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David Crane

aka: Dave Crane

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David Crane is one of the most successful designers of entertainment software in the world. His award winning video games, led by Pitfall!, Ghostbusters, A Boy and His Blob, and Amazing Tennis are acknowledged as some of the most innovative and popular in the interactive entertainment industry. Crane, a founder of Activision in 1979, has consistently produced superb products, as evidenced by his worldwide sales of over 10 million games and wholesale revenues near 200 million dollars. Prior to his days at Activision, Crane was employed at Atari, where he wrote such hits as Outlaw, Slot Machine and Canyon Bomber. He was also instrumental in the design of the Atari 800 computer's operating system.

Crane's industry awards continue to mount with each new product. Pitfall! maintained the top slot on the Billboard charts for 64 weeks and was named video game of the year in 1982. Besides selling millions of copies worldwide, it spawned a Saturday morning television cartoon and numerous other spinoffs. Pitfall II: Lost Caverns was also the number one rated game in the country for over six months and won the 1984 Golden Floppy award for best game and the Video Adventure Game of the Year award for 1984 from Electronic Games. The Activision Decathlon was in the top 20 video games for more than one year and won several sports game awards. Reviewers Katz & Kunkel called Decathlon a "masterwork and a true classic." Other Activision hits written by Crane include Dragster, Fishing Derby, Laser Blast, Freeway, Grand Prix, Skateboardin' and Super Skateboardin' (the last one was for the Atari 7800).

Ghostbusters, Crane's 9th release for Activision was lauded by Ahoy! magazine's publisher who said that he had "never so thoroughly enjoyed playing or even watching a game as entertaining as this one. Activision may even accomplish what few if any have been able to do: successfully release a video/computer game derived from a major motion picture." As predicted, Ghostbusters achieved unprecedented sales in the United States, throughout Europe, and Japan. Crane's Little Computer People was awarded the 1985 award for the most innovative program of the year by the Computer Entertainer. A Boy and His Blob received the best of show award at its introduction and was the video game of the year for 1989. Further, the Parents' Choice Foundation awarded A Boy and His Blob the 1990 Parents' Choice Award for portraying "Positive human values", "High quality software", "Intelligent design", and the "Ability to hold the player's interest." Crane was named designer of the year in 1983 and 1984 by Video Game Update, Video Review and Computer Entertainer. His works have been called "beyond belief" and "offering the most remarkable breadth of any videogame(s) yet produced" by Electronic Games Magazine.

While often overshadowed in the public eye by his software products, Crane's hardware accomplishments are equally impressive. In addition to a variety of custom development systems, Crane has designed two integrated circuits for video game use - The Display Processor Chip or DPC, which was awarded a patent for its unique video memory system, and a chip which offered the most innovative method of bank selecting in the industry. Wherever there is new technology or new entertainment opportunities, Crane can be found at the forefront.

By treating the Internet as the latest in a series of video game platforms, Crane brings this unique blend of talents to the Internet. He is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Skyworks Technologies, Inc., a privately held multimedia developer specializing in interactive marketing and high-end game development. In addition, Skyworks is an authorized developer for the Sony PlayStation video game platform. Skyworks' clients include the LifeSavers Company, the Nabisco Biscuit Company, the Sega Channel, Micronet Co. Ltd., Scientific American and others.

Credited on 38 games

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Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration (2022 on Windows) Starring
GhostControl Inc. (2013 on Windows) A very special thank you to
Arcade Bowling (2008 on iPhone) Design
Activision Hits Remixed (2006 on PSP) An Incredibly Huge Thanks To
March of the Penguins (2006 on Nintendo DS) Level Layout
Activision Anthology: Remix Edition (2003 on Windows) Incredibly Huge Thanks
Activision Anthology (2002 on PlayStation 2) An Incredibly Huge Thanks to
SPQR: The Empire's Darkest Hour (1996 on Windows 3.x) Advice
Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit (1994 on SNES) Concept & Design
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure (1994 on SNES) Special Thanks To
Night Trap (1994 on 3DO) Original Programming
Toys (1993 on Genesis) Design
Garry Kitchen's Super Battletank: War in the Gulf (1992 on SNES) Special Thanks to
David Crane's Amazing Tennis (1992 on Genesis) Programming
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World (1991 on NES) Additional Programming
Bart Simpson's Escape from Camp Deadly (1991 on Game Boy) Program
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants (1991 on NES) Additional Programming
David Crane's A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia (1990 on NES) Designed by
David Crane's The Rescue of Princess Blobette Starring A Boy and his Blob (1990 on Game Boy) Program
Super Skateboardin' (1988 on Atari 7800) Design

[ full credits ]

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developer photo

2010 - G4's DICE interview.

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