Panther Games was founded in 1985 by Dave O’Conner. Based in Canberra, Panther originally designed hex-based strategic military simulation board games, releasing three titles in the 1980s: “Trail of Strength” (1985), “Shanghai Trader” (1986), and “Warlords: China in Disarray”, 1916-1950 (1986).
Panther Games published their first computer game “Fire Brigade: The Battle for Kiev” in 1988. “Fire Brigade” is a turn-based tactical game set in the 1943 conflict between the Soviet tank division and German elite Panzer Korps known as the ‘Fire Brigade’. Panther self-published their game, distributing it through existing war game networks. The game won the Charles S. Roberts Award for best computer game in 1988. Computer Gaming World described it as a game for “the thinking man, the sophisticated player who wants to learn and make the absolute most of his computer playing time” (‘Computer Gaming World’, 1988, Issue 49, p. 41).
Panther Games has provided simulations to the Australian Defence Department.