DMA Design was founded in 1988 in Dundee, Scotland.
DMA's major breakthrough came with 1990's Lemmings, a dynamic puzzle game that sold over 20 million copies on 21 different systems.
In 1997, while working with Nintendo on software for the Nintendo 64 platform, DMA released Grand Theft Auto - a top-down 2D game of cops-and-robbers. GTA (as it was soon known) attracted controversy for its violence, with the Daily Mail calling for an outright ban.
In 1997, DMA was bought by British publisher Gremlin Interactive.
In 1999 Gremlin was acquired by French publisher Infogrames for £24 million. Complicating this sale was the pre-existing deal between DMA and BMG Interactive, which had published the first version of Grand Theft Auto, and by 1999 itself had gone through some complex financial moves, becoming Rockstar Games, an internal label of publisher Take-Two Interactive.
2001's Grand Theft Auto III brought the series into 3D. It became the PlayStation 2's biggest system seller in both the U.S. and Europe; Sony, realising that the game was a sure-fire success, paid Rockstar to keep it a PS2 exclusive for some time.
Rockstar bought DMA outright, renaming the company Rockstar North in early 2002.