ActiVision, Inc. , is a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. As one of the industry’s first independent, third-party developers, ActiVision has produced numerous hit titles for companies such as Atari, Nintendo and Sega, and for personal computers. Some of its best known titles include the Zork and MechWarrior series, and Spycraft: The Master Game. ActiVision is a multi-platform developer, producing software compatible with various gaming consoles as well as for use with personal computers. Early History Following its founding in 1979, ActiVision’s early success was meteoric.
As developer and publisher of a series of Atari hits such as Pitfall! , Kaboom! and River Raid, ActiVision soon became the largest video game software company and the fastest-growing company in American history. During its peak year in 1983, ActiVision attained revenues of about $150 million. Faced with intense competition from Sega and Nintendo, and the rise of the PC as an alternative platform for games, Atari collapsed the following year and took ActiVision with it. ActiVision declined steadily throughout the rest of the 1980 s. In 1988 the company changed its name to Mediagenic and undertook an ill-advised foray into personal and business computing software. Publishing word processing software, paint packages and applications for Macintosh, Mediagenic failed spectacularly in a business and personal software market that tends to be dominated by a few firms.
Abstract Effective reuse of software products is reportedly increasing productivity, saving time, and reducing cost of software development. Historically, software reuse focused on repackaging and reapplying of code modules, data structures or entire applications in the new software projects (Prieto-Diaz 1994). Recently, however, it has been acknowledgedas beneficial to redeploy software ...
Accumulating losses that eventually totaled $60 million, the company was virtually insolvent by 1991. During its decline, Mediagenic made some good moves that would serve its later recovery. Not least of these was to sign license agreements with Nintendo of America (in 1987 and with Sega of America (in 1988).
These agreements opened up significant mass-market possibilities.
Mediagenic also published the first interactive entertainment on CD-ROM, a game called The Manhole, thus beginning a move toward the kind of high-tech, multi-platform production that would be essential in the 1990 s market. The main architect of ActiVision’s comeback was software entrepreneur Bobby Kotick, who along with partner Howard Marks and casino mogul Steve Wynn, led an investment group and management team that filed a plan of reorganization for ActiVision. Kotick’s group filed their plan on the same day, October 4, 1991, that Mediagenic was placed into prepackaged bankruptcy. The company, again under its original name ActiVision, began its impressive recovery in short order. Reorganization and Recovery Kotick, who was 30 when he took the reigns at ActiVision, has been described as resembling Woody Allen in both speech and personality. In 1983 he and Marks had run a software company out of their dorm room at the University of Michigan.
They obtained financing for their small operation from Steve Wynn, the legendary developer of the Las Vegas Strip. Kotick pitched his idea to Wynn at an exclusive party to which he and Marks had managed, by some subterfuge, to obtain an invitation. The 52-year old Wynn recalls, “They were so fetching and cute, I wanted them to be my sons-in-law.” Although the venture flopped, Wynn maintained confidence in his young colleagues and backed another of their enterprises, a company that translated packages and manuals for overseas delivery. This operation turned out to be more successful, netting $2 million on $12 million sales in 1991. In 1985 Kotick and Marks turned down an offer from Sony to write software for new CD-based entertainment system because they believed the base of CD players was then too small to support the effort. Only a few years later the time would be right for ActiVision, under Kotick’s leadership, to take the industry lead in publishing titles for CD-ROM.
Executive Summary This report contains a marketing plan for a new and affordable repair shop in the San Antonio market. The new shop will be launched in the market and will tend to all types of customer’s needs, such as; tune-ups, engine diagnostic (free), oil change, engine cleaning, will be an exclusive high end smart watch. The gold and platinum watch with marble dial will be launched. The use ...
Kotick and Marks had been eyeing ActiVision for some time because of its broad licensing agreements with Sega and Nintendo. The two were able to acquire a 25% stake in ActiVision for $500, 000, and then were able to boost their share to 54% by folding in their computer packaging business. With $5 million of additional backing from Wynn, Kotick set about adopting ActiVision to the new multimedia, PC-based environment. He based his faith in ActiVision’s future on a belief that video games could and would be made to appeal to more than the segment of the young, male population “that can’t get a date on Saturday night.” He therefore gambled that the market would reward investment in superior technology and creativity. Using the Hollywood Formula Kotick’s plan was to upgrade the level of audio, video and programming technology as well as the artistic imagery of ActiVision’s games. He began by recruiting a core of the highest caliber programmers, selected both for their creative and technical competency.
Production methods were borrowed from the Hollywood movie industry, and the company was relocated from Menlo Park in Northern California to Los Angeles in order to take advantage of Hollywood’s talent base. Kotick suggests that his formula for ActiVision relies more on Hollywood creativity than on advanced Silicon Valley programming technology, and has noted that the budget and creative team for one of ActiVision’s high-level multimedia games is comparable to those for a low- budget motion picture. Accordingly, ActiVision’s new generation of games are often based on television and films, using cinematic sequences in conjunction with advanced 3-D and color graphics as well as overdubs from live actors. Kotick’s first project was to update ActiVision’s old Zork games. Whereas the classic adventure game had users type in responses to questions on a monochrome screen, Return to Zork used digital sound and video with 3-D color graphics to bring the imaginary empire of Zork to life. With sounds and images of actors from TV shows like Twin Peaks and The Wonder Years, Return to Zork was an immediate hit which has generated a series of equally successful sequels and spin-offs.
