Have We Been Wrong About Ultimate Play The Game's Name All This Time? 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Before there was Rare, there was Ultimate Play the Game – or is that supposed to just be Ultimate?

Gaming historian Kate Willaert has reignited an age-old debate regarding the moniker of this esteemed British developer, founded as Ashby Computers and Graphics Limited by Tim and Chris Stamper way back in 1982.

The Stampers would develop some of the best games of the 8-bit home computer era, including Jetpac, Sabre Wulf and Knight Lore, before selling the brand to US Gold and founding Rare, which is now owned by Microsoft.

"Rare's earliest logo included the slogan 'Designs On The Future,'" notes Willaert. "The founders' previous project similarly had a slogan in its logo, which raises an important question: What if their label was really just "Ultimate" and it was the UK press took it to be 'Ultimate Play The Game?'"

Keen to get some insight, we tagged in Paul Machacek, who joined Rare soon after it was founded and is still working there to this very day.

He points out that the logo being discussed is, in fact, Rare's second logo, not its first:

Rare’s 1st logo had no tagline but lasted a year or two until the Designs on the Future version, so it was not a given that a tagline would be there. The Ultimate/Rare taglines came from within, very probably Tim as he looked to finish off the logo artwork. They work really well.

So, was Ultimate Play the Game always supposed to be the full title, then? That's what Willaert has asked, and we'll update this post if Machacek responds.

In the meantime, post your own theories below.

[source twitter.com]