Incoming Lemmings Documentary
27 Aug, 2021
Exient to launch Lemmings documentary to celebrate 30 years since the game’s first creation
The upcoming full-length feature ‘Lemmings 30th: Can You Dig It?’ explores the Britsoft classic’s legacy, while talking to the people behind the original game and its super fans
The new documentary will shine a light on the iconic video game Lemmings, which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year.
Lemmings is a stalwart of the Britsoft establishment. Originally developed by DMA Design in Dundee, it was first published for the Commodore Amiga by Liverpool-based Psygnosis in 1991 and has made its way to many other platforms since, including Sony’s PlayStation and, most recently, mobile.
The documentary, Lemmings 30th: Can You Dig It?, celebrates this icon of Scottish and UK games culture by speaking to the people behind its original success, while also celebrating its legacy in gameplay.
Players of Lemmings can already celebrate the game’s 30th year with new content available every month for the mobile game, available for iOS and Android devices – including retro graphics, ‘90s inspired Lemmings tribes and an ‘old skool’ soundtrack.
Lemmings Mobile, first published Exient in December 2018, refreshes the classic ‘90s platform experience for smartphones and tablets, tasking players with saving the adorable critters once again as they search for a new home in the face of environmental catastrophe.
We spoke to Exient Creative Marketing Manager Jamie Wotton, who has headed up the doc project and asked him a few key questions about the project.
Why tell the Lemmings story, why is it such a significant series of games?
“We live and breathe Lemmings at Exient, so we’re always thinking about new ways to shout from the roof-tops about these crazy suicidal critters and their surprising knack for building and discovery.
“With its 30th Anniversary upon us, we knew we wanted to do something in honour of the original game; showcasing the original team who put fingers to keyboards, while also celebrating the history of the game over the years – and it’s long-lasting impression it left on so many of us.
“As a franchise, Lemmings has been through it all. Peaking in the 90s, but never falling to irrelevance across countless ports, adaptations and clones. In fact, across the world, we believe more players may have played Lemmings on mobile than ever before – which is just insane, really.”
What’s behind the appeal of the game, why did it first capture imaginations?
“It’s adorably evil, isn’t it?! Lemmings, at its core, has always had unforgiving and uncompromising gameplay – but it was dressed up in a cute and harmless way that allowed family and friends of all ages to get together and take their turn at keeping the Lemmings alive!
“Also, we think there’s a real British quirkiness about it in terms of look and feel, which made it stand out from the crowd even more. The brilliantly addictive gameplay combined with the now-iconic unique visuals meant people keep going back for more – and also still have a distinct memory of Lemmings to this day.
“When developing our own mobile version, we zeroed in on this dual appeal – offering nostalgia to the fans who grew up with the game, but also opening Lemmings up to an entirely new international audience.”
What will people learn through watching the documentary?
“First off, we hope people will enjoy and have a good time watching the documentary and getting back into Lemmings. The story of Lemmings has been told in bits and pieces, but we always thought there was always a missing piece to connect it all together – the opportunity to hear the full story of the revolutionary game, directly from those involved.
“It was also very important for us to feature the opinions of a variety of people, including of course the original developers and publishers, industry legends, media and some of Lemmings biggest fans. We hope Lemmings: Can You Dig It? will be a true celebration for everyone involved in Lemmings. We can’t wait for you to see it!”
The Lemmings documentary was commissioned by Lemmings Mobile publisher Exient and is directed by leading video game film producer Richard Wilcox of That Video Company. It will be released online in Q4 2021.