MicroProse Industry Consumer electronics, video game Founded 1982 as MicroProse Software, Inc., 2007 as MicroProse Systems LLC. Headquarters Alameda, CA, U.S. Products Video games, consumer electronics Parent Interactive Game Group Website www.microprose.com/ (archived version from 1996-12-21) The website is no longer active, and redirects to a parked page hosted by GoDaddy.
MicroProse was a video game publisher and developer, founded by Wild Bill Stealey and Sid Meier in 1982 as Microprose Software. In 1993, the company became a subsidiary of Spectrum HoloByte and has remained a subsidiary or brand name under several other corporations since. The brand is currently owned by Interactive Game Group.
Founded in 1982 by Bill Stealey and Sid Meier, Microprose Software, Inc was primarily known as a publisher of flight, military simulation, and strategy titles for home computers, with products such as Airborne Ranger, Pirates!, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Gunship, Spitfire Ace, Hellcat Ace, Wingman, Silent Service, Railroad Tycoon, X-COM, and Civilization.
MicroProse Software Inc., in an attempt to diversify without changing their name, created two labels, MicroStyle in the UK, and MicroPlay in the US. This label released games like the Rick Dangerous series (platform games), Stunt Car Racer (arcade racing) and Xenophobe (action/arcade).
Under Spectrum HoloByte
In 1993, MicroProse Software Inc. was acquired by Spectrum HoloByte, another game company that specialized in simulation games. In 1994, Bill Stealey departed MicroProse Software and Spectrum HoloByte agreed to buy out his shares. Bill Stealey went on to found Interactive Magic, another simulation software company. Both MicroProse Software Inc. and Spectrum HoloByte continued as separate brands until 1996. In 1996, Spectrum HoloByte, to reduce costs, started cutting a majority of the MicroProse Software Inc. staff. Soon after, it consolidated all of its titles under the MicroProse brand (essentially renaming itself MicroProse). Sid Meier and Jeff Briggs departed the company after the staff cut, forming a new company called Firaxis Games. Brian Reynolds, who designed Civilization II, also moved to Firaxis. A core group of artists, designers, and programmers left MicroProse UK to join Psygnosis, which opened an office in Stroud, UK, specifically to attract ex-MicroProse employees.
Under Hasbro Interactive
At the time of Hasbro's acquisition, MicroProse had 343 employees, including 135 at Alameda, CA. Besides the development studio in Alameda, MicroProse had three other studios: Hunt Valley, MD; Chapel Hill, NC; and Chipping Sodbury, England. In December 1999, Hasbro Interactive closed down former MicroProse studios in Alameda, California and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Among titles in development, canceled during that period, was X-COM: Genesis.
In January 2001, after French game publisher Infogrames Entertainment SA (IESA) took over Hasbro Interactive for $100 million, MicroProse ceased to exist. Its latest title in the US, European Air War, was reissued with Infogrames' logo instead of the MicroProse logo. The last new game released with the MicroProse name was the UK version of Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 4, in late 2002. Infogrames shut down the former MicroProse studio in Chipping Sodbury, United Kingdom, in September 2002. Hasbro Interactive was renamed to Infogrames Interactive and then to Atari Interactive.
Under Interactive Game Group
In summer 2007, Interactive Game Group acquired the MicroProse brand from Atari Interactive, Inc, which filed for transfer of trademark protection on December 27, 2007. Interactive Game Group then shared a percentage of the MicroProse brand to I-Drs At in January 2008. Claims as to what titles and other intellectual properties were also acquired by the Interactive Game Group from Infogrames remain unverified, and the last verified owner of Microprose properties is Infogrames.
The Interactive Game Group also licensed the MicroProse brand to the Legacy Engineering Group (LEG), which used the license to form subsidiaries called Microprose Systems and Microprose Consumer Electronics Division, selling consumer electronics from February 2008 to the second half of 2008. In October 2008, the licensing agreement between LEG and Frederic Chesnais, owner of Interactive Game Group, was discontinued, forcing LEG to rebrand its subsidiaries to Legacy Consumer Electronics.
- ^ "Hasbro, Inc. Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire MicroProse, Inc.". Hasbro Inc.. 1998-08-12. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Hasbro%2c+Inc.+Announces+Definitive+Agreement+to+Acquire+MicroProse%2c...-a050243864. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- ^ Secinfo.com, Hasbro quarterly report for 9/27/98 from SEC Info
- ^ MBA.tuck.dartmouth.edu, Hasbro Interactive study from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (PDF)
- ^ Query.NYtimes.com, "Hasbro to Cut 20% of Its Jobs and Take $97 Million Charge", from The New York Times
- ^ Gamasutra.com, "Hasbro Restructures" from Gamasutra NewsWire (December 7, 1999)
- ^ Query.NYtimes.com "Company News; Hasbro Completes Sale of Interactive Business" from The New York Times
- ^ Gamespot.com, "Infogrames closes UK MicroProse studio", from GameSpot
- ^ Allgame.com ((( Atari Interactive, Inc. > Overview )))
- ^ Assignments.uspto.gov
- ^ Assignments.uspto.gov
- ^ Assignments.uspto.gov
- ^ Gamasutra.com
- ^ "Legacy Engineering Group Parts Ways With Microprose Brand". New York, NY: Media Syndicate. October 20, 2008. http://mediasyndicate.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=10729. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
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