Open main menu

Digital Pictures was an American video game developer founded in 1991 by Lode Coen, Mark Klein, Ken Melville, Anne Flaut-Reed, Kevin Welsh and Tom Zito.[1]

Digital Pictures
IndustryVideo games
Founded1991 (1991)
FoundersLode Coen
Mark Klein
Ken Melville
Anne Flaut-Reed
Kevin Welsh
Tom Zito
Defunct1996 (1996)
Headquarters,
ProductsInteractive movies

The company originated from an attempt to produce a game for the failed VHS-based NEMO game system. One of its first titles, Night Trap was originally produced as a title for the NEMO, before being converted for use with Sega's new Sega CD. The mature-themed content of Night Trap made it the source of some controversy. Nevertheless, the title was a bestseller. Digital Pictures went on to create other full motion video-based titles primarily for Sega hardware, and are regarded as a pioneer of the interactive movie genre.[2] However, the company declined in the mid-1990s due to waning interest in full motion video games. Its final title, Maximum Surge went unreleased and was later repurposed into a film called Game Over.

Full motion video gamesEdit

The founders of Digital Pictures met in the late 1980s while working at a division of the toy manufacturer Hasbro originally called Hasbro Interactive and later renamed Isix. The Isix team developed a video game system called NEMO (a code name abbreviation for "never ever mention outside") [3] that used VHS tapes rather than cartridges, which allowed games to offer live action and interactive full motion video. They also developed a software prototype called Scene Of The Crime, which led to the production of two full-length titles, Night Trap and Sewer Shark.

After Hasbro executives declined to bring the NEMO system to market, closing its Isix division, key members of the Isix team founded Digital Pictures in 1991 and purchased the NEMO software assets from Hasbro. Digital Pictures converted Night Trap and Sewer Shark from their video-tape-based format to the Sega CD platform.

We're betting, ultimately, when there's an interactive cable converter sitting atop everyone's TV set, that something that feels like Citizen Kane (or at least Leave It to Beaver) will have more legs than something that feels like Mario or Princess Toadstool.[4]

Tom Zito

Throughout the 1990s, Digital Pictures continued to design interactive full motion video games for the CD-ROM format.[2] Steve Russell worked for the company for a time.[5] Several celebrities, including actors Steve Eastin, Corey Haim, R. Lee Ermey, and Dana Plato; sports stars Scottie Pippen and Mike Ditka; and musicians Debbie Harry, INXS, Kris Kross, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and C+C Music Factory, appeared in Digital Pictures games.

ControversyEdit

In the early 1990s, Night Trap was singled out by numerous interest groups and by Senators Joseph Lieberman and Herbert Kohl as evidence that the video game industry was marketing games with graphic violence and other adult content to minors. Concern about Night Trap and several other games such as Mortal Kombat helped to bring about the creation of the ESRB video game rating system.

DeclineEdit

By the late 1990s, consumer interest in full-motion video games, which accounted for the majority of the company's profits, was in decline. After the collapse of the company, its assets were acquired by Cyber Cinema Interactive. The new company intended to re-release the games for DVD but that never came about.[6] The only actual production for Cyber Cinema was the direct to video film Game Over – also known as Maximum Surge Movie. It used footage from an unreleased video game called Maximum Surge as well as clips from other Digital Pictures games. Although the film boasted stars such as Yasmine Bleeth and Walter Koenig, they only appear in the segments that had been pulled from the FMV sequences of the game, which suffer from lower image quality than the original footage.[7]

Flash Film Works later acquired the rights to some of the games. They remastered and re-released Double Switch and Quarterback Attack for iTunes and Google Play in late 2016 before partnering with Screaming Villains and Limited Run Games to release PlayStation 4 remasters starting in 2018 with Double Switch and 2019 with Corpse Killer.[8]

