Ocean Software (Ocean Software Ltd. or Ocean of America, Inc.) was one of the largest video game developers in Europe. The company was founded by David Ward and Jon Woods. It was located at Six Central Street, Manchester. Ocean developed dozens of games for different systems such as the ZX Spectrum Amstrad CPC, MSX, Commodore 64, Atari ST, crumb, PC, and games for consoles such as the NES and SNES. The first Ocean projects (High Noon and Gilligan's Gold) were developed in 1984 in the company itself. In late 1984, Ocean acquires its former rival in Liverpool, the late software developer Imagine, and focuses on the development and distribution of games. In 1984, Ocean made a deal with Konami to adapt its arcade games to microcomputers.
In 1985, Ocean obtained the first licenses for films such as Rambo, Short Circuit, Cobra and Miami Vice. In 1986, he signed an alliance with Taito to make home versions of his arcade games, games like Arkanoid and Green Beret. In 1987, Ocean distributed original games, after a large number of license-based games, making Head over Heels, Match Day II and Wizball, considered as classics by old school players. The last game made by Ocean was GT 64: Championship Edition in 1998 for the Nintendo 64. Ocean acquires Digital Image Design in 1998. Ocean was acquired by Infogrames in 1998 for £ 100,000,000 and renamed Infogrames UK. One of the most recognized features of Ocean games during the 8-bit era was the Ocean Loader. Since most computers used cassettes to store games, loading a game could take several minutes. Ocean used a special loading system that displayed a picture and music played (Commodore 64 only) while the game was loading.
Ocean's charger music is still popular with chiptune fans. There were five tones; 1st and 2nd were composed by Martin Galway, 3rd by Peter Clarke, 4th and 5th by Jonathan Dunn. The first game to use the Ocean Loader was Hypersports. Until 1987 the Ocean charger was written in case by Ocean programmer Bill Barna, from 1987 until the end of the commercial life of the Commodore 64, the charger was replaced by “Freeload”, written by in-house programmer Paul Hughes.
Ocean was related to some games produced in Spain, mainly for licensing and distribution reasons, such as Emilio Butragueño ¡Fútbol! or some Dinamic games, distributed in the U.K., like Army Moves.
Almost all titles produced by Ocean were published in our country by Erbe.