Established by six friends in June 1993, the company is perhaps best known for the Serious Sam series of first-person shooters as well as the 2014 puzzle game The Talos Principle. They have also developed the Serious Engine, the engine powering the games.
Croteam was founded on June 14, 1993, where they initially started as a “garage games" company. The company's founders were Admir Elezović, Davor Hunski, Alen Ladavac, Roman Ribarić, Dean Sekulić, and Davor Tomičić.
From there, the company has been continually involved in development of video games for PC, Xbox, Xbox 360/XBLA and 3D engine technologies. They started out developing games on the Amiga computer system. The first video game Croteam produced was Football Glory, which was published by Black Legend for the Amiga platforms in 1994, and eventually for the PC in 1995.
Football Glory was well-received in Europe due to similarities with Sensible Software's Sensible Soccer. However, Sensible Software soon threatened a lawsuit against Croteam, asserting that their game was a essentially a clone of Sensible Soccer. Croteam stopped further development on the game and released it as freeware in 1998. Their second video game, titled Save the Earth, was a children's game based on a Croatian TV series and released for the Amiga 4000. One year later, Croteam finished 5-A-Side Soccer, an indoor soccer version of Football Glory for the Amiga 500 and Amiga 1200.
In 1996, Croteam began development on their own first-person shooter, In the Flesh. They decided to make their own engine, as licensing one, such as the Quake 1 engine, would be too costly. They continued development of the game for several years and suffered setbacks because some members of their development team were conscripted into the Croatian military.
A few years following the development of In the Flesh, Croteam released a beta test of Serious Sam: The First Encounter to experiment the game's performance on various computer configurations which they couldn't get access to at the time. The beta version was featured on certain popular PC gaming websites, which soon became a hit. Soon afterwards, a publishing company, Gathering of Developers, signed them on.
With the release of two technology tests, the first title of the Serious Sam series, Serious Sam: The First Encounter, was released in 2001, followed by Serious Sam: The Second Encounter in 2002. Both games debuted on the Microsoft Windows platforms and utilised Croteam's Serious Engine. In 2002, Serious Sam: Xbox was released, which consisted of both games with the additional number of cinematics, an updated scores system, combos, multikills, auto-aiming and other console specific features. A sequel, Serious Sam 2 for both PC and Xbox was released on 11 October 2005, using Serious Engine 2.
After a few updates on the game via their website, they went silent for several months because of their publisher, 2K Games. A few weeks before E3 2005, they resurfaced and began posting new Serious Sam 2 media. It was also shown off at E3 2005, where they showed off some levels from the final game. Pre-release media continued to flow until October 11, 2005.
In 2006, it was announced that Croteam was working on an Unnamed Military Shooter that was going to be published by now-defunct video game publishing company, Gamecock. The game was going to utilize a new version of the Serious Engine, Serious Engine 3, a new and improved version of Serious Engine 2, which was used in Serious Sam 2. However, in 2007, the project was cancelled, and once again Croteam became silent.
They broke their silence in the middle of 2009, where they announced that they were making high definition remakes of Serious Sam: The First Encounter and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter. These remakes would feature all-new models and textures and would run under Serious Engine 3. The original plan was to release both games in one huge game, but they decided to release them like they were originally released because of time constraints. On November 29, 2009, the HD remake of The First Encounter was released on the PC. The Xbox 360 version followed on January 2010. On April 28, 2010, the HD remake of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter was released.
With both HD remakes done, development on Serious Sam 3: BFE began. The game was officially announced in February 2011. More information about the game was released during E3 2011, where the game's publisher, Devolver Digital, rented out part of a nearby hotel to let the press preview Serious Sam 3. Information about the game appeared throughout Summer 2011, as the press was allowed to play preview versions of the game.
In 2012, Croteam released the Macintosh and Xbox 360 versions of Serious Sam 3, along with the Jewel of the Nile DLC for the PC, Mac and Xbox 360 versions of the game. In December 2014, Croteam released the first-person puzzle game The Talos Principle for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.
On March 30, 2017 and April 04, 2017, Croteam released two virtual reality remakes of Serious Sam HD known as Serious Sam VR. The latter became the first virtual reality games in the series. Later that year, Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope and a VR version of Serious Sam 3: BFE were released for Windows operating systems.
On April 2, 2019, Croteam released a 3D roguelike shooter, Serious Sam: Tormental. The game is currently in Steam's Early Access program.
In June 2014, Serious Sam 4 was announced, and pre-release footage was revealed during E3 2019. To help fund development, Croteam released the Serious Sam Humble Bundle, from which all revenue will go towards game development. The game is set to be released in August 2020. On May 21, 2020, Croteam released new gameplay footage of Serious Sam 4, called the Developer Gameplay Update.
|1994||Football Glory||Amiga, MS-DOS||Black Legend|
|Save the Earth||Amiga||Black Legend|
|1995||Inordinate Desire||MS-DOS||Black Legend|
|1998||Five A-Side Soccer||MS-DOS||Black Legend|
|2001||Serious Sam: The First Encounter||Microsoft Windows||Gathering of Developers|
|Serious Sam (Palm OS)||Palm OS||Global Star Software|
|2002||Serious Sam: The Second Encounter||Microsoft Windows||Gathering of Developers|
|Serious Sam: Xbox||Xbox||Gotham Games|
|2005||Serious Sam 2||Microsoft Windows, Xbox||2K Games|
|2009||Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter||Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360||Devolver Digital|
|2010||Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter||Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360||Devolver Digital|
|2011||Serious Sam 3: BFE||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3||Devolver Digital|
|2014||Sigils of Elohim||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux||Devolver Digital|
|The Talos Principle||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch||Devolver Digital|
|Serious Sam Classics: Revolution||Microsoft Windows||Devolver Digital|
|2017||Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter||Microsoft Windows, Linux||Devolver Digital|
|Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter||Microsoft Windows, Linux||Devolver Digital|
|Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope||Microsoft Windows||Devolver Digital|
|The Talos Principle VR||Microsoft Windows, Linux||Devolver Digital|
|Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE||Microsoft Windows, Linux||Devolver Digital|
|2020||Serious Sam 4||Microsoft Windows, Stadia||Devolver Digital|
|The Talos Principle 2||TBA||Devolver Digital|
- Because of their size, Croteam has sometimes had to rely on outside contractors to create content for their games. One of them is Stjepan Sejic, who created the high poly models for Serious Sam HD and designed almost all of the enemies in Serious Sam 3.
- Originally, Croteam were interested in having their engine licensed to other developers, but this appears to have stopped in recent years.