From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Codemasters is a British video game developer and publisher based in Southam, England. Founded by brothers Richard and David Darling in October 1986, it's one of the oldest game studios in the UK. In its early years, the studio was famous for the Micro Machines series and for its partnership with Canadian publisher Camerica, which resulted in a slew of unlicensed NES games and the Game Genie cheat cartridge system. In 1999, Codemasters launched a US studio in Oakhurst, California, using abandoned assets from Sierra On-Line's Yosemite studio.

From 2010-2018, Indian media company Reliance Entertainment held a majority stake in Codemasters, and helped launch a pair of subsidiaries in Malaysia and India. During that time, the studio also established the "Codemasters Racing" label in 2012, which was discontinued in 2016. In November 2020, Codemasters announced they would be acquired by Take-Two Interactive Software in an offer around $994 million; however, Electronic Arts quickly outbid them at $1.2 billion, a deal Codemasters ultimately agreed to. The acquisition was completed on February 18, 2021.

1st Logo (October 1986-December 1992)

Visuals: There is a blue circle with a yellow outline. "Code Masters" is written inside in a fancy font. Below is "THE FUN STARTS HERE" made in relief italics (sometimes replaced with "CODEMASTERS Ltd.").

Variant: On some games like Fantastic Dizzy for NES, against a purple background "Code" flies from the bottom-left corner while "Masters" does the same way but in the opposite direction, forming to read "Code Masters". Then the circle, the slogan "ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!" and the copyright notice fade in. Sometimes, "CODEMASTERS" fades in above the logo at the same time with the circle behind the name, the slogan and the copyright notice.

Technique: A still, sprite-based graphic. Sprite-based animation in the variant.

Audio: None. The sweeping noise and a synth drone abruptly cut off by a synth clang in the variant.

Availability: Seen on earlier games released by the company.

2nd Logo (1993-1994)

Visuals: Over a magenta background, the word "CODEMASTERS" in white flips in letter-by-letter. The slogan "Absolutely Brilliant!" slides in from the left and right sides, joining under each other and shines. A copyright stamp fades in below.

Variant: On Fantastic Dizzy, depending on the platforms:

  • Sega Genesis: Dizzy (the egg-like protagonist) runs across the top portion of the screen from left to right while the company name appears.
  • Game Gear and Sega Master System: Almost the same as the Genesis version, but with "Absolutely Brilliant!", albeit in one line and beveled without the exclamation point, is already formed and shines anyway.

Technique: Sprite-based animation.

Audio: The intro to the game or none. On Fantastic Dizzy, again, depending on the platforms:

  • Sega Genesis: An echoing synth bell glissando.
  • Game Gear and Master System: A messy warbling synth.

Availability: Seen on Pete Sampras Tennis, Sink or Swim, Cosmic Spacehead, Micro Machines and other games for Sega Genesis and Game Gear.

3rd Logo (1994-1996)

Visuals: On a dark purple background is a white oval banner with the white text "Codemasters" inside next to the custom CM initials. The white text "Published by" appears above in a hand-written font.

Technique: A still, sprite-based graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on Psycho Pinball, Brian Lara Cricket, Micro Machines 2, and Micro Machines: Military.

4th Logo (1995-31 May 1996)

Visuals: Just the Codemasters banner over a gradient purple background.

Technique: A still, sprite-based graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on the PC versions of Psycho Pinball and Micro Machines 2. Also appeared on Super Skidmarks.

5th Logo (March 1997-29 February 2000)

Visuals: On a purple isometric surface, many 3D letters jump around into position, forming the word "Codemasters". A black outline appears around and forms the banner, making all other space colored, and the CM zooms to the right. The white words "pure gameplay" are seen below.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A bunch of weird treading sounds.

Availability: Appears on the studio's PlayStation and Windows games from the time, such as Micro Machines V3, MTV Music Generator, and Colin McRae Rally.

6th Logo (7 April 2000-30 June 2006)

Visuals: There is a blue-colored informational space with a horizontal line hanging. A molecule zooms in and spins around the line, with the word "GENIUS" on its center. The molecule zooms away, and is followed by two more molecules with the words "AT" and "PLAY" on them. The background then distorts as a transparent DNA helix appears, becoming thicker and transforming into the Codemasters banner. "GENIUS AT PLAY" types in below the banner, and the background slowly clears to black.

Technique: CGI.

Variant: A short version exists, which is already on a black background and has the transformation in warp-spped.

Audio: Rotation sounds with a lot of computer effect, then a computerized voice says "Codemasters". Sometimes, there is no voice.

Availability: Seen on the Colin McRae Rally series (except the first game), Micro Maniacs Racing, Micro Machines V4, and Heroes of the Pacific.

7th Logo (2006-2007)

Visuals: There is the Codemasters logo zooming up to the screen. When it gets close enough, it zooms back to a further distance.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A whoosh.

Availability: Unknown. Appeared on the Codemasters YouTube channel.

8th Logo (15 June 2007-)

Visuals: There is the letter "c" zooming in and the letter "m" zooming out. They join together and the word "codemasters" appears below.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: Zooming and joining sounds. For Colin McRae: Dirt, the sound of working car engines. For Clive Barker's Jericho, a sound of splashing.

Availability: The standard version is seen on Overlord, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, and other games. This does not appear on F1 2010 (a logo for their EGO Game Engine appears instead).

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