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“Windjammers 2” by Dotemu, the French company that takes a look into retro video games

By Peter Found

Posted today at 8:54 p.m.

Being able to play “retro” video games is not just about pulling dusty consoles out of your basement or unearthing rare CD-ROMs at a flea market. Little by little, the video game heritage is brought up to date on today’s media.

“Who would imagine for a moment that it is impossible to listen to the Beatles or the Rolling Stones other than on the vinyl format on which they were released? » laughs Cyrille Imbert, CEO of French publisher Dotemu. Like music lovers, video game enthusiasts like to dive back into the classics that rocked their childhood… or that of their parents.

Adaptations, remakes or official sequels… For almost fifteen years, Dotemu has been resuscitating great glories of video games such as Final Fantasy and Streets of Rage, or unearths little-known masterpieces, such as Windjammers, a frisbee game whose company is releasing a new sequel on Thursday January 20, almost thirty years after the original episode.

Read also “Windjammers”, the little-known freesbee video game, is back in fashion

When the old games didn’t interest anyone

Yet in 2007, when Xavier Liard founded the company with Romain Tisserand, “retrogaming” was far from being taken seriously. “An editor once told me on the phone: Why would I pull out old games when I pull out new ones? Before hanging up on me. So much for the atmosphere. »

Freshly graduated from the Compiègne University of Technology, the two engineers are at the forefront of a very specific sector of computing: emulation. They thus handle these programs which make it possible to operate on recent machines software designed for old systems.

Wishing to create an online platform to play old games under period conditions, they baptized their company “DotEmu”, for “point emulation” in English, as we would say “dot FR” or “dot COM”. . With the idea of ​​creating a sort of Netflix of period games. Their first idea will never see the light of day but their path is traced: they will instead offer new versions old games for new machines.

Their first contract is the adaptation on smartphones of Nicky Boom (1992) released in 2008. “It was before the iPhone. We then made the game available on platforms such as the Palm, the Nokia 60 series, Windows Mobile or Symbian. describes Romain Tisserand, who feels a little old by evoking these technologies from another time.

Recognition in Japan

In 2010, the new version of R-Type, a 1987 game they adapted for the iPhone, got the company off the ground. In Japan, they win the trust of rights holders by playing the card of responsiveness and transparency. But the project is a technological challenge: so far, they had never adapted a game on Apple’s smartphone.

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