Games developedEdit

Title Cast Date of release Format Reference
Citizen X Sharee Gregory, Charley Hayward, Peter Kent,
Rob Narita, Mark Withers
2002 Sega CD [9]
Corpse Killer Vincent Schiavelli, Jeremiah Birkett, Bridget Butler 1994 Sega CD [10]
Sega 32X [11]
1995 3DO [12]
Macintosh [13]
Sega Saturn [14]
2019 PlayStation 4 [15]
Steam [16]
Double Switch Corey Haim, Debbie Harry, R. Lee Ermey,
Irwin Keyes, Camille Cooper
1993 Sega CD [17]
1995 Sega Saturn [18]
Windows 95 [19]
2016 Google Play [20]
iTunes [21]
2018 PlayStation 4 [22]
Steam [23]
2019 Nintendo Switch [24]
Ground Zero: Texas Steve Eastin, Leslie Zemeckis, Scott Lawrence,
Christopher Bradley, Rick Aiello
1993 Sega CD [25]
Kids on Site Larry Grennan, Scott McClain, Robin Joss 1994 DOS [26]
Macintosh [27]
Sega CD [28]
Make My Video: INXS INXS 1992 Sega CD [29]
Make My Video: Kris Kross Kris Kross 1992 Sega CD [30]
Make My Video: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch 1992 Sega CD [31]
Maximum Surge Yasmine Bleeth, Walter Koenig, Michael Champion, Andy Hirsch N/A 3DO [32]
Macintosh
Sega Saturn
Windows 95
Night Trap Dana Plato, Tracy Matheson, Debra Parks,
Allison Rhea, Christy Ford
1992 Sega CD [33]
1994 3DO [34]
DOS [35]
Sega 32X [36]
1995 Macintosh [37]
2017 PlayStation 4 [38]
Steam [39]
2018 Nintendo Switch [40]
PlayStation Vita [41]
Power Factory Featuring C+C Music Factory C+C Music Factory 1992 Sega CD [42]
Prize Fighter Jimmy Nickerson, Manny Perry, Billy Lucas, Ben Bray 1993 Sega CD [43]
Quarterback Attack with Mike Ditka Mike Ditka, Keith Neubert, Peter Kent 1995 3DO [44]
Sega Saturn [45]
1996 DOS [46]
2016 Google Play [47]
iTunes [48]
Sewer Shark David Underwood, Robert Costanzo, Kari G. Peyton 1992 Sega CD [49]
1994 3DO [50]
Slam City with Scottie Pippen Scottie Pippen, Keith Gibbs, Malcolm Ian Cross,
Keith Neubert, Dana Wilkerson
1994 Sega CD [51]
1995 DOS [52]
Sega 32X [53]
Supreme Warrior Vivian Wu, Richard Norton, Roger Yuan,
Chuck Jeffreys, Ron Yuan, Chaplin Chang
1994 3DO [54]
Sega 32X [55]
Sega CD [56]
1996 DOS [57]
Macintosh [58]
What's My Story? Jill Wright 1996 Macintosh [59]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "The Making of...". Edge (215): 111–113. June 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Is This the End of FMV as We Know It?". Next Generation. Imagine Media (10): 6–7. October 1995.
  3. ^ needs source
  4. ^ Zito, Tom (March 1995). "Dispatches". Next Generation. Imagine Media (3): 106–7.
  5. ^ "The Next Generation 1996 Lexicon A to Z: Russell, Steve". Next Generation. No. 15. Imagine Media. March 1996. p. 40.
  6. ^ "Maximum Surge". flashfilmworks.com. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  7. ^ "Digital Pictures Unreleased FMV Game, Maximum Surge, Went To DVD As Game Over". 8 Bit Central. November 5, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  8. ^ "William Mesa Presents Flash Film Works". flashfilmworks.com. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  9. ^ "Citizen X for the SEGA CD". Good Deal Games.
  10. ^ "Corpse Killer (Sega CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  11. ^ "Corpse Killer (Sega 32x)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  12. ^ "Corpse Killer (3DO)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Corpse Killer (Macintosh)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  14. ^ "Corpse Killer (Sega Saturn)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  15. ^ "Limited Run #279: Corpse Killer (PS4) [PREORDER]". Limited Run Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  16. ^ "Corpse Killer - 25th Anniversary Edition". Steam. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  17. ^ "Double Switch (Sega CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  18. ^ "Double Switch (Sega Saturn)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  19. ^ "Double Switch (Windows)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  20. ^ "Double Switch (Android)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  21. ^ "Double Switch (iphone)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  22. ^ "Limited Run #194: Double Switch 25th Anniversary Edition (PS4)". Limited Run Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  23. ^ "Double Switch - 25th Anniversary Edition". Steam. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  24. ^ "Double Switch: 25th Anniversary for Nintendo Switch". limitedgamenews. July 18, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  25. ^ "Ground Zero Texas (Sega CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  26. ^ "Kids on Site (DOS)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  27. ^ "Kids On Site (MAC CD-ROM Macintosh)". Amazon. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  28. ^ "Kids on Site (Sega CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  29. ^ "Make My Video: INXS (SEGA CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  30. ^ "Make My Video: Kriss Kross (SEGA CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  31. ^ "Make My Video: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (SEGA CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  32. ^ "Maximum Surge". Sega Retro. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  33. ^ "Night Trap (SEGA CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  34. ^ "Night Trap (3DO)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  35. ^ "Night Trap (DOS)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  36. ^ "Night Trap (SEGA 32X)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  37. ^ "Night Trap (Macintosh)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  38. ^ "Limited Run #74: Night Trap (PS4)". Limited Run Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  39. ^ "Night Trap - 25th Anniversary Edition". Steam. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  40. ^ "Switch Limited Run #8: Night Trap [PREORDER]". Limited Run Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  41. ^ "Limited Run #193: Night Trap Classic Edition (Vita)". Limited Run Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  42. ^ "Power Factory featuring C+C Music Factory (SEGA CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  43. ^ "Prize Fighter (SEGA CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  44. ^ "Quarterback Attack (3DO)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  45. ^ "Quarterback Attack (Sega Saturn)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  46. ^ "Quarterback Attack (DOS)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  47. ^ "Quarterback Attack (Android)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  48. ^ "Quarterback Attack (itunes)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  49. ^ "Sewer Shark (Sega CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  50. ^ "Sewer Shark (3DO)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  51. ^ "Slam City with Scottie Pippen (SEGA CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  52. ^ "Slam City with Scottie Pippen (DOS)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  53. ^ "Slam City with Scottie Pippen (SEGA 32X)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  54. ^ "Supreme Warrior (3DO)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  55. ^ "Supreme Warrior (SEGA 32X)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  56. ^ "Supreme Warrior (SEGA CD)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  57. ^ "Supreme Warrior (DOS)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  58. ^ "Supreme Warrior (Macintosh)". Moby Games. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  59. ^ "What's My Story". FMV World. Retrieved November 5, 2019.

External linksEdit