Glass Ball Interactive was a computer and video game developer and publisher founded in 1995 as a Glass Ball Productions subsidiary that was best known for developing Niz Chicoloco and Niz 2 for the Sony PlayStation in 1997 and 1999 respectively. In 2000, they were developing BJ and Wally, when DreamWorks Interactive closed down.
The company went defunct in 2007 for financial reasons and due to no projects planned for the future and rebranded into "Balls" Studios Burbank, which was later bought out by Geo LTD. Interactive.
During the development, Glass Ball Interactive set up a temporary satellite studio in Tokyo, near Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, where the latter's employees and interns worked on the game. This team was internally called "Team Runaway". Most of the team have gone on to work on Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, during and after the development of Niz Chicoloco. In 1998, Team Runaway studio was closed down by Glass Ball Interactive and Konami, and its employees moved to KCET/KCEJ/Konami and Sugar & Rockets.
Glass Ball Interactive also set up the satellite studio "Seaside Entertainment" in Westminster, to work with the employees of Sony's Psygnosis Studio Camden, Gremlin Interactive, Criterion Software and Psygnosis Studio Stroud. Criterion worked on the racing segments, Gremlin Interactive worked on additional graphics and Psygnosis worked on the most of the additional development of Niz Chicoloco, providing additional programming, GUI, optimization and 3D assets. They also had SCEE's various other research and development groups, dedicated to the production of PlayStation games and development tools across all of SIE's gaming platforms, helping the development proceed further and "make the game look and feel more beautiful". After the development of Niz Chicoloco, Seaside Entertainment hired the employees, who helped make the game in UK, as part-time and were working on another project until it suddenly closed down.
The satellite studio was bought out by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in 2001, merged into SCE London Studios, and its employees went on to work for Infogrames (who acquired Gremlin Interactive in 1999)/Sumo Digital (after Infogrames closed it's Sheffield studio), Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and Electronic Arts (who acquired DreamWorks Interactive in 2000, its employess now working at DICE LA, and Criterion Software in 2004, although most of its employees now work at Ghost Games UK).
Throughout the years, a new studio Fifth Leaf has hired laid-off employees of Sumo Digital, London Studio, Kojima Productions (2005-2015), Konami, Konami Los Angeles, Evolution Studios, Codemasters, Runecraft and Ghost Games. However, in 2016, it was merged into SIE London Studio.
Games developed and publishedEdit