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MicroProse Software, Inc.

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MicroProse Software, Inc. was founded by Sid Meier and Bill Stealey in 1982, after the two had met working at General Instrument, a large electronic component manufacturer. They shared a passion for games, and Meier would design the games while Stealey would take care of marketing and administrative duties.

In the initial years, the company focused on combat flight simulators and military strategy games. 1990 marked an important turning point with the release of Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon, the first non-destructive god game for the company. This contrasted with the military-oriented view of the other founder, Bill Stealey, who wanted to enter the market of home game consoles and arcade video games, which Sid Meier did not like. In the meantime, Stealey had bought out Meier and Sid Meier had become a private contractor, working exclusively for the company. He received money up front, more when the game delivered and royalties on each sold copy.

MicroProse continued to back Sid Meier's games, yet they wanted him to work on other types of games as well, delaying the release of Sid Meier's Civilization, which Sid was working on most of the time. When the game was finally released, favorable reviews and some great marketing by Fred Schmidt, VP Marketing, gave the game a major boost, surprising management and the creators themselves.

In the meantime, the firm was sinking into a hole of debt. They released 2 arcade games in the 1990s which did not fare well, leading to an IPO for cash. In 1993, Stealey approached Gilman Louie, head of Spectrum Holobyte, Inc., and asked him to buy MicroProse rather than letting it fall into unknown hands. After the acquisition, eventually Bill Stealey left and founded Interactive Magic, Sid Meier joined Firaxis Games.

The company operated well for while under new management, but the new products were delayed. At the end of 1998 the company was acquired by Hasbro Interactive. The company name ceased to exist as a label when Hasbro was acquired by Infogrames in 2001.

The company used the publishing label Microplay Software for externally-developed games.

202 Games Released (1982 - 2014)

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Silent Service 1+2 (2014 on Windows, Linux, Macintosh)
Falcon 4.0: Allied Force (2005 on Windows, Macintosh)
X-COM: Enforcer (2001 on Windows)
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Gold Edition (2000 on Windows, Xbox)
B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th! (2000 on Windows)
Starship Troopers (2000 on Windows)
Avalon Hill's Squad Leader (2000 on Windows)
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes (2000 on Windows)
Mech Collection (2000 on Windows)
Gunship! (2000 on Windows)
Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim (2000 on Windows, Macintosh)
Risk II (2000 on Windows, Macintosh)
Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim (Limited Edition) (2000 on Windows)
MechWarrior 3: Pirate's Moon (1999 on Windows)
Avalon Hill's Diplomacy (1999 on Windows)
RollerCoaster Tycoon: Corkscrew Follies (1999 on Windows)
GP 500 (1999 on Windows)
Mech Commander: Gold (1999 on Windows)
Civilization II: Test of Time (1999 on Windows)
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Birth of the Federation (1999 on Windows)

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History +

1994

"Wild" Bill Stealey departed from MicroProse, after a diagreement with company's direction under Spectrum HoloByte. Spectrum HoloByte agreed to buy out Stealey's share in MicroProse/SH.

1993

Acquired by Spectrum Holobyte.

1991

Released 2 arcade games: F-15 Strike Eagle a flight sim, and BOTTS, a giant-robot shooter. This eventually contributed to a cash crunch in the company and facilitated the takeover by Spectrum HoloByte.

1988

MicroProse purchase the Firebird and Rainbird labels owned by British Telecom. Before phasing these brands out, they released the Midwinter games and Rick Dangerous amongst others.

1982

Company founded by Sid Meier and Bill Stealey.

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Trivia +

One of their earlier slogans was

"The action is simulated. The excitement is real!"

Address and contact information ca. 1983:

MicroProse Software 10616 Beaver Dam Road Hunt Valley, MD 21030 (301) 667-1151

Address and contact information ca. 1985 to 1987:

MicroProse Software 120 Lakefront Drive Hunt Valley, Maryland 21030 301-667-1151

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