DistributionThe game was available in only 4 stores in the L.A county. Ken Williams and Roberta Williams transferred the software personally.
Source: Sierra On-line Fansite
Freeware releaseTo commemorate Sierra's seventh year in operation (1987), the game was donated as freeware in the public domain. See below for transcript of the 'official notice' which appeared in this re-released game:
FROM A GREAT MOMENT IN HISTORY: MYSTERY HOUSE THE FIRST GRAPHIC ADVENTURE, WAS CREATED IN 1980 BY SIERRA ON-LINE FOUNDERS KEN AND ROBERTA WILLIAMS AND RELEASED INTO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN IN 1987 TO CELEBRATE SIERRA'S 7TH ANNIVERSARY.
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO COPY THIS GAME FOR YOURSELF OR TO SHARE. IF YOU HAVE ENJOYED IT YOU MAY SEND A $5 DONATION TO KEN AND ROBERTA'S FAVORITE CHARITY, SIERRA HISTORIC SITES ASSOCIATION, P.O. BOX 451, OAKHURST, CA 93644.
NOTE: BECAUSE IT IS NOW FREE SIERRA'S GIFT TO YOU WE CAN NO LONGER TAKE CALLS ON THIS GAME. IF YOU NEED HELP, WE SUGGEST YOU CONTACT YOUR LOCAL APPLE USERS GROUP TO TALK WITH OTHERS WHO MAY HAVE PLAYED IT.
InnovationsMystery House was the first graphic adventure game.
InspirationAccording to an interview with Roberta Williams in Computer Gaming World issue #54 (December 1988), the game was inspired by the Agatha Christie novel Ten Little Indians (also known as Ten Little Niggers and And Then There Were None) and the board game Clue.
Mystery House Taken OverIn 2004, New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) commissioned the Mystery House Taken Over project for turbulence.org. Noted Interactive Fiction authors created variations of Mystery House which can be downloaded or played online. The variations include an Asian-themed adventure, a Gothic mystery, and a Spanish game set in Casa Tomada.
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #4 Most Innovative Computer Game