Royal Mail celebrates UK games with first stamp issue of 2020

by on January 7, 2020

Royal Mail is celebrating UK-designed games with its first stamp issue of the new decade.

The new set celebrates classic games from the 1980s and 90s. The first set includes four stamps presented in a Miniature-Sheet and chart the evolution of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider games. Eight further games complete the set including: Elite, Dizzy, Populous, Lemmings, Micro Machines, Sensible Soccer, Wipeout and Worms.

Elite, released in 1984 was a hugely influential title and the first British game to be a hit in the US. Similarly, the Tomb Raider franchise has sold over 74 million copies worldwide, spawning a blockbuster film franchise and launching the protagonist – Lara Croft as a contemporary global icon for over two decades.

Stamps commemorating Tomb Raider

Lemmings was released in 1991, and was one of the best received games of the 1990s. Also released that year was Codemaster’s Micro Machines with Sensible Soccer released a year later, a title that is regarded as the “father of all digital football games”.

Dizzy, released in 1987 went on to become the most successful British game franchise of the era. Originally created for the Amstrad CPC, it quickly converted to ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and other computers and consoles.

Populous released in 1989, was the first civilisation building game and one of the most successful games for PC ever produced. Worms released in 1995 was published by Team 17. The series has gone on to become an international success story, helping the Wakefield-based company to become a leading games publisher. While Wipeout, released in 1995 has gone on to become a cult hit.

Speaking on the announcement, Philip Parker from Royal Mail had this to say:  “The UK has been at the forefront of the video games industry for decades. In the 1980s and 90s young designers grappled with coding on the new microcomputers and set the template for the industry with iconic games. We celebrate some of their landmark creations on stamps.”

Royal Mail worked with industry body, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie), and video game experts, Julian “Jaz” Rignall and Sam Dyer on the stamp issue.

Dor Jo Twist, OBE, CEO of Ukie, said “This collection celebrates a selection of the great British video games that have helped define both the national and global development scene over decades. Video games are a key part of our cultural footprint and we’re pleased to see their contribution recognised in such memorable style.”

The full set of all stamps will be available in a Presentation Pack and retail at £14.25. The stamps will be available on general sale at 7,000 Post Offices across the UK from 21 January, 2020.