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Nitrome was founded by Mat Annal and Heather Stancliffe but has now grown to have ten employees, helping with game development. Due to the small team and creativity of the group, new Flash games are released on regular basis (usually about two a month). The main income for the company is through advertising and licensing their games to larger Flash game websites.
While the majority of Nitrome's releases are Flash browser games, no Flash titles have been released since 2015.
All of their Flash games (except their advert games) can be played on Nitrome.com, their official website.
As of November 2014 most of their games are in Unity and are available on browser, mobile and console.
- 1 History
- 2 Games
- 3 Revenue
- 4 Publishing
- 5 Art
- 6 Logo
- 7 In-game references
- 8 Studio Location
- 9 Name origin
- 10 Staff
- 11 Awards
- 12 External links
- 13 Trivia
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
Early days (2004-2005)
Nitrome started up on 10th August 2004 and was founded by Heather Stancliffe and Mat Annal. Nitrome began as a result of Mat Annal wanting more freedom to create games, as Annal had previously worked on other advergames but was frustrated over the restrictiveness caused by clients. The office at the time was the size of a bedroom. For income, they made advergames (games made to advertise a product), such as Vege-Mania Game. About 11 months after Nitrome was founded, a conversation about mobile phone games stemmed up between Heather and Mat.
Heather did not think it was such a good idea. After much persuasion, a mobile phone game finally went into production. Nitrome launched their site on 5th April 2005. Their mobile phone game Four Play was the only mobile phone game released. Chick Flick, Nitrome's first game in development, was abandoned due to lack of funding. Mat's brother, Jon joined the Nitrome team on 20th May 2005. Nitrome left the cellphone gaming business in 2005, and entered the browser flash games business.
Flash games (2006-2008)
Nitrome made a few advergames in 2005 before making their own games. Nitrome remade their site and released their first game Hot Air in 2005. They did not make much money off of it. Nitrome ported Chick Flick and released it on their site in 2006, after adding and removing features. Nitrome released several other games being sponsored by Miniclip, and also hired testers at first, but stopped.
Games took a long time to make at that time. Nitrome hired more people the in 2007 and took less time to make games. Nitrome made sequels to some of their games, and during that year MTV Arcade sponsored a few games. They released skins so players could personalise the site, and released more the next year.
Modern days (2008-2011)
With more people hired in 2008, this allowed Nitrome to make even more games in less time. Nitrome's games also had a story; Nitrome released several popular games in 2008. Nitrome released sequels in 2009 for games released the same year. Ice Breaker released in January 2009 was hugely popular and spawned two sequels. Twin Shot also gained popularity, and gaining a sequel.
Nitrome also tested out MochiCoins in Twin Shot 2. MochiCoins allowed players to buy coins and spend the coins on extra content in Twin Shot 2, or other MochiCoin games. Nitrome tried MochiCoins out on B.C. Bow Contest, but did not implement the software into any future games. In the end of December, Nitrome announced they would be on Facebook.
Nitrome made more games in 2010, but in the summer, between July and September, Nitrome experienced a problem which prevented blog posts to be posted, and during this time no games were released for two months, the second longest Nitrome has ever went without a game release. During the two month drought, Nitrome worked on making the iOS game Super Feed Me, but after noticing a drop in their revenue, they returned to making flash games.
A short time after this drought, Nitrome moved to central London. Nitrome released games in 2011 believed to have been "ported" from the Nitrome Enjoyment System. Nitrome in April began to post a blog post on every Weekday until the end of May. After this, Nitrome went back to there usual routine of posting only when there is Fan or New content, except they began posting a weekly Friday update informing fans of content that may or will be posted or released in the coming week. Nitrome had a big revamp on their website, called now "Nitrome.com 2.0", with a new feature for liking games and a huge aesthetic upgrade. They finally reached 100 games on 23rd November 2011, with the release of Nitrome Must Die.
Premium games (2012-present)
On 15 October of the same year, Nitrome released a new project, this time a game that would be purchasable on Steam, though it had to pass the Greenlight phase, in which Steam players had to decide if they wanted the game to be available to purchase or not. A demo of the game was released, this game called Flightless.
They also announced in later 2012 the making of a brand new iOS game, Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage, which they released on 20 June 2013 with publishing help from the Finnish entertainment company Rovio under their new publishing initiative, "Rovio Stars". However, Nitrome also worked on more games while they produced this fourth Icebreaker instalment.
In 2013, Nitrome made another big update to their website; in which the long-awaited accounts were released, in which players could store their game data and was well getting badges and avatars for their performance on games, and keeping in touch with other gamers with a friends list feature.
