|Activision #49 |
Games developed: 25
Games published: 50
Period: 1983 - 2004
When Activision was founded on October 1, 1979 by four veterans of the video and home entertainment industries, the company made history by becoming the first independent designer and marketer of home video game software. Irked by Atari's lack of respect and recognition given to their game designers and programmers, David Crane, Alan Miller, Bob Whitehead and Larry Kaplan left Atari and formed Activision with the financial help of James Levy (who became President and CEO of the company). They were later joined by other talented designers such as Larry Kitchen, Carol Shaw, Steve Cartwright and Alan Miller.
Beginning in 1981, Activision released a barrage of first-rate VCS titles that captivated the gaming public and made people aware that Atari wasn't the only one that made games for the [Atari] 2600. Activision not only inspired other programmers and entrepreneurs to set up shop as independent publishers but they also forced Atari, at least temporarily, to improve on the quality of its own games.
Activision was quite possibly the most prolific third party videogame publisher in their time, churning out everything from top notch sports games, (Boxing, Skiing, Tennis, Ice Hockey) racers (Grand Prix, Decathlon, Enduro) and even arcade adaptations (Rampage, Kung Fu Master, Commando, Double Dragon). Their original PC games enjoyed less success than Atari 2600 classics such as River Raid and Little Computer People, but did attract a loyal following. Among the most underrated games Activision made for PC are Portal, Ghostbusters, and Alter Ego.
Activision was also innovative in other ways. They credited their designers by mentioning them on the manual of each of their games. (Lord British and Roberta Williams came later). Activision also offered patches to gamers who attained a certain score in their games as an added incentive.
After a period of doldrums in the early 1990s when it failed to make good use of the Infocom brand (which was acquired in 1992), Activision underwent a tremendous reorganization and refocus, and today is enjoying tremendous success as developer and publisher of cutting-edge action and strategy games.
Related companies: Infocom, Atari Games, Dynamix, GamestarRelated companies: Infocom Atari Games Dynamix Gamestar