Infocom, Inc.


Developer and publisher of interactive fiction ("text adventure") games in the early 1980s; purchased by Activision in 1987.

From the Interactive Fiction FAQ:

[Thanks to Dave Lebling (Infocom co-founder) for the definitive info on this]

Infocom never went out of business. It went deeply into debt to develop a database product (named Cornerstone) that was a commercial flop. It went shopping for a merger and found Activision, which later changed its name to Mediagenic. What did happen is that in May of 1989 Mediagenic closed down the "real" Infocom in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and laid (almost) everyone off. All the releases up through Zork Zero, Shogun, Journey, and Arthur were developed in Cambridge.

Mediagenic licensed the UK rights to the games to Virgin Mastertronic about two years ago.

Mediagenic went nearly bankrupt, was taken over by outside investors, and taken through a so-called "pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy" in January, 1992. As part of that process, they changed their name back to Activision, moved from Silicon Valley down to LA, and recently merged with a company owned by the investors (called The Disc Company). Activision continues to release new products under the Infocom label, including collections of Infocom's text adventures. Their graphical CDROM adventures have been greeted with dour grunts on rec.*.int-fiction, but the games seem to be improving in quality with every new release.

Contributed by Brian Hirt (10074) on Mar 01, 1999.