Founded in 1992, Rebellion is one of Europe’s biggest independent multimedia studios. Its flagship Sniper Elite series is renowned for its authentic stealth and sniping gameplay with more than 20 million players worldwide. 2000 AD is synonymous with the absolute finest in British comic book art. With the acquisition of a $100m film studio and the world’s largest archive of English language comics, Rebellion continues to grow from strength to strength.
Rebellion now operates across books, comics, TV and film, but at its core it’s still a leading developer and publisher of games. Whether it’s the breathtaking intensity of Sniper Elite 4, the face-hugging terror of Aliens vs. Predator or the grindhouse frenzy of the Zombie Army series, the Oxford-based studio is revered for creating stand-out games designed to thrill.
THE FORMATIVE YEARS
Rebellion’s reputation was firmly established with Alien vs Predator in 1994. With ambitious design, tactical gameplay and a haunting atmosphere, it’s considered to be one of the Atari Jaguar’s best games. Five years later, the studio won acclaim again with Aliens vs Predator, described by GamePro as “the most frightening game since Half-Life.”
Rebellion showed an eye for genre-leading IP – and a canny sense of timing – by acquiring 2000 AD in the year 2000! The cult comic thrived under its new owners, and weekly issues continue to showcase some of the most exciting talent in the comics industry. Rebellion also created games featuring 2000 AD’s most beloved series. In 2006 Rebellion’s Rogue Trooper game was recognized by BAFTA, being nominated for Best Character and Best Screenplay.
In the same year, Rebellion broadened its scope by launching Abaddon Books, a publishing arm focused on sci-fi and fantasy. The acquisition of Solaris Books further strengthened the studio’s portfolio. The two imprints now boast a substantial body of award-winning fiction.
In the 2000s, Rebellion lent its expertise to myriad major properties, including the hilarious The Simpsons Game and the intense multiplayer action of Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron and Elite Squadron. The new Aliens vs. Predator of 2010 became the UK’s fastest selling game of the year and a No. 1 hit. The studio showed it could also work its magic with original IP, with 2005’s Sniper Elite lauded as the “Gran Turismo of war games.”
In 2012, Rebellion brought back the Sniper Elite series with a bang. Sniper Elite V2 became one of the studio’s biggest ever titles, topping pre-order charts for almost all major retailers and territories. Amazingly, the release of the acclaimed Dredd 3D at cinema – co-produced by company founders Jason and Chris Kingsley – meant Rebellion had No. 1 film and game properties in the same year – and how many studios can boast that?
Rebellion’s growth in recent years has been enormous, epitomized by the success of the award-winning Sniper Elite series. In 2014, Sniper Elite 3 went straight to the top of the UK charts and worldwide. Three years later, Sniper Elite 4 became the series’ most acclaimed entry yet, delivering strategic sniping and stealth across huge Mediterranean maps. It was lauded by Game Informer as an “empowering sandbox shooter,” BAFTA nominated it for Best British Game, and it has helped take the series to a massive total of 20 million players.
Sniper Elite has even spawned its own fully-fledged spin off! Zombie Army Trilogy wowed players in 2015 with its grindhouse take on the beloved series, and quickly became a UK Top 10 release. Rebellion once again showed its flair for homage in 2018 with Strange Brigade, a brand new IP and a love letter to classic matinee movies and serial comics.
For all its love of the past, Rebellion has stayed on the cusp of cutting edge technology. In 2016, Rebellion rebooted the tank battler Battlezone for VR. The game launched alongside PlayStation VR, amazing players with its immersive VR cockpit, and is widely regarded as one of the best PSVR launch games.
Rebellion has expanded massively to match its growing output. The studio now has offices in the Liverpool, Yorkshire and Warwick areas in addition to its Oxford headquarters.
For all of the work they’ve put into Rebellion and the UK games industry for more than 25 years, brothers and co-founders Jason and Chris Kingsley have now both been made OBEs.
In addition to a confirmed sequel to Sniper Elite 4, the studio has unveiled three incredible games in the pipeline:
Zombie Army 4 will deliver a whole new level of grindhouse co-op when it releases in early 2020. The hotly anticipated mastermind management sim Evil Genius 2 is also set to release next year. And Sniper Elite VR will take the flagship series into a totally new realm. Rebellion showcased all three games at the E3 2019 conference and won multiple nominations and awards from the likes of IGN, Game Informer and Official PlayStation Magazine.
Outside of games, Rebellion is taking equally exciting strides. The recently acquired $100m, 220,000 sq feet film studio in Oxfordshire will be where the Rogue Trooper movie, directed by Moon’s Duncan Jones, and Judge Dredd TV show Mega City One are set to be filmed.
That growth is matched on the comics’ side following Rebellion’s acquisition of the largest catalogue of English language comics. That includes the recently revived Roy of the Rovers, rebooting the beloved young football star’s adventures for a whole new generation.
And there’s plenty we’ve not yet announced… so watch this space!