The prospect of winning the price money is one of the most influential if not primary reasons why people engage in casino games. The degrees may vary, but there will always be a certain desire to win. Even the player who once failed continues to hope that luck will turn to his or her side in the following round. For some, winning gives a certain sense of achievement. There are those who are simply ...
Recently the relationship between ActiVision’s games and Hollywood’s films has been reversed as the company has signed deals to base film and television programs on the highly successful Zork franchise and on their espionage game, Spycraft: The Great Game. Spycraft arose from an unlikely but fortuitous collaboration. One day at an informal lunch, Kotick told a literary agent that he was working on an espionage game. The agent suggested Kotick contact former CIA chief William Colby, who happened to be one of his clients. The master spy was soon on a visit to ActiVision’s L.
A. headquarters where he proved a quick study and original strategist on a CD-ROM-based version of Return to Zork. At one point, when Kotick suggested Colby take the opportunity to eliminate a troublesome adversary, Colby replied, “Let’s not kill him now. We may need him later.” Kotick’s collaboration with Colby soon assumed historic proportions when Colby’s one-time adversary, former major-general of the KGB Oleg Kalugin, was enlisted to participate in the project. The final product, for which Colby and Kalugin both served as consultants and played themselves, embodies unprecedented levels of authenticity and production values.
Taking place in a partly-fictionalized post-Cold War world, Spycraft contains over 100 cinematic sequences, and is based on events about which we can only speculate. ActiVision has continued to update and extend its most popular titles, and has produced and published a continuing series of innovative and successful products. Recent years have seen the latest in the highly successful Zork and MechWarrior series as well as many new and original games that are playable on all currently popular platforms including PC, Mac, Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Noteworthy among recent additions are futuristic sports game Hyper blade, Muppet Treasure Island featuring Tim Curry, Kermit the Frog and other Muppet characters, Sacred Ground, second in a series of Santa Fe mysteries, Power Move Pro Wrestling, Blast Chamber, a futuristic life and death game in which players can compete against the program or real opponents, and Blood Omen Legacy of Kain which uses classically-trained actors in a gothic adventure for mature audiences. The year 1996 also saw the release of action games with unprecedented network capabilities, including MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries which permits up to eight players to compete simultaneously over the Internet. Survival and Growth into the Next Century ActiVision remains one of the most proactive game publishers with respect to the ever-changing technological environment.
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The company had reprogrammed two of its top titles for DVD-ROM technology, using MPEG video compression technology which will offer “an unparalleled visual experience.” With respect to the growing global market, ActiVision has been increasing its presence and now has operations all over the world. Video game software is a highly competitive industry with what many analysts consider “too many” companies vying for shares of a limited market. In a war of attrition against other firms specializing in game software as well as against media giants like Viacom, Time Warner and Disney who are moving into software development, margins are becoming increasingly thin. Inspite of increasing revenues, ActiVision has reported shrinking net profits and some quarterly net losses in recent years because of the high cost of product research and development. With its established record of successful titles and its dynamic approach to the technological environment and the international market, top industry analysts consider ActiVision to be one of a small group of entertainment software development firms best positioned to survive and grow into the next century. References Author not attributed.
“Mediagenic Announces Confirmation of Plan of Reorganization: Will Renew use of ‘ActiVision’ Name,” Business Wire, December 19, 1991. Author not attributed. “ActiVision Signs Agreement with Universal Pictures to Develop Feature Film Based on Acclaimed CD-ROM Espionage Thriller Spycraft the Great Game,” PR Newswire. June 19, 1996. Author not attributed. “ActiVision OEM Sales, CD-ROM Titles Bolster First Quarter Revenues,” PR Newswire.
From the early ages of life, humans like other animals played games with each other. Humans played games to relax, build social bonds, increase social status, develop skills and dominance and so on. Since humans have higher brain power than other animals, man kind developed these playing habits into organized games. After the development of the computer, some developers saw the potential of ...
August 9, 1996. Author not attributed. “ActiVision’s Mech Warrior 2 Mercenaries Explodes Onto North American Retail Market. PR Newswire. October 9, 1996. Author not attributed.
“T’was the Month Before Christmas and All Through the Land, ActiVision’s New Games Lay Waiting for Shopper’s Hands,” PR Newswire. November 14, 1996. Author not attributed. “ActiVision Unleashes Crystal Dynamics’ Blood-Sucking Epic Adventure, ‘Blood Omen Legacy of Kain,’ Across North America,” PR Newswire. November 18, 1996. Author not attributed.
“Spycraft The Great Game and the Muppet Treasure Island DVD-ROM Offered Initially for the OEM Channel,” PR Newswire. November 18, 1996. Author not attributed. “ActiVision Pile Drives Power Move Pro Wrestling Onto Holiday Retail Shelves Throughout North America,” PR Newswire. November 18, 1996. Ginsberg, Steve.
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Surrounded by many of my notable hobbies, going out, spending time on the computer, sports, reading , music, etc… there is one that stands out amongst the rest. On my free time I casually play computer, video, and/or casual games. Videogames are played for the sake of entertainment. Whether they are played on a television or a computer they still attract millions of people to take part in this ...