Imagic

Imagic

Infobox Company
company_name = Imagic
company_
company_type = Private
foundation = 1981
location_city = California
location_country = United States
location =
key_people = Rob Fulop,
Bill Grubb
Bob Smith
industry = Interactive entertainment
products =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
dissolved = 1986
homepage =

Imagic was a third-party maker of games for the Atari 2600 and other early video game consoles in the early 1980s. It was co-founded in 1981 by former Atari programmer Rob Fulop,cite web | url=http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=11832 | title=Playing Catch Up: Night Trap's Rob Fulop | publisher=CMP | work=Gamasutra | accessdate=2007-04-09] [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50814F6395D0C718EDDA80994DA484D81] the author of "Night Driver" and "Missile Command", and its best-selling titles included "Atlantis", "Cosmic Ark", "Demon Attack",cite web | url=http://www.atariage.com/software_page.html?SoftwareLabelID=134 | publisher=Atari Age | title=Demon Attack | accessdate=2007-04-09] and billiards game "Trick Shot". Other co-founders with Fulop were Bill Grubb, Bob Smith, Mark Bradley and Denis Koble from Atari, and Jim Goldberger and Brian Dougherty from Mattel. Imagic was considered one of the best Atari 2600 developers thanks to unique video games like "Cosmic Ark" and "Atlantis".Fact|date=April 2007 By the end of the 2600s life, Imagic had the third largest collection of original game cartridges for the system, behind only Atari and Activision.Fact|date=April 2007

Comparison with Activision

Imagic was similar to Activision in many ways; they used a distinctive and easily recognizable style of cartridge housing (which included the company name embossed in the plastic), offered patches to players who sent in proof of a high score, and were renowned in the Atari community for featuring a high standard of audiovisual design in their games. Also like Activision, they were sued by Atari; the industry giant sued Imagic over "Demon Attack" because of its resemblance to "Phoenix",cite web | url=http://www.ataritimes.com/article.php?showarticle=224 | publisher=Atari Times | title=Demon Attack: This game is pure Imagic! | accessdate=2007-04-10] to which Atari had the exclusive home-version rights. The case was settled out of court, and "Demon Attack" went on to be ported to more consoles and home computers than any other game of its time.cn|date=December 2007 Unlike Activision, who had a policy that games should look/play the same on all consoles, Imagic believed that games should take advantage of a console's strengths.Fact|date=April 2007

Fan club

During its height, Imagic also ran a fan club for their games, the Numb Thumb Club, which published an annual newsletter.cite web | url=http://www.intellivisionlives.com/bluesky/games/credits/imagic.shtml | publisher=Intellivision Productions | work=Intellivision Lives | accessdate=2007-04-09 | title=Imagic Titles for Intellivision] Only two issues were published before Imagic's demise in 1983.

Unreleased games

Several prototypes of unreleased Imagic games have been discovered in recent years by gamers; probably the most famous of these is "Cubicolor", a two-player puzzle game loosely based on a combination of a Rubik's Cube and "fifteen puzzle", that was completed but never officially released before Imagic's demise.

Non-Atari releases

Imagic also released games for the Mattel Intellivision, ColecoVision and Magnavox Odyssey². Their two Odyssey² games (ports of "Demon Attack" and "Atlantis") were the only third party releases for that system in America. Unusually for a video game publisher of this time, Imagic's Intellivision library relied more on original games ("Beauty & the Beast", "Dracula", "Microsurgeon", "Truckin"', "Ice Trek") than Atari ports, and even their ports were generally more advanced, both graphically and in terms of gameplay, than their Atari counterparts.

Copyright issues

Atari tried to sue Imagic claiming that Imagic's "Demon Attack" game was a copy of Centuri Inc.'s arcade game "Phoenix". [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70A1FFB3B5D0C738FDDA80994DA484D81]

Demise

Although Imagic grew quickly in its early years, it was irreparably harmed by the video game crash of 1983. It released 24 titles before going out of business by 1986, but the exact time it disbanded remains largely a mystery, however in 1983 they did layoff 40 of their 170 employees. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9407E6DE1138F934A2575AC0A965948260 Imagic Layoffs] ] The rights to Imagic's most popular titles have been owned by Activision since the late 1980s, and they have been re-released on several occasions.

Notable titles

* "Atlantis"
* "Cosmic Ark"
* "Demon Attack"
* "Dragonfire"
* "Fathom"
* "Fire Fighter"
* "Laser Gates"
* "Microsurgeon"
* "Moonsweeper"
* "Nova Blast"
* "Riddle of the Sphinx"
* "Safecracker"
* "Star Voyager"
* "Tournament Tennis"
* "Trick Shot"
* "Truckin' (video game)"
* "Wing War"

References

External links

* [http://www.livevideo.com/video/7B3359CD66794A01A02F14942198B12A/making-of-atlantis-video-game-part-1-imagic.aspx LiveVideo.com: Making of Atlantis Video Game]


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