In June 2018, Nitrome shut down their account system prior to the creation of the GDPR law, and left an explanation on their website blog. Not long before they had announced that they had begun work on their first Nintendo Switch game, titled Bomb Chicken, which was released on July 12 later that year.
On August 18th, 2019, Nitrome revealed their collaboration with Yacht Club Games. They announced Shovel Knight Dig, an instalment of Shovel Knight series. They together attended PAX West in September, gaining good reputation among players.
Since their inception, the majority of Nitrome content has been based around free Flash content. However, at certain times, Nitrome has offered premium content under other mediums. Starting 2012, Nitrome announced more premium content that was to be released.
Nitrome acknowledged that the reason premium services such as iPhone and Steam were started up were due to Nitrome getting less and less money from Flash games.
Since 2015, Nitrome has no longer released Flash games for browser except re-publishing Fluffball, one removed game made in 2009. Currently Nitrome are releasing games on various platforms, mainly App Store, Google Play, Nintendo Switch, Steam.
Main article: Browser games
Nitrome released browser games from 2005 up until January 28th, 2016.
Main article: MochiCoins
Nitrome began experimenting with MochiCoins, a service that allowed companies to sell premium in-game content, in 2009. Nitrome first used this system in Twin Shot 2, offering an extra fifty levels and a cheats system and later in B.C. Bow Contest with purchasable arrows and cheats.
Both MochiCoin supported games also offered free content. Twin Shot 2 offered five free skins, and B.C. Bow Contests offered two free arrows. Nitrome stopped using MochiCoins at the start of 2010.
Main article: Mobile phone games
Nitrome originally started off as a small company that created games to be played on cellphones. They created two feature phone games: Four Play and the mobile version of Chick Flick, the former of which was formally released. Chick Flick was cancelled due to a lack of funds and was instead re-released as a Flash browser game.
In 2010, Nitrome announced Super Feed Me, their first known smartphone game. The development of this game was unsuccessful as the game remained unreleased and was eventually cancelled. Nitrome would later re-attempt a mobile release in 2013, where Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage was officially announced and ultimately released.
After Icebreaker, Nitrome released four mobile games in 2014, most of which were free and endless. They continued to release Flash browser games until November 2014 with Submolok. As Nitrome was creating games mostly with Unity, some of their free mobile releases were also made playable on browser with the Unity web player.
In 2015, nine mobile games had been released, including Gunbrick (mobile), Beneath The Lighthouse, Rust Bucket. In 2016, four mobile games, including Leap Day had been released, while in 2017, Nitrome came out with only one in-house game, Flat Pack. In 2018, they released Turn-Undead 2, an instalment of their previous title, Turn-Undead.
Bomb Chicken was ported to iOS and Android on April 1st, 2020.
Back in September 2011, Nitrome previewed an image of an upcoming Steam game, Flightless. Not much was revealed about it, other than its artist. A year passed since its announcement, with nothing revealed about it. It was on 15th October 2012 that Nitrome released the Flightless Demo and announced that the game was on Steam Greenlight. They also urged fans to vote for it via advertisements on their site and other methods. Although the game was successfully greenlit, the game is currently not being worked on, but may be in the future.
On March 16th 2017, Nitrome announced Bomb Chicken on steam, meanwhile submitting it to Steam Greenlight. This game was one of the last games that was successfully greenlit. On April 16th 2019, this game was published on steam after its first release on Nintendo Switch about half a year ago.
In July 2018, Nitrome released Bomb Chicken as their first Nintendo Switch game in America and Europe. On November 1 it was released for the Nintendo Switch in Japan. Nitrome has since announced that Bomb Chicken will only be purchasable on the Nintendo Switch until January 2019, and that they plan to port it to Xbox One, PS4, and Steam. On April 30th, it was released on PS4.
For many years ads and browser game derived content continued to be Nitrome's only source of revenue, though what type of browser game derived content has varied. When Nitrome first began to make browser games their only source of income came from sponsorship  by sites like Miniclip, though early on Nitrome struggled to make a profit this way. Despite this, Nitrome still managed to bring in enough income from their flash games to fund others. For several years sponsorship made up the bulk of Nitrome's revenue, with a small amount of income also gained through site ads, game licenses, and royalties. The growth of Nitrome's site caused ads to become Nitrome's main source of revenue, something that would continue for all subsequent years. Nitrome's ad revenue in 2010 made up eighty five percent of their overall revenue, Nitrome's overall revenue during that time allowing them to have a staff of around 15. Though Nitrome managed to sustain themselves through those years, financial difficulties were encountered in 2011[note 1] as traffic to Nitrome.com declined and with it the revenue Nitrome received from ads. It was around this time that development of Icebreaker A Viking Voyage was started. From then on Nitrome still managed to bring in income, though it was not as much as what they made before. From 2013 onward, Nitrome also gains revenue from the mobile games and console games they produce, although what impact they have on Nitrome's overall revenue is not certain.
