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Sierra On-Line
Sierra On-Line   #32


Games developed: 50
Games published: 94
Period: 1982 - 2004

From the indispensable Adventureland:

"In 1978, Ken and Roberta Williams founded On-Line Systems. The company changed its name to Sierra On-Line in 1980.

Their early games, up to Time Zone and Softporn Adventure, were made under the On-Line Systems name. All the adventure games that were originally marketed under On-line Systems came in small square folders in ziploc bags. They were rereleased as by SierraVenture in 1982 and had much more professional-looking folders (approximately 8" X 11"). The action/arcade games were released under SierraVision for a while. Some of the earlier games like Mystery House, Wizard and the Princess and Cranston Manor, have been released with more different cover art variations than you'd care to know [all of them were published on the PC by IBM].

All the SierraVenture games were written using different frameworks. Starting with King's Quest, Sierra started using a common interpreter called AGI which made their games much more portable.

Their "enhanced versions" and presumably later releases as well are written in a programming language called SCI (Sierra's Creative Interpreter)."

Sierra's most popular series, King's Quest, earned international recognition and numerous industry awards. To date the series has sold more than 3 million copies, making Roberta Williams one of the best-selling computer game designers in the industry.

In 1989, Sierra went public. By fiscal year 1995 (ending March 31, 1995), revenues exceeded $80 million and Sierra's staff grew to more than 700 employees. With the acquisitions of several software publishers and the opening of international offices in Japan and England, Sierra has become a major worldwide publisher with distribution in more than 50 countries.

Sierra then went on a buying spree in mid-90s, acquiring Dynamix, Bright Star Technologies, Coktel Vision, Green Thumb Software, Arion software, Impressions Software, Papyrus Design Group, SubLogic, Berkeley Systems, and finally Headgate in 1997. Their development section was spun off as Yosemite Entertainment and originally killed off in 1999, but it was later bought by Codemasters and is still in business.

As a publishing house, Sierra is still very much in business, even though it has changed hands several times. It was originally privately owned under Ken Williams, then sold to Cendant, and is now owned by Havas Interactive.

Related companies: Impressions, Dynamix, Coktel Vision, Synergistic Software, Game Arts, IBM, Evryware, Codemasters, SubLogic, Jeff Tunnell Productions

Related companies: Impressions   Dynamix   Coktel Vision   Synergistic Software   Game Arts   IBM  

Titles Developed or Published
Genre
Year
Avg. Rating
Adventures in Serenia
Interactive Fiction
1986
8.16
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeAdventures of Willy Beamish
Adventure
1993
8.71
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeAir Bucks
Simulation
1992
8.43
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeAlien Legacy
Strategy
1993
8.81
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeBattle Bugs
War
1993
8.58
Battledrome
Action
1994
8.89
BC's Quest for Tires
Action
1984
8.84
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeBetrayal at Krondor
RPG
1993
9.14
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeBlack Cauldron, The
Adventure
1987
8.26
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeCastle of Dr. Brain
Education
1991
9.03
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeCivil War Generals 2
War
1997
9.03
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeCodename: ICEMAN
Interactive Fiction
1992
8.55
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeCommand Aces of The Deep
Simulation
1995
8.88
Conqueror AD 1086
Strategy
1996
7.63
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeConquest of The Longbow
Adventure
1993
8.74
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeConquests of Camelot
Interactive Fiction
1991
8.94
Crazy Nick's Pick: King Graham's Board Game Challenge
Puzzle
1993
7.5
Crazy Nick's Pick: Leisure Suit Larry Casino
Strategy
1993
7.4
Crazy Nick's Pick: Parlor Games with Laura Bow
Puzzle
1993
6.44
Crazy Nick's Pick: Robin Hood's Game of Skill and Chance
Puzzle
1993
6.38
Crazy Nick's Pick: Roger Wilco's Spaced Out Game Pack
Puzzle
1993
7.7
Crossfire
Action
1982
5.48
Cyberstorm 2: Corporate Wars
War
1998
7.96
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeDetroit
Simulation
1993
8.6
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeDonald Duck's Playground
Education
1988
8.74
Driver's Education '98
Education
1998
8.73
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeEarthsiege 1
Action
1995
8.88
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeEarthsiege 2
Action
1996
8.93
Eat My Dust
Sport
1997
6.71
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeEco Quest 1: The Search for Cetus
Education
1992
9.37
Eco Quest 2: Lost Secrets of The Rainforest
Education
1993
8.98
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeEven More Incredible Machine, The
Puzzle
1991
8.4
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeFast Attack
Simulation
1996
8.55
Fates of Twinion, The
RPG
1993
8.46
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeFreddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist
Adventure
1993
8.39
Frogger
Action
1983
7.03
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeFront Page Sports Baseball Pro
Sport
1994
8.77
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeFront Page Sports: Football Pro '95
Sport
1995
9.02
Fun Seeker's Guide, The
Education
1991
4.85
Hall of Belated Fame InducteeGabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within
Adventure
1996
9.06
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