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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.
67 Games Released (1980 - 2012)
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Activision shuts down the division.
Infocom was purchased by Activision.
- June 22nd, 1979
Infocom officially founded by Tim Anderson, Joel Berez, Marc Blank, Mike Broos, Scott Cutler, Stu Galley, Dave Lebling, J. C. R. Licklider, Chris Reeve and Al Vezza.
The number 69,105 was often used as an in-joke in their games.
Interpreters for Z-code and its descendants have been developed for every conceivable platform, including mobile and web apps. Some of the most popular are Gargoyle, Spatterlight, and Frotz (named for a spell used in the Enchanter series).
Infocom was a runner-up in the "Best Programmer's 87" award category of German gaming magazine Power Play.
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Related Web Sites +
The Infocom Gallery
If you're looking for high-quality scans of Infocom covers and props, this is the place to go. You can also find scans for lesser known release versions, too. There is a mirror up at http://www.fortunecity.de/wolkenkratzer/mond/236/index.html.
The Unofficial Infocom Page
This site is the starting point for just about all of your Infocom informational needs. They've got game information, articles, and links for just about everything that's Infocom.
This page has Z-Machine versions of InvisiClues.
The Encyclopedia Frobozzica
This online encyclopedia is a reference of the names and faces you'll find in the <moby game="Zork">Zork</moby> series. You can also download it in Acrobat format.
Infocom Info Site
Everything you'd ever want to know about Infocom on one site. Historical timelines for company and games; information on all games with faqs, patch links, downloads; reprints of articles and so much more.
Infocom - The Master Storytellers
Provides company history, game descriptions, downloads, buying guide, author biographies, and more.
This site contains scans of boxes and manuals for Infocom games. It also mirrors or contains links to other Infocom sites. Finally it gives directions to the author's telnet site, where users may play the games online.
The Infocom article on Wikipedia.
Down From the Top of Its Game: The Story of Infocom, Inc.
The complete story of Infocom, from its beginnings to its demise. From MIT.
Infocom on the Commodore 64
The complete Infocom collection for the Commodore 64, each title listed with introduction, images, related links and comments area.
Old coders never die... they only fade away
Feature in Commodore Format (Issue 22, Jul 92, p53) that lists companies and programmers that made the Commodore 64 great.
High quality scans of game boxes and contents.
The Master Storytellers did (Info-)Comics (and nobody took notice)
article about the genesis and fate of the Infocomics project, including interviews with many of the people involved
- 25 games with Activision Publishing, Inc.
- 20 games with Activision Blizzard UK Ltd.
- 11 games with Commodore Business Machines, Inc
- 11 games with Softsel Computer Products Ltd.
- 10 games with Mastertronic Ltd.
- 6 games with Asgard Software
- 6 games with Xitan
- 4 games with Tom Snyder Productions, Inc.
- 4 games with Westwood Studios, Inc.
- 4 games with SystemSoft Alpha Corporation
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