The Two Teenagers That Started Codemasters

The Two Teenagers That Started Codemasters
Image: BBC Archives (Twitter)

Most people know Codemasters for their work with the F1 series, GRID and, if you’re old enough, Micro Machines. But the founders of the company, David and Richard Darling, were famous in Britain well before that — and it was primarily because they were basically kids when the studio was founded.

The BBC archives tweeted out an old interview with the two brothers back in 1988, two years after Codemasters was founded in Darling’s home. The brothers had already made plenty of games by that time, with the brothers having left school to work as programmers for Mastertronic on BMX Racers, Pigs in Space, and Space Walk.

The BBC interview talks about how the brothers founded the company, but also the unique situation where they hired their father to be the sales manager for Codemasters. Not mentioned in the interview was the fact that the Darling’s sister, Abigail, would also work for the company as an office manager.

Most people know a lot of Codemasters’ major successes since then. The company is one of the largest development houses in the UK, and the Darlings received Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008. Most recently, Codemasters held an IPO on the London Stock Exchange where the company was initially valued at 185 million pounds. Today, the firm’s market cap sits at just over 310 million pounds.


  • Youtube channel RetroManCave did a great interview with one of the Darling brothers a couple of weeks back. Well worth checking out if this piqued your interest.

  • I only know of Codemasters because of Music2000. So many fond memories of noodling around in it.

  • Ah, Mastertronics..played many of their games.
    Type load, press play on the cassette player, and go have dinner..

    The old days when Radio 4 would transmit programs over the air for kids to record on tape and then load onto their computer, as long as it was a BBC-Micro B..

  • Ah Codemasters, fond memories of Dizzy, Micro Machines, TOCA and Colin McRae Rally. They’re responsible for a big part of my childhood and teenage years

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