Dynamix, Inc.


Dynamix Inc. was located in Eugene, Oregon. Originally, the company was named Software Entertainment Company, which was started by Jeff Tunnell and Damon Slye, two graduates from the University of Oregon. After they changed the company's name into Dynamix in 1984, Kevin Ryan and Richard Hicks, also UO graduates, became co-owner/partners. The first contract they managed to get was with Electronic Arts, which resulted in Arcticfox (1986). The game was a hit and took home the SPA's Gold Award.

Dynamix decided to self-publish their games, and in 1989 A-10 Tank Killer and David Wolf: Secret Agent were shipped as affiliated label products for Activision, with the Dynamix label shown on the game boxes for the first time. The games weren't making enough money to keep Dynamix going, and in August 1990 the company was sold to Sierra On-Line. Though Dynamix published in this period various adventure games (Rise of the Dragon, Heart of China, The Adventures of Willy Beamish), the company was bought for their know-how of simulation games and genres in which Sierra On-Line was weak.

After the buyout the company grew rapidly, expanding from around 30 people to more than 100 in 1993, and the company had to relocate from Downtown Eugene to the UO’s Riverfront Research Park. However, Jeff Tunnell had left the company after finishing The Adventures of Willy Beamish (1991), to start his own company Jeff Tunnell Productions, which made very highly successful games for Sierra On-Line (for example The Incredible Machine series). Circumstances brought Tunnell back in 1995.

Shortly after his return, Sierra On-Line was sold by Ken Williams to CUC International, a company that had no experience in making games (1996). Though Dynamix continued to make successful simulation and action games, it couldn't survive in the series of corporate take-overs that followed. A restructuring of Sierra On-Line in September 1999 resulted in the end of Dynamix as a brand and a separate business entity. Two years later, on Tuesday August 14, 2001, the Dynamix studio was shut down.

Contributed by Brian Hirt (10087) on Mar 01, 1999. [revised by : Damon Slye (48), game nostalgia (5640) and GTramp (58997)].