Activisio Essay Research Paper ActiVision Inc is

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Activisio Essay, Research Paper ActiVision, Inc., is a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. As one of the industry’s first independent, third-party developers, ActiVision has produced numerous hit titles for companies such as Atari, Nintendo and Sega, and for personal computers. Some of its best known titles include the Zork and MechWarrior series, and Spycraft: The Master Game. ActiVision is a multi-platform developer, producing software compatible with various gaming consoles as well as for use with personal computers. Early History Following its founding in 1979, ActiVision’s early success was meteoric. As developer and publisher of a series of Atari hits such as Pitfall!, Kaboom! and River Raid, ActiVision soon became the largest video game

software company and the fastest-growing company in American history. During its peak year in 1983, ActiVision attained revenues of about $150 million. Faced with intense competition from Sega and Nintendo, and the rise of the PC as an alternative platform for games, Atari collapsed the following year and took ActiVision with it. ActiVision declined steadily throughout the rest of the 1980s. In 1988 the company changed its name to Mediagenic and undertook an ill-advised foray into personal and business computing software. Publishing word processing software, paint packages and applications for Macintosh, Mediagenic failed spectacularly in a business and personal software market that tends to be dominated by a few firms. Accumulating losses that eventually totaled $60 million, the

company was virtually insolvent by 1991. During its decline, Mediagenic made some good moves that would serve its later recovery. Not least of these was to sign license agreements with Nintendo of America (in 1987) and with Sega of America (in 1988). These agreements opened up significant mass-market possibilities. Mediagenic also published the first interactive entertainment on CD-ROM, a game called The Manhole, thus beginning a move toward the kind of high-tech, multi-platform production that would be essential in the 1990s market. The main architect of ActiVision’s comeback was software entrepreneur Bobby Kotick, who along with partner Howard Marks and casino mogul Steve Wynn, led an investment group and management team that filed a plan of reorganization for ActiVision.

Kotick’s group filed their plan on the same day, October 4, 1991, that Mediagenic was placed into prepackaged bankruptcy. The company, again under its original name ActiVision, began its impressive recovery in short order. Reorganization and Recovery Kotick, who was 30 when he took the reigns at ActiVision, has been described as resembling Woody Allen in both speech and personality. In 1983 he and Marks had run a software company out of their dorm room at the University of Michigan. They obtained financing for their small operation from Steve Wynn, the legendary developer of the Las Vegas Strip. Kotick pitched his idea to Wynn at an exclusive party to which he and Marks had managed, by some subterfuge, to obtain an invitation. The 52-year old Wynn recalls, “They were so

fetching and cute, I wanted them to be my sons-in-law.” Although the venture flopped, Wynn maintained confidence in his young colleagues and backed another of their enterprises, a company that translated packages and manuals for overseas delivery. This operation turned out to be more successful, netting $2 million on $12 million sales in 1991. In 1985 Kotick and Marks turned down an offer from Sony to write software for new CD-based entertainment system because they believed the base of CD players was then too small to support the effort. Only a few years later the time would be right for ActiVision, under Kotick’s leadership, to take the industry lead in publishing titles for CD-ROM. Kotick and Marks had been eyeing ActiVision for some time because of its broad licensing