED!
DragunovHUN 11th August 2009, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT
Bullfrog did make exceedingly good games and I can't wait to play a new version of anything they do. Especially Dungeon keeper!
Bullfrog won't be doing anything anymore. It's all EA now. And look what they've done to Sim City!

(i know Westwood is commonly mentioned on the topic of EA killing game franchises but to be honest i enjoy the new C&Cs quite a lot.)
Sheiken 11th August 2009, 15:42 Quote
Dungeon Keeper is PERFECT! the way it is, DO NOT mess with it! Graphics update, nothing else!
B1GBUD 11th August 2009, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunsmith
agreed, but theres no money in innovation these days, only recycling. :/

Haven't you heard? Recycling saves precious resources, and the planet!

:) :D

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for recycling, if done properly like Monkey Island.
pimlicosound 11th August 2009, 15:57 Quote
If they make a new Syndicate, I hope they remove or vastly improve the escort missions. Those were hell! But they must, must, must leave in the minigun, gauss gun and persuadatron. Best guns ever.
Fumduck 11th August 2009, 15:59 Quote
Dungeon Keeper!!!!!!!


It's good to be bad. :) Anyone else remember the torture chamber with the black mistress? And how she loved to be whipped?
Abhorsen 11th August 2009, 16:07 Quote
Theme Hospital for iPhone please!!
TurtlePerson2 11th August 2009, 16:31 Quote
Populous was the only Bullfrog title I ever played. I really enjoyed the title.
Otto69 11th August 2009, 16:44 Quote
I'd buy Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2 again in a quick second, IF they were either enhanced ports to XP, OR, if they were competently done enhancements. But screw with the base game at your own risk EA!

No doubt EA would remove the final cut scene where the captured knight is accidentally zapped with a wand of polymorph into a troll female....to the interest of the surrounding troll males .
DragunovHUN 11th August 2009, 16:49 Quote
^The last time i tried, DK 1 and 2 both worked fine on XP.

The article is pretty clear on the fact that they want to make a new game, not a remake, sadly. So i wouldn't hope for an "enhanced port"
DougEdey 11th August 2009, 17:16 Quote
Theme hospital - NEED NEED NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!
airchie 11th August 2009, 17:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhorsen
Theme Hospital for iPhone please!!
Screw that, Theme Hospital and Theme Park for Android, pretty please!!! :D
bahgger 11th August 2009, 17:35 Quote
I was just saying earlier today how I felt like playing Theme Hospital again.. and it would work well on the iPhone in its remade format so I don't see any need to adjust it to the times. Port now ASAP!
perplekks45 11th August 2009, 17:50 Quote
Theme Park for iPhone/iTouch please! It wouldn't be too much work either, given their brilliant [but too short] Lemonade Tycoon.

Other than that I'm all for remakes but if they change the mechanics it'll most likely suck.
Omnituens 11th August 2009, 18:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
^The last time i tried, DK 1 (...) worked fine on XP.

32bit XP will run the software render DK1, but not the DirectX version (not a valid Win32 app)

64bit XP will not run either, as the launcher is 16bit :(
knyghtryda 11th August 2009, 18:12 Quote
how about Hi-Octane for the iphone? The original graphics can definitely stay, and it would make for an awesome little racing game.
Skiddywinks 11th August 2009, 20:34 Quote
Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper and Syndicate are still some of my favourite games of all time.

Unfortunately, as excited as I would like to be, this is EA we are talking about. Consolification is going to ruin anything they try to remake. Or not, as the case maybe.

Whatever they do, it is going to butcher some of the best games ever made. The consoles are such a powerful business force at the moment, and a company like EA is not going to miss an oppurtunity to make money. And there in lies the problem; these were PC games.
haddow64 11th August 2009, 21:08 Quote
I would love t if EA just updated these games with 3D graphics and SOME new features (note to EA: a new feature does not include DRM).

But I get the feeling that they will just take these classics and ruin them to make as much cash as possible.
DragunovHUN 11th August 2009, 22:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
32bit XP will run the software render DK1, but not the DirectX version (not a valid Win32 app)

64bit XP will not run either, as the launcher is 16bit :(

But i strongly remember playing DK1 on 32 bit XP pre-SP3.
UncertainGod 12th August 2009, 01:20 Quote
Dungeon Keeper, Populous & Syndicate are the titles that scream out for a reboot, especially Syndicate as that possibly the most awesome of the awesome games generation as I now call it (others could refer to it as the Amiga games generation).
B3CK 12th August 2009, 02:04 Quote
I should think that any tweaking of the games will ruin them in my opinion. As to them not standing up in today's day and time, BS. Just because the games are old or the graphics aren't anywhere where they are today, doesn't mean that they are not playable.
If they do port or remake, they should provide an original playable of the title; and if they want to tweak, put the updated version out alongside of the original. The originals were good because of the game. Tetris is simple, and still getting played strongly.
But, just my opinion.
Lazarus Dark 12th August 2009, 02:09 Quote
"If you remember all the old classics you played, if you go back and play them now, they're not the same. They were right for their time, and the trick with those games is coming up with what's right for the time now," Elliot told Kikizo.

