Click here to edit subtitle

History of U.S.Gold.

U.S. Gold was founded in Birmingham in spring 1984 by Geoff and Anne Brown as the publishing division of their software-distribution company Centresoft. Its primary purpose was to republish popular American computer games—which the company claimed, usually had larger budgets and longer production time than British games—in the UK and Europe. Brown sold them for £9.99, much lower prices than in the United States, and purchased full-colour advertisements in computer magazines. By 1985 the company claimed to expect $6 million in annual sales. It planned to release 150 games that year from 24 American software companies, including up to 80 for the Commodore 64.

When the popular computers in the UK became the ZX Spectrum and later the Amstrad CPC, Brown was faced with the problem of converting the US games he was licensing to UK formats, since the company didn't have a development capability. US Gold teamed up with a UK publisher, Ocean Software, based in Manchester, who were also very prolific at the time and they were responsible for the first US Gold conversions to UK formats. This arrangement proved difficult to continue as Ocean became more and more involved with their own development for their own games. Brown then decided to farm out his US Gold Development to independent UK developers and also founded his own development studios. This business plan proved to be an instant success, prompting U.S. Gold to expand by acquiring smaller developers and seeking out licences that they could commercialise. At the same time Centresoft became the largest UK games distributor with key High Street retail accounts such as Boots and John Menzies as well as most of the independent computer retailers. Various popular video games were ported by the company to IBM PC including Street Fighter II, Beach Head, Zaxxon, Impossible Mission, and many sports games including World Cup Italia '90 and World Cup USA '94.

The company was voted Best Software House Of The Year at the Golden Joystick Awards.

The publisher continued to expand their operation well into the 1990s.

However, a number of their more lucrative licensing deals, particularly one with LucasArts (formerly Lucasfilm Games), fell through, threatening to affect their income. In order to help consolidate their finances, they joined forces with Brown's UK software distributor CentreSoft to form the CentreGold Plc Group. 

Internal game development studios owned by U.S. Gold were the internally formed Silicon Dreams and acquiredCore Design in 1994. 

While Core Design was wholly owned by CentreGold Plc Brown developed Tomb Raider within the US Gold publishing group at Core Design.

The three-way partnership at the heart of CentreGold didn't last long, however, as the group was acquired by Eidos Interactive in April 1996. Eidos sold off CentreSoft and maintained Core Design as a developer but decided to discontinue the U.S. Gold brand. Silicon Dreams Studios was sold back to U.S. Gold founder Geoff Brown and became the keystone for his new development venture Geoff Brown Holdings (GBH).

The last retail game to bear the U.S. Gold logo was Olympic Games: Atlanta 1996, released in June 1996 for the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PC and 3DO. The remaining U.S. Gold games awaiting publication at the time of their acquisition by Eidos were released in August 1996 with the exception of Dream Team Basketball. Dream Team Basketball was to be released on the Sony PlayStation but was cancelled.

They also published various reissues using the Kixx budget label

Geoff Brown Holdings Ltd was a holding company established in the late 1990s for game development. The founder Geoff Brown started the company with the acquisition of Silicon Dreams, a video game developer that he had founded some years earlier which was later acquired byEidos Interactive as part of the larger acquisition of US Gold.

Brown later also founded Audiomotion[1] a GBH company that supported game developers and the television and film industry with audio, video, CG and motion capture production services. GBH went on to acquire Attention To Detail before the group changed its name to Kaboom Group. A further acquisition of Kaboom was Pivotal Games.

Kaboom Group ceased trading in August 2003. Attention To Detail and Silicon Dreams were closed while Pivotal Games was acquired by SCi, by then the owners of Eidos Interactive. Pivotal closed its doors on August 22, 2008 while Audiomotion Studios has since moved to Oxford where the company continues serving the game and movie industries with motion capture services.