Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Strategic Studies Group

Strategic Studies Group
Strategic Studies Group
PO Box 261
Drummoyne, NSW 2047
Australia
Year Founded:
 
1983
 
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Strategic Studies Group, commonly known as SSG, is an Australian software development company that makes strategy wargames. They are the creators of the Decisive Battles of World War II series which includes the games The Ardennes Offensive game, Korsun Pocket game, and Battles in Normandy game, Battles in Italy game and Battlefront (2007).

The company was founded by strategy game enthusiasts Ian Trout and Roger Keating. Ian was proprietor of a military books store and Roger had had several of his games published by Strategic Simulations Inc. The game that launched the company was Reach for the Stars (1983). This games is credited for having "effectively launched the genre of 4-X space games - explore, expand, exploit, exterminate". Its success was followed by a string of other, mostly historical military games published throughout the 1980s for Apple II, Atari, Commodore 64, and IBM PC series of computers.

Titles included Reach for the Stars, Battlefront, Battles in Normand, Europe Ablaze, MacArthur's War, Carriers at War,(in three volumes), Rommel, Gold of the Americas, and Decisive Battles of the American Civil War (in three volumes). Several of these titles were also released for 16-bit platforms including the Amiga, Atari ST, and Macintosh during the late 1980s.

From the outset SSG titles were characterised by a challenging level of intelligence (AI) in the computer opponents provided in the games. Many of the games included scenario editors. For a time SSG published a tie-in magazine, Run 5, that included articles on historical background to the games, game design, game play and data for setting up new or variant scenarios. Subscribers received a disk with the scenario files already created. Published mostly quarterly it ran for 25 issues.

In 1989 SSG published Fire King an action role-playing game developed by Micro Forte, another Australian games developer.

They also made the Warlords series of fantasy turn-based games. In a mutually friendly decision in 2003, Warlords designer Steve Fawkner broke away from Strategic Studies Group and started Infinite Interactive to publish further Warlords games.