Data Design Interactive
Data Design Interactive Ltd. was a British video game developer and publisher founded in 1983. It was originally known as Data Design Systems before being acquired by Green Solutions in 1990 and renamed in 1999. In 2007, they bought Metro3D Europe Ltd., a subsidiary of Metro3D, Inc. and reformed it into their Wii publishing label Popcorn Arcade. They also had a US-based office known as Data Design Interactive, LLC, that opened in 2008. The company shut down in August 2012. In 2020, most of their assets were discovered in discarded hard drives, resulting in a lot of their assets being leaked online, although many assets have yet to be revealed.
List of games
- 64 Column Display (ZX Spectrum, 1987)
- BASIC+ (ZX Spectrum, 1986)
- Elite Editor (ZX Spectrum, 1986)
- Printer (ZX Spectrum, 1987)
- Sprite Designer (ZX Spectrum, 1987)
Why Their Games Sucked
NOTE: This part will focus on their 2000s games, as the majority of their earlier games are very obscure.
- The large part of shovelware games, and partly responsible for the saturation of the Wii's marketplace.
- After the release of Ninjabread Man, Data Design Interactive started reskinning it to make new games with the exact same gameplay but with different themes and levels. In other words, they made clone games of their own games. For example, Habitrail Hamster Ball and Hamster Heroes are clones of Myth Makers: Orbs of Doom. They even reskinned the main menus!
- Quantity over Quality: In the 1990s, before they truly started descending into a shovelware studio, developed the four Game Boy Jeopardy games they developed within the next five years are essentially the same game with a different coat of paint. None of the problems in the first Jeopardy game were addressed.
- Speaking of copying, some of their games even use the same music, one example is Billy the Wizard: Rocket Broomstick Racing and Myth Makers: Super Kart GP both having the same opening theme.
- The nail that seals the coffin on copying is that even the back of some of their game boxes are the exact same layout.
- Most games are extremely short, clocking in at around 1-2 hours long.
- Awful controls. For example, Anubis II on Wii has the jump command mapped to the Z button, but swinging the nunchuck does the same thing! Plus, swinging the Nunchuck to jump is never mentioned in the game manual.
- Most games have no replay value, you'll typically see all of the game's content in a single playthrough.
- Terrible graphics. Most games use the same engine, which has hardly improved for many years.
- Unresponsive Wii motion controls.
- Terrible sound quality, often being ripped from their other titles, including the music or SFX.
- Repetitive and boring gameplay.
- The camera design is bad, most of the time it will get close to the player when they're close to obstacles or walls.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Believe it or not, they made some good games, especially in the past like Lego Rock Raiders.
Possible Explanation for Their Games' Quality
According to a statement online by someone under the online alias "Qwarq," who claims to have worked for DDI, the working conditions at DDI were worse than you would think. Stewart Green forced the developers to do heavy crunch when developing their games, while allowing at little as 6 weeks to develop a game from concept to release, which is only around 2 months. Another big issue is that DDI had no real QA department, their only QA was a makeshift QA department done by the programmers. Considering how these games turned out, this seems very likely.