Z-Axis Games

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Z-Axis Games was founded in 1994 by David Luntz, and based in San Mateo, California. In May 2002, the studio was acquired by Activision, and moved to Hayward, California. In February 2008, Z-Axis changed its name to Underground Development, but later in April, it was announced Activision would close the studio.

1st Logo (April 17, 1998-November 23, 1999)

Visuals: The logo is designed as the name "Z-AXIS" in a custom font, with the "Z" letter's spine ending in three green points. There are variants for each game developed.


  • On Alexi Lalas International Soccer, there is a blue cloudy background, with thunder appearing at the center. Electricity then makes part of the "Z", then the other parts of the logo appear and meet. The finished logo glows.
  • On Space Invaders, a spaceship moves below, trying to shoot its target, an alien vessel above, but hits the logo hanging in the center. For the third time, it shoots past the hyphen mark and succeeds, then a man climbs out of the ship and celebrates.
  • On Thrasher: Skate and Destroy, the logo is seen on the wall of a skate park. The camera records as two skaters skate through the top of the wall, but one of them falls off and sends his skateboard flying into the camera, breaking it in the process.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Depends on the variant.

Audio Variant: On Alexi Lalas International Soccer, we hear thunder, followed by a whoosh, a synth chord, pounding sounds and a crowd cheering.

Availability: Seen on the games listed above, as well as Fox Sports College Hoops '99 for Nintendo 64.

2nd Logo (September 14, 2000-December 6, 2002)

Visuals: There is the Z-Axis logo from before on a black background, but it's 2D and is in a white rounded rectangle. As before, there is a different variant for each game developed.


  • On Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX, the logo appears on a bandage seen on an BMX rider with a broken arm. Then the doctor walks up, says "I'm really sorry sir, but I'm really afraid we'll have to amputate." and gets the chainsaw out. The scene cuts to the 2D Z-Axis logo with "Developed by" on the top in a white Arial Black font and the slogan "Bring the Pain." on the bottom also in white. This also appears in the Maximum Remix version of the game.
  • On Freestyle Motocross: McGrath vs. Pastrana, the logo appears without the rectangle, and then catches on fire.
  • On Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, the logo appears normal at first with "Developed By" on the top in white. Then after for a split second, the text "ROCK." appears before cutting to a fast slideshow of pictures of the Z-Axis staff, before finally changing into a video of the company's flag waving on the sky.
  • On Aggressive Inline, the logo has a quote on the bottom from G.W.F. Hegel that says "Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion" alongside the usual "Developed By" text. This is then followed by an FMV of a Z-Axis employee destroying a computer after it goes wrong.
  • On BMX XXX, the logo is on the shirt of a girl alongside the "Developed By" text in green, as effects play through the video which include the logo moving quickly to the left.
    • The PS2 version of BMX XXX instead features the logo, sans the rectangle zooming onto a white background alongside a quote from Oscar Wilde, which says "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."

Technique: Depends on the variant.

Audio: Depends on the variant.

Availability: Seen on the games listed above.

3rd Logo (November 16, 2005-May 19, 2006)

Visuals: First, a purple vertical rectangle appears, full of microscheme patterns, which flashes out and returns with the picture of a dictator-looking scientist holding his arms around a source of ray light. Under the picture, the name "Z-AXIS G A M E S" appears, stylized somewhat similar to the previous logos. The ray light decreases, then flashes again and the logo is gone.

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Audio: Whooshing sounds.

Availability: Appears on True Crime: New York City and X-Men: The Official Game.

Z-Axis Games
Underground Development
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