The self-proclamed 'original rock-star software developers', the Bitmap Brothers may be well deserving of the title. Originally working on the 16-bit home computer systems of the mid '80's (the Amiga most notably), they produced several hit games, of which Xenon and Gods not only sold incredibly for the time, but find themselves incredibly playble to this day.
The formats of their games tends to be similar and enjoyable: Kill things... lots of things. Sometimes, killing things results in money popping out. At various intervals, shops appear with cool power-ups. Buy said power-ups to kill more things in various, titillating ways. Repeat until you're tired of it a few weeks later, and return every few years for nostalgic fun.
Largly, the appeal of the Bitmap Brother's games had to do with the simple, yet fun, gameplay, mixed with gorgeous sprites and backrounds, and incredibly memorable music. Whenever I bring out one of the older titles, I keep thinking "This is like playing an old demoscene demo."
Their creative team, as with any of the good production houses, is relativly small. The combined talents of Mike Montgomery, Jamie Barber, Ed Bartlett, and John M. Phillips make up this formidable and ancient (in gaming terms) production house.
They produce to this day, and can be found on the web at: http://www.bitmap-brothers.co.uk/