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In 1987, John Pickford, his brother Ste Pickford, and two programmers left the increasingly factory-like environment of Binary Design to form their own development studio that would focus on producing high quality original 16-bit titles. After a spotty track record of Amiga and Atari ST titles, Zippo Games responded to an open call from Rare for developers to work on the new and still unproven Nintendo Entertainment System and as a result a deal was drawn up for Zippo Games to exclusively produce 8-bit NES games for Rare. Zippo would go on to develop several successful NES games, co-program the first live synchronized linkup between Game Boys for an unreleased WWF wrestling game, and produce an unreleased game for Rare’s Razz Board titled Fleapit. In spite of their successes and small production team, it was very difficult for the Pickford brothers to keep their studio afloat. Thus, in 1990, Zippo Games closed and was rolled into the new Rare Manchester studio.

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