This was a very famous software house from the 80s and 90s, who were best known for their licensed games from the world of film, TV and the arcades.
Using a team of talented in house programmers, Ocean dominated the sales charts from 1984 until the early 1990s, releasing games on a wide variety of platforms from the ZX Spectrum to the Super Nintendo.
Founded in 1983 by David Ward and Jon Woods, it was initially named Spectrum Games and began writing and publishing games for a wide variety of the 8 bit platforms, changing the name to Ocean to avoid confusion with the Sinclair machine.
Ocean bought the Imagine label in late 1984, and also the rights to convert many Konami games to the home micros, these and arcade conversions were largely kept on the Imagine label.
Ocean began buying licenses for films such as Rambo and TV shows like Knight Rider and Street Hawk, but short development times and other factors led to a dip in quality, after a restructure, the rights to more arcade manufacturers games such as Data East and Taito, the studio released games such as Arkanoid, and Operation Wolf and Renegade. Most very highly acclaimed.
By 1987 Ocean was having enormous success with original software once more, with huge hits such as Head Over Heels, Matchday II, Wizball, and Target Renegade.
They had also partnered with Marc Djan and formed Ocean Software France, who would produce games for the 16 bit machines from 1986 to 1991, and also some of the companies published games for the NES and Master System.
In 1989, the company released Robocop, which became one of the biggest selling games of the 1980s, despite being released at the end of the decade, it spent almost a year on top of the sales charts.
Ocean carried on into the 1990s, publishing games for the PC 16 bit micros and consoles, before merging with Infrogrames in a £100 million deal.
They kept to publishing games under the Ocean name until 1998, when they were renamed Infrogrames UK, the parent company bought the Atari name, and published games under this banner, before Bandai bought those assets to form a new company Bandai Entertainment UK in 2009.
Magazine Articles About Ocean Software