ERE Informatique

French video game company

ERE Informatique was one of the first French video game companies, founded in 1983 by Emmanuel Viau, joined a year later by Philippe Ulrich. The company hired freelance game programmers that received royalties for their creations. Initially, the company published titles for the Amstrad CPC, Spectrum and Oric home computers. In 1984 they published their first national hit, a flight simulator created by Marc André Rampon: Intercepteur Cobalt for Sinclair ZX81 and Spectrum, also known under the name of Mission Delta for Oric, Amstrad and Thomson MO5. Rampon also acquired some shares of the company owned by Viau and established the company's first distribution network. Their first international hit, topping many international sales list for several months, was Macadam Bumper (1985), a pinball simulation programmed by Rémi Herbulot, a self-taught ex-employee of Valeo living in Caen. This and several later titles were distributed (and labelled) by PSS in the United Kingdom, thanks to a mutual distribution agreement. ERE underwent serious financial problems due to some distributors delaying payments (and some ultimately entering bankruptcy), and was looking to partner with a company able to ensure a secure distribution. FIL and Infogrames went into competitive bidding and eventually Infogrames entered Ere's share capital by buying out Rampon's shares by the end of 1986. Infogrames later acquired complete control of ERE in June, 1987. Its Exxos label, announced in 1988 would produce their most famous and creative games. Due to financial problems, chiefly royalty inpayment, ERE's members left Infogrames in 1989 to form an independent developer group named Cryo, that would be made into an official company in 1992 as Cryo Interactive Entertainment.
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