BS. I still break out Populous the Beginning and Dungeon Keeper once or twice a year. And I still find them far better than any other games out there, I can play them for a week straight and not get bored. I did get Populous for the DS and that's pretty cool with the stylus. I wouldn't mind a graphics update though, just don't mess with it. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Not sure I'd care about another sequel or spinoff, but I'd buy a graphics update for sure.
Skiddywinks 12th August 2009, 02:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus Dark
BS. I still break out Populous the Beginning and Dungeon Keeper once or twice a year. And I still find them far better than any other games out there, I can play them for a week straight and not get bored. I did get Populous for the DS and that's pretty cool with the stylus. I wouldn't mind a graphics update though, just don't mess with it. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Not sure I'd care about another sequel or spinoff, but I'd buy a graphics update for sure.

While I totally disagree with the statement you quoted (what a load of horsehit), you have to appreciate that nostalgia is a powerful force. Games people tell me are amazing that I missed the first time around, I just can't get in to. Some things really do depend on the time. I could play X-Com until the sun rises (and often do), but try getting my younger brother to, or any of my friends my age who missed it, and it just doesn't happen.

Releasing these games with better graphics would help a lot, but they are still only going to cater mianly to the old fans. Unfortunately, times do move on and cultures change, so a revival really would need something changed. But I disagree with him saying that going back to your old favourites is different and worse. They are always just as good for me, but I can appreciate that is only because of nostalgia.
perplekks45 12th August 2009, 08:46 Quote
A good game is a good game and will stay a good game. Graphics and sounds might age but mechanics hardly ever do.

Every good RTS is based on paper-scissor-stones, one way or the other. It's like a good movie or book: They're great when first released but they'll be watched/read by the next generations to come. Take Hitchcock's movies as an example, or the Bond novels.
Paradigm Shifter 12th August 2009, 11:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddywinks
While I totally disagree with the statement you quoted (what a load of horsehit), you have to appreciate that nostalgia is a powerful force. Games people tell me are amazing that I missed the first time around, I just can't get in to. Some things really do depend on the time. I could play X-Com until the sun rises (and often do), but try getting my younger brother to, or any of my friends my age who missed it, and it just doesn't happen.

Depends how open you are to 'old' new things, I guess - I didn't play X-Com the first time around, but when I did finally play it I enjoyed it. Same with a lot of sprite-based RPGs - didn't play them the first time around (like on the SNES) but have since played the PS1/GBA/DS/PSP rerelease (or frequently all of them) and was totally drawn in. I first played Chrono Trigger (on an emulator) around the time when Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy was released... and I enjoyed Chrono Trigger more. ;)
r4tch3t 12th August 2009, 11:12 Quote
For me it would gave to be Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper. played both extensively, although I never actualy finished Theme Hospital. Does anyone know if these games will work with the Windows 7 XP thing? Seeing as they don`t use much GFX power. I also want a new Homeworld plus ports to Vista/Win7.
Evildead666 12th August 2009, 11:41 Quote
Syndicate was great on the Amiga....so was populous....
Maybe they should bring out the game in two versions, buy the remake, with its "updates" and get the original, tweaked to run on XP/Vista/Win7 as well.
So at least you can't bitch and say the original was better, since you have it also...
UncertainGod 12th August 2009, 11:50 Quote
If EA released working versions of Syndicate, American Revolt & Syndicate wars on a disk with no other changes except for it to work fine in a modern windows environment I would gladly pay £30 for it.
Denis_iii 12th August 2009, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by general22
I played Dungeon Keeper recently, basically all it needs is a graphical and interface update and it could hold its own with any modern RTS.

I concur, and better multiplayer
Dugeon keeper vs Dungoen keeper yes please
kenco_uk 12th August 2009, 13:10 Quote
Populous on a handheld should herald a new battery technology that lasts for weeks.
Mister_Tad 12th August 2009, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
If EA released working versions of Syndicate, American Revolt & Syndicate wars on a disk with no other changes except for it to work fine in a modern windows environment I would gladly pay £30 for it.

£30! I managed to get Syndicate + American Revolt working under DOS Box without too much effort
Paradigm Shifter 12th August 2009, 17:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
£30! I managed to get Syndicate + American Revolt working under DOS Box without too much effort

I'd do that.

If some bugger hadn't stolen my copies of Syndicate and Syndicate Wars years ago. :(
Emu76 25th August 2010, 02:21 Quote
I know I'm digging up an old thread, but does anybody know anything on this topic anymore? I haven't heard a thing about a new Dungeon Keeper, or more importantly, Theme Hospital. I've been playing this classic game all of this last week, and contrary to what Harvey Elliot said, it is just as good as it was 13 years ago. I think the concept and gameplay is timeless and is still great fun today. A remake? Yes please.
UncertainGod 25th August 2010, 02:37 Quote
Well EA cancelled a lot of project recently, ones they have kept going are Project Redlime (Almost certainly a new Syndicate) and a couple of others but it seems that they have given up on taking chances for now given the current economy and that they are pussies.
Akdude80 26th February 2011, 07:40 Quote
Magic carpet and Magic carpet 2 are always nice to make come back also as better in graphics and all :O couldnt wait that to come....
Niels E Poulsen 9th July 2012, 06:10 Quote
Ohhhhhhhhhhh if it ever would be possible, then You guys should revive POPULOUS from 1989. That game was one of THE BEST. Simple but extremely different and catching.

Yours
Niels, Roskilde, Denmark

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