There was a point in the 90s and 2000s when you could visit a website for your favorite developer or game and never really know what to expect. Websites weren't as predictable or as uniform as they are today, with the design and tone varying wildly depending on the size of the company or its culture.
Some companies simply slapped some assets and words together on a page and called it a day, while others poured hours into creating bespoke assets and finding new ways to interact with fans.
With that in mind, it can be a fun exercise now to revisit this period of time through Wayback Machine and take a look at how some of the biggest companies of today promoted themselves to their audience back in the day. We created a shortlist of names and spent our morning surfing the worldwide web in order to bring you some of the best, strangest, and most interesting examples we could find.
Hailing from Manchester, Jack has a particular fondness for point-and-click adventure games. In the past, he’s written about lost games from studios like Sony Manchester, Genepool Software, and DMA Design, and has made a habit of debunking video game rumours.
Ha, pretty cool seeing some of these.
What I would actually like to see is some modern gaming sites try to closer replicate the kind of visual design found in classic gaming magazines of the past like Mean Machines--loved that magazine.
Now that would be really cool.
It's not quite as retro as shown here, but Rare's website circa 2001 was the best of its kind I've ever seen, even to this day. They had this "ask Uncle Tusk" section which pretty much turned their corporate website into a cross between a magazine letters section and a legitimate online community. Rare were at the peak of their powers and popularity, and they were really giving back. I'd check that site every day - how many corporate sites could you say that about?
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