An oral history of Wipeout

When Wipeout landed in 1995, it blew away the competition with its mix of futuristic gameplay, banging techno and crisp graphics – courtesy of The Designers Republic™. Here we delve into the story behind the title’s visual identity

Despite approaching its 25th anniversary, anti-gravity racing game Wipeout still holds a firm place in many people’s hearts. There’s definitely an element of nostalgia at work, but it has remained influential for a number of other reasons as well, not least its use of tracks by the likes of Orbital and The Chemical Brothers.

For others, it’s memorable for its striking visual identity, created by The Designers Republic™ in 1995, when Wipeout was released as a European launch title for the first PlayStation console. Its sharply designed cover helped turn heads, thanks to its crisp icons, wireframe-style illustration and Eurostile-esque type. There was also the infamous promo poster, again created by tDR™, featuring DJ and presenter Sara Cox with a bloody nose.

Wipeout became a best-selling game for PlayStation in both Europe and the US. It spawned several sequels, including Wipeout 2097, which was released the following year, and Wipeout 3, both of which were developed with input from tDR™.

Here we draw on founder Ian Anderson’s story of the making of Wipeout – based on excerpts from Unit Editions’ book, A-Z of The Designers Republic™ – and talk to Nicky and Michael Place of Studio.Build, who were working at Psygnosis and tDR™ respectively when Wipeout was created. Together they give CR the inside story of the game, which remains a rare example of a true collaboration between graphic design and the gaming world.

DESIGNER

London