Psygnosis Limited was a prolific UK-based game company, most notable for its Lemmings and Wipeout series and other popular games. Psygnosis became a legendary company, and its "owl-ball" logo is still fairly well-known in the gaming world. It was acquired by Sony in 1993, but stayed autonomic until 1998, when its activity was divided between Eidos and 989 Studios. The Psygnosis brand and logo were used until 2000 (for Sony's internal studios as well), when Sony incorporated all European studios into its internal structure. In 2000, Sony discontinued the Psygnosis brand, closed all their US studios and renamed their UK studios, with the main company later renamed to SCE Studio Liverpool, which was unfortunately closed on August 22, 2012. Former employees of the company then formed two independent studios, Firesprite and Playrise Digital.
1st Logo (1984-1996)
Logo: On a black background, the text "PSYGNOSIS" is seen at the top of the screen, all of it in a custom futuristic font colored with chrome blue tones and sometimes features motionless pings. Below it is a silver ring, and a geometric owl is seen in mid-flight on the left side of it. On the bottom right is the "Owl-Ball", a white ball with an abstract looking owl head, with most of the details in turquoise and lines coming out of the owl's eyes, which are black and gold.
Trivia: The logo was designed by Roger Dean, who also designed the Tetris logo.
- On earlier titles, the logo was either missing the Owl-Ball or just had the text on the title screen.
- Sometimes, "PRESENTS", in the same font as "PSYGNOSIS", is under the logo.
- There is another variant where we see only the "PSYGNOSIS" text with "PRESENTS" underneath.
- There is another variant where it only shows the Owl-Ball and under it is the "PSYGNOSIS" text.
Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the game.
Availability: Common on older games presented by Psygnosis. The variant without the owl appeared in Puggsy, Deep Space, and Dropzone for SNES. The variant with the Owl-Ball and the name below was seen on Mickey Mania for PlayStation, Lemmings 3D, Destruction Derby for Sega Saturn and Discworld.
Legacy: While it's pretty well-designed and cool-looking, the text is very hard to read, especially the "G", which makes it looks like "PSYCNOSIS".
2nd Logo (1994-1996)
Logo: We are in a very dark tunnel, which then brights out a second later. While we zoom through it, the "Owl-Ball" quickly zooms out from the viewer and backs away with its smoke effect behind it. As the tunnel's texture changes, a spotlight appears quickly from behind and onto the viewer causing the screen to flash, revealing the Psygnosis logo from before in a green tone, but without the Owl-Ball on it. The tunnel background quickly swirls away. After the tunnel disappears, the logo's tint changes into purple and the Owl-Ball appears again.
- There is a slow variant of the logo that appeared on Mary Shelly's Frankenstein for Sega CD.
- On Wipeout for Saturn, the logo is ghostly green and lacks the small picture of the Owl-Ball.
- There is a still version with the logo fully formed. This appears on Novastorm for PlayStation, where the intro video fades in behind the logo.
Technique: The zooming of the tunnel, the Owl-Ball zooming out, the flash.
Availability: Appears on Mary Shelly's Frankenstein for Sega CD, and Wipeout and Adidas Power Soccer for PlayStation. The logo also appears on Saturn and PC versions of Wipeout.
3rd Logo (1995-2000)
Logo: Against a textured background with a black circle hole in it and a lens on it, the "Owl-Ball" appears spinning in along with the black circle outline. After it finishes, the Owl-Ball changes into its normal style (in light blue this time), and a purple rectangular shape with "PSYGNOSIS" on the bottom black half of the shape appears with the white outline as the background fades out. Then the spotlight-textured background appears behind the logo.
- On some games like Wipeout XL (known as Wipeout 2097 in the UK), "PRESENTS" appears spaced out under the logo.
- Sometimes, the logo is still on a black or white background. This happened on The City of Lost Children, where the picture possessed some grains, as it was scanned.
- On Formula 1, the still logo fades in at the beginning of the opening intro movie.
- On the end of the Formula 1 demo (found on Interactive CD Sampler Vol. 3 for PlayStation), the still logo is seen on the right along with the 1996 Bizarre Creations logo on the left. Above and below the logos are "A Bizarre Creations Production" and "Published by Psygnosis", both in a Franklin Gothic font respectively. This also appears on the PC demo version of said title as well.
- From 1997-2000, there is another variant where the words "PSYGNOSIS PRESENTS", with the dots between the name in the circle, appear via a "text wrap" effect, zooming in one-by-one three times during the logo's animation. Also, the same two words are in the front side of the logo spinning in different speeds. The logo is superimposed on the game's opening intro.
Technique: The Owl-Ball spinning, the logo forming. Sometimes, None.
Music/Sounds: The game's opening theme is heard, or none.
Availability: Still common, particularly on Psygnosis games through the era like the Lemmings series, Formula 1, Rascal, Wipeout XL (known as Wipeout 2097 in the UK), Professional Underground: League of Pain, Eliminator and Discworld II: Mortality Bytes! The later variant appears on titles like Formula 1: Championship Edition (known as Formula 1 '97 in the UK), Colony Wars, and Shadow Mater. The still variant on a black background appeared on The City of Lost Children, Wipeout 64 and Rush Hour.
4th Logo (1996-2000)
Logo: We zoom through a long dimensional tunnel with different stylish textures decorated around. Then a green glowing circle zooms out from the viewer and the "Owl-Ball" eventually appears spinning in its same animation from before. As the tunnel slowly fades away, the rest of the logo's animation from the last logo plays.
- Like before, the 1997 variant used the animation from the last logo's variant.
- Like before, there is a still version of the logo.
- On Formula 1 '98, when the logo forms, the background fades out and then a background with a black-white checkered finishing flag fades in waving slowly. Then the logo fades out leaving the background intact, causing the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) logo to appear with "Under official license" under it (spelled as "licence" in the UK), then the ViSOS logo, and of course, the Visual Sciences logo.
- On Formula One '99, the still logo appears on the opening intro movie with "PRESENTS" below the logo.
- On Sentinel Returns, there is a still version of the logo with its spotlight background intact.
Technique: Same as before, but with the tunnel animation added.
Music/Sounds: An ominous sequence with chimes, synths and drums, ending in a triumphant horn note. Sometimes it's the opening theme of the game. None for the still version.
Availability: Rare. Appears on games through the era like Wipeout 3, Formula 1 '98 and '99, Rollcage, Colony Wars: Vengeance, Sentinel Returns and Adidas Power Soccer '98.