In 2015 Nitrome announced the Nitrome publishing program, a publishing program where Nitrome would publish other developers' games. This program focuses on publishing games for a mobile platform, although games in the program can also be published on the Nitrome website if a browser version is made. Nitrome has said that games published under this program will be based in pixel-art graphics, be focused around a core query idea, and have a monetisation model that is morally acceptable to Nitrome. Games in this program are published by Nitrome under its mobile app store accounts. During development, Nitrome also assists developers by giving them advice and game content suggestions.
Ultimate Briefcase was the first game published under this program, released on 4th February 2016, on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
|Ultimate Briefcase||Quite Fresh||4th February 2016||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Redungeon||Eneminds||23rd June 2016||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Magic Mansion||Sets and Settings||25th August 2016||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Drop Wizard Tower||Neutronized||6th July 2017||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Tower Fortress||Keybol||15th November 2017||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Slime Pizza||Neutronized||24th January 2018||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Nano Golf: Puzzle Putting||Rhubarbist||21st March 2018||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Spike City||Joseph Gribbin||3rd May 2018||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Nano Golf: Hole in One||Rhubarbist||22nd January 2019||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Spicy Piggy||Gypopothomas||13th February 2019||Apple App Store, Google Play|
|Sprint RPG||Fungus||11th June 2019||Apple App Store, Google Play|
Nitrome's art style was influenced by that of the age of 16-bit video games. The use of pixel art in Nitrome's games dates back to development of Hot Air, where Annal wanted to make a game that was based around gameplay of the 16-bit era of video gaming, and with pixel art being a large influence of that time period it was used as the art style for Hot Air and later adopted as Nitrome's art style after Annal's enjoyment with it. The presence of other pixel artists later on at Nitrome further solidified the pixel art direction Nitrome had took for their graphics.
Nitrome's art style early on was to aim for cute and bright graphics as this was the preference of Mat Annal. Not all Nitrome games at that time stuck to this though, as games such as Toxic and Final Ninja strayed from this art style. Nitrome later shifted away from the cute and bright art style to letting a game's game mechanic influence the art created for the game.
Nitrome's logo has always been the letters N-I-T-R-O-M-E displayed in a slanted line. The colours of the letter vary depending on where the logo is seen. There is a different colour scheme and background for the Nitrome logo in all games' Startups.
The classic Nitrome logo was simply just pink and white letters, while the logo Nitrome used after the release of Nitrome 2.0 revised the letters as bronze coloured (hues of yellow and orange).
Nitrome has been referenced as a company in some of their games. In others, their website (nitrome.com) is shown as a level.
If the player is defeated by the Boys, their captain, (or whoever is left) will say, "That was fun! Just like a Nitrome video game! LOL!"
Square Meal has one level where all the stone blocks are arranged to look like the word "Nitrome".
A level design with the word "Nitrome" is also present in Bad Ice-Cream
Rainbogeddon has a level where the walls have openings that resemble the letters: N,I,T,R,O,M,E,.,C,O,M. Or Nitrome.com, in the top it says NITRO and in the middle it says ME and at the bottom it says .COM.
On level 31, the player has to destroy a giant screen with a level of Off the Rails on it. Before the player starts the level, the boss notices the giant screen and mentions Nitrome, with Barry and Garry responding by saying how "awesome" Nitrome is, and how they play their games.
Nitrome appears as a ruthless game making company who oppress the employees by torturing them and making them finish projects in a small amount of time. This is seen by the content on the walls of some levels. Two friends - Austin Carter and Justin Bennet - go to destroy Nitrome, after being fed up with losing so much at their games. Nitrome's fictional work building, Nitrome Towers, also makes an appearance; having 100 floors.
On level 10, the word "Nitrome" appears as a vertical neon sign.
The newspaper that the cyborgs read has a heading title of "NITR", but is cut off. The full title is probably "NITROME".
On level forty-one of the evil levels, the letters 'NITROME' are spelled out in grey blocks, via negative space.
|The passengers in the last level of Skywire VIP Shuffle are employees from Nitrome.|
Main article: Previous locations of Nitrome
Since starting up, Nitrome has moved their office multiple times. Currently, they are located in an office titled "Nitrome Limited". 
