Epyx, Inc.


Automated Simulations was co-founded by Jon Freeman and Jim Conelley. The company was more of a strategy game developer and publisher at the time, going by the Company motto "Computer Games Thinkers Play." Most of their products were developed for Computers, most importantly the Apple II computer. In 1981, the company was much larger and "office politics" drove Jon Freeman out of the company, and he left to found Free Fall Associates with his wife, Anne Westfall. It was at this time that Jim Conelley also left and started his own company, The Conelley Group which was more of a game developing company, and they let Epyx publish the games they developed.

At this time, Epyx turned into developing action games (such as Jumpman and Impossible Mission) and sports games (Summer games and Pitstop). Epyx turned into a very large and successful company over these years, and they expanded rapidly.

Right around 1986, they moved to a larger head office in Redwood City, and employed over 200 people. They expanded into other areas of gaming, such as developing hardware for computers and they were also developing their own handheld video game system. However, all of these new areas of game development turned into severe failures, which resulted in the company filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1989. After laying off pretty much everyone in the company (except for eight people) and selling off marketing and distribution rights to their handheld gaming device to Atari (The Atari Lynx), they eventually came out of bankruptcy in 1993, but they decided to sell off the rest of the company.

After the bankruptcy, the rights to use the company name were transferred to Bridgestone media group (a Christian organization), who resells the game rights to Atari. Atari then has its own problems.

These days, the rights to use the game trademarks and copyrights are owned by System 3. System 3 plans on using these rights to sell Epyx's old games on the newer consoles and intends on having them available for the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console server.

Contributed by Nathan Jolly (87) on Aug 20, 2002. [revised by : Scott G (794)].