Audiogenic Software was a video game developer from the United Kingdom. It was established in 1985 following the previous Audiogenic company that had been founded in the late 1970s. It released its last new title in 1997, after Codemasters took over the core of the development team to create Brian Lara Cricket in PlayStation. However, the company still exists and continues to license its portfolio of titles to third parties for conversion to new formats.
Although almost unknown in the United States, the company was successful in the United Kingdom and Australia with a line of cricket and rugby games, some versions of which were licensed to other publishers. Several licensed games were also released in Japan, including World Class Rugby for the Super NES, and a follow-up, World Class Rugby 2, both published by Imagineer.
The original company, Audiogenic Limited, was started as a recording studio called Sun in Reading, Berkshire in 1975 by Martin Maynard. It was one of the first 8-track studios to operate outside of London. Compared to modern studios, the recording equipment was very basic; however, he still recorded for bands like The Vibrators, XTC, Stadium Dogs, Van Morrison, Alan Clayson, and The New Seekers. He offered an audio cassette duplication service and the company also arranged for pressing vinyl. Terry Clark recently performed (February 2008 JonesFest) a song about the studio at a Garry Jones tribute concert at Reading's South Street Center.
Around 1979, Audiogenic became interested in the Commodore PET computer and obtained a contract to duplicate computer software on cassette. Subsequently, Commodore International granted Audiogenic the rights to manufacture and sell the software, but this agreement came to an end with the arrival of the Commodore VIC-20. Martin Maynard flew to California and signed deals with United Microware Industries, Cosmi, Creative Software, and Broderbund, some of the largest VIC software vendors at the time.
Audiogenic released software successfully in the UK, but the decision to diversify by importing peripherals, notably the Koala Pad and the Entrepo Quick Data Drive (a continuous loop storage device for the Commodore 64) contributed to a decline of profitability that led the company to cease, to commercialize in 1985. Martin Maynard returned to the audio duplication business and still operates Sounds Good Ltd, now located in Southport, Merseyside.
The second Audiogenic, Audiogenic Software Limited was formed to acquire the assets and goodwill of the original company. Although funded and controlled by Supersoft, run by Peter Calver and Pearl Wellard, Martin Maynard had a minority stake. At the time, the company employed Darryl Still, who produced a number of successful releases for BBC Micro, such as Psycastria and Thunderstruck, written by former members of the Icon Software team in North East England. Peter Scott and Gary Partis among them. Maynard left the board in 1987 and Still went on to manage the launch of the Atari ST, Lynx handheld and Jaguar consoles in Europe, before working at Electronic Arts and Nvidia.
In 1996, Audiogenic reached an agreement with Codemasters as a result of which the latter acquired the development team behind the Brian Lara series of cricket games, and the following year the company stopped developing new titles. Peter Calver still owns Supersoft and Audiogenic, but now runs LostCousins, a family history website.
Audiogenic published and developed many popular games for a variety of computers and game consoles. The company's first release in 1985 was Graham Gooch's Test Cricket, which had been developed by Supersoft, and the company continued to release sports games. For many years it was the world's leading producer of cricket games: Brian Lara Cricket and Lara'96 were developed by Audiogenic for the Mega Drive and released by Codemasters; both reached number 1 on the UK charts. Other sports titles included Emlyn Hughes International Soccer, Graham Gooch World Class Cricket, Allan Border Cricket, European Champions, Lothar Matthäus, Super League Manager, Rugby League Coach, World Class Rugby, Wembley International Soccer, Wembley Rugby League, Shane Warne Cricket and Super Tennis Champs.
With Emlyn Hughes International Soccer in 1988, Audiogenic pioneered the concept of a fast-moving sports simulation with on-screen commentary, named players, and management elements; later with World Class Rugby and then European Champions Audiogenic introduced the concept of sports simulations with a variety of points of view.