Kuju (company)

  (Redirected from Kuju Entertainment)

Kuju Ltd is an international video game developer. Kuju was formed in 1998 in Shalford, Surrey, England, after a management buyout of Simis from Eidos Interactive.

Kuju Ltd.
IndustryVideo games
Founded1998; 22 years ago (1998)
ParentCurve Digital

Kuju has released titles across different devices, ranging from Art Academy on the Nintendo DS, The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest and Battalion Wars 2 for the Wii, and an Xbox One title, Powerstar Golf.


In 1998, Ian Baverstock and Jonathan Newth were running Simis, an in-house development studio owned by Eidos. In the same year, Baverstock and Newth led a management buyout of the studio from Eidos Interactive, forming Kuju Ltd. The name "Kuju" originates from the initials of the founders’ first names: Ian Baverstock and Jonathan Newth. Jonathan was leafing through a Japanese dictionary when he found the numbers nine and ten – "ku" and "ju" – corresponding to the positions of "I" and "J" in the English alphabet. The combined result was Kuju. Their first game was Tank Racer, a 3D action racer for PC, PlayStation and mobile.

By 2001, Kuju was employing a team of 80 developers, in three separate offices around the UK in London, Surrey and Brighton. Their most notable project at the time was Microsoft Train Simulator.[1] In 2002, Kuju floated on the Alternative Investments Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. Shortly thereafter the company signed its first game with THQ based on the Games Workshop franchise, Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior. In the following years between 2002 and 2007, Kuju developed titles including SingStar games and the Battalion Wars franchise.

In 2007, Kuju Ltd. was acquired by a German media investment firm, Catalis SE. Soon after, Kuju Brighton was rebranded to Zoë Mode, and in 2008, Kuju London rebranded to Headstrong Games. In 2010, Headstrong Games completed development of Art Academy for the Nintendo DS console.[2] In June 2012, Dominic Wheatley, co-founder of Domark, was appointed as CEO; while Gary Bracey, former vice-president of development at Ocean Software, was appointed as commercial director.[3]


Kuju at one point had two UK studios: Headstrong Games in London and Zoë Mode in Brighton. Both have since been amalgamated back into Kuju.

Headstrong Games has developed versions of The House of the Dead: Overkill, The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest and Top Gun: Hard Lock. Original intellectual property include Art Academy and Battalion Wars, both now owned by Nintendo.

Zoë Mode have worked on the EyeToy series, Zumba dance franchise and Powerstar Golf. They also developed games for Xbox's Kinect.

Previous Kuju StudiosEdit

  • Simis
  • Kuju Surrey
  • Kuju Sheffield (latterly rebranded as Chemistry)
  • Nik Nak Games
  • Kuju America
  • Kuju Manila
  • Vatra



  1. ^ Alfred Barten. "MSTS: First of the Big Ones". Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Kuju Entertainment - Art Academy". Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  3. ^ "New CEO and commercial director for Kuju". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 3 December 2019.

External linksEdit