Mat Annal stated in an interview with Jay is Games that when he (Mat Annal) was creating Nitrome, he wanted to give the company a "made up name" so that mention of the name would mean only them (Nitrome) and so that they could get a dot com domain "that would rank highly in search engines under [the word Nitrome]".
The pronunciation of Nitrome comes from the word Nitro. Therefore, Nitrome is pronounced "nigh-trome" (or "nightrome") (enPR: nī'trōm, IPA(key): /ˈnaɪtrəʊm/) with a long "i" sound (like in the words "my" and "rice") and a silent "e". This pronunciation can be heard from the Nitrome staff in some of their videos on the Nitrome YouTube channel.
A slightly different pronunciation of the word can be heard from the announcer on the Nitrome Must Die menu, with the "i" being pronounced /eɪ/ instead of /aɪ/, which translates into "neigh-trome".
Nitrome has several staff which work on parts of games. A "-" means they have not left, as well as have not done work in a game before leaving. As of March 5th 2013, Nitrome has said that they have 12 employees .
|Edge||2011||The Friday Game: Best of 2011||The Endless Reliability Award||Won|
|Pocket Gamer||2015||Pocket Gamer Awards 2015||Best Developer||Won|
- Profile on Facebook
- Profile on Twitter
- Profile on Youtube
- Profile on Newgrounds
- Profile on Google+
- Page on IGN
- Profile on Kongregate
- Profile on Steam
- Touch Arcade forums account
- iOS App Store Developer account
- Google Play Developer account
- Amazon Appstore Developer account
- Some of Nitrome's game names are based of wordplay and insults (e.g. Four Play, Chick Flick, Square Meal, Headcase, Knuckleheads, Small Fry, and Numbskull).
- Nitrome is commonly mispronounced NIT-roam. However, the pronunciation of Nitrome— NIGH-trome — is similar to a word with similar spelling— nichrome — which is pronounced as NIGH-chrome.
- Most sound effects (alternatively known as Sound FX) Nitrome uses are used across many games.
- If one is uploading a Nitrome video to Youtube, Youtube may suggest the uploader to add the tag "Nitrome (company)" to their tag box.
- Pocket Gamer:
Studio Profile: Nitrome: "The knock-on effect of less traffic and less revenue per person meant that we were probably making less than half what we used to," says Annal. "But our costs were the same."
He adds, "We could have lasted another year, maybe."
It was around this time that Nitrome decided to go full tilt at turning Icebreaker into a full mobile title..., 18 July 2013, retrieved 12 August 2014.
The time this was done was late 2011.
|General||Nitrome • Games • Shop (Music • MochiCoins) • Blog • Cuboy • Pixel Love Games|
|Site versions||Version 1.1 • 1.2 • 1.5 • 2.0 • 2.5 • 2.6|
|Services||Music • Freebies • MochiCoins • Distributable games • Advertisements • Featured games|
|Skins||Classic • Winter • Retro • Horror • Party • Snowman • Factory • Ice Temple • NES • Steampunk • Nitrome 2.0 • 100th Game • Touchy • Icebreaker • Avalanche • Ditto • Kraken • Jam 2014 • Oodletrouble • Bad Iceberg • The Bricks|
|Modules||Facebook (module) • Comments module • Top games • Videos|
|Accounts||Accounts • Account creation • Avatars • Badges • Friends • Notifications • Recent comments • Profile box|
|Icons||Nitrome 1.0 icons • Nitrome 1.2 icons • Nitrome 1.5 icons • Nitrome 2.0 icons|
|Other||Navigation panel • Games tab • Slider (Gallery) • Hearted • Advertised games • Links • Special announcements • Nitrome Touchy (Controls)|
|Game artists||Giuseppe Longo • Gustav Kilman • Helm • Jay Smith • Jon Annal • Joseph Gribbin • Markus Heinel • Martin Wörister • Mat Annal • Simon Hunter • Stefan Åhlin|
|Programmers||Aaron Steed • Andrew Gardner • Arthur Guibert • Carl Trelfa • Chris Burt-Brown • Gabriel Farfan • Heather Stancliffe • Ignatus Zuk • John Kennedy • Luis Romero • Marcin Zemblowski • Marcus Schrock • Piotr Grodzki • Romain Macré • Stuart Allen • Thomas Ferrer • Tomas Normand|
|Musicians||Dave Cowen • Eirik Suhrke • Lee Nicklen • William Bard|
|Website developers||Jack • Tom McQuillan|