1. Interactive Binary Illusions
Interactive Binary Illusions was established as a partnership based in Australia between John Passfield and Steve Stamatiadis in 1993. Using that name, two games were released: Alien Carnage (also known as Halloween Harry) in 1993, and the graphic adventure Flight of the Amazon Queen (1995).
The duo was working on a third title, Stereo Jack, based on a comic book character they created in 1992. During development, they signed with Renegade to finish the CD-ROM title with a targeted release year of 1996, but before that Renegade was bought by Warner Interactive. This led to Renegade's focus on the Sensible Soccer games and no budget was left to complete Stereo Jack. By then, Interactive Binary Illusions no longer existed as the duo had formed a new company in 1996: Gee Whiz! Entertainment 2. Gee Whiz! Entertainment
Gee Whiz! Entertainment was a development studio based in Brisbane, Australia. It was formed in 1996 by the partners John Passfield and Steve Stamatiadis, as a continuation of the studio Interactive Binary Illusions they had established in 1993. Both founders have an extensive background in comic books.
Following up on the games Alien Carnage (also known as Halloween Harry) in 1993, and Flight of the Amazon Queen in 1995, they released Zombie Wars as a Windows sequel to Alien Carnage in 1998. After that, they attempted to redesign their cancelled project Stereo Jack completely in 3D in 1998, but did not complete it. In 1999 they developed a type of software they coined Screen Opera. The first one developed was Magic Spirit Board (2000), followed by The Chronicles of Jaruu Tenk (2000). It was an attempt at creating a living, persistent world similar to the one from David Crane's Little Computer People (1985) on the Commodore 64.
In Chronicles, you got to explore the world of a little alien called Jaruu Tenk. He was an Observer on the small island of Bloofen Jut. The software was time based and each time you visited Jaruu more things would appear in his world. He even updated his journal everyday and got the newspaper delivered daily. You could also talk to him by typing on the keyboard. Chronicles could be set up as a screen saver and when it kicked in you would return to Jaruu’s world reflecting the time of your visit – morning, day or night. His friends would also pop by for a visit and he’d engage them in conversation. Leading up to Christmas he'd even set up a Christmas tree. It took over a year to put together, work being done at night and on weekends in between developing the Mike Stewart's Pro Bodyboarding game (1999). The Screen Opera project was never meany purely commercially, unlike the first The Sims game by Maxis that was released around the same time.
By 1999, the studio formed a joint-venture with a company owned by Robert Walsh, who had produced Mike Stewart’s Pro Bodyboarding, and it became Krome Studios Pty Ltd. 3. Krome Studios
The Australian-based Krome Studios was originally established in 1999 as a joint venture between Gee Whiz! Entertainment (founded by John Passfield and Steve Stamatiadis - who had also founded Interactive Binary Illusions in 1993) and another company (owned by Robert Walsh). Passfield and Stamatiadis met Walsh through their work on the title Mike Stewart’s Pro Bodyboarding (1999) and decided to continue together. Krome was established with the goal of creating original and licensed games for PC, console and later handheld, systems.
John Passfield left the company after selling his shares in early 2005. He is the co-creator and designer of the TY the Tasmanian Tiger series.
From a humble team of five, Krome grew exponentially each year to become Australia's largest game development company. In its early days, Krome pioneered surfing games on the PlayStation with Championship Surfer and Sunny Garcia Surfing, utilising in-house technology. Following this, Krome produced a number of children's titles including games for the Barbie, Disney and Nickelodeon franchises.
On 23rd March 2006 a second office was formally opened: Krome Studios Adelaide. From then on the main studio with the headquarters was often referred to as Krome Studio Brisbane.
Half a year later, in November 2006, Krome Studios acquired Atari Melbourne House Pty Ltd., Australia's oldest development studio (known as Beam Software Pty., Ltd. in the eighties until the mid-nineties) and it was renamed Krome Studios Melbourne.
On 18th August 2010 it became known the Adelaide office had been closed along with heavy cuts at the Brisbane and Melbourne offices. The studio (presumably along with the Melbourne office) was entirely closed on 15th October 2010. Its last title was Blade Kitten.
A number of developers went on to work at the newly-founded development studio KMM Brisbane, but it was confirmed to be closed in October 2011, while the team was working on the unreleased title Happy Feet Two.