|Westwood Studios #99
Games developed: 20
Games published: 4
Period: 1987 - 2000
In an ideal underdog story, the formerly little-known Westwood Associates struck gold with their decision to become a subsidiary of media conglomerate Virgin. With the infusion of funding, Virgin's global distribution network, and its own brand equity built as both developer and publisher, Westwood slowly but surely climbs the path to fame and fortune with each new release. Although widely credited for redefining the real-time strategy genre with Dune 2 and the immensely popular Command & Conquer series, Westwood (formerly Westwood Associates) got their start designing outstanding adventure and RPG games for renown publishers such as Epyx, SSI and Infocom.
As with its crop of current best-sellers, each Westwood game of yore is infused with a masterful blend of cross-genre elements and amazng graphics: old-time gamers still fondly recall the adrenaline rush of California Games developed for Epyx, the fast-paced lockpicking and horseriding in the RPG Hillsfar, the real-time combat in Eye of the Beholder, and the ingenious "chip-in / out" interface in Circuit's Edge. These oldies are proof that even a decade ago, Westwood knew what makes a good game: pleasant graphics, captivating gameplay, and -- above all-- a great storyline.
Westwood isn't an overnight success, but rather a gradual accumulation of gaming expertise, as this excerpt from company's webpage makes clear:
"In 1985, Brett W. Sperry and Louis Castle set to work in a garage in Las Vegas. From those humble beginnings came Westwood Studios, one of the most successful entertainment software companies in the history of the industry. Among the early creations are Mars Saga, Battletech, DragonStrike and Eye of the Beholder, which garnered the young company, its first taste of widespread recognition at home and abroad.
In 1992 Westwood Studios became a software publisher in its own right when it released two now legendary titles in the gaming word: Kyrandia Book I and the game that defined the real-time strategy genre, Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty.
Soon after came Command & Conquer and Command Conquer Red Alert, which set sales records all over the world and redefined the real-time strategy genre. These stunning successes were followed by the innovative and best-selling Monopoly CD-ROM, which was the first commercial game with Internet support. Monopoly and titles in the Command & Conquer series continue to make best seller charts. Westwood set new standards last year with the release of Blade Runner, which combined groundbreaking graphic technologies with a depth of storytelling rarely seen in computer games.
In 1998, Westwood Studios became a part Electronic Arts, the world's most profitable and leading publisher of games and interactive entertainment. Since then, Westwood's games have enjoyed unprecidented levels of exposure worldwide, thanks to Electronic Arts' global publishing network."
After their latest publication, Westwood studios was disbanded by EA Games, and absorbed intoEALA, but most of the Westwood staff went off and created a new companycalled Petroglyph. They are now makingfantastic games such as Star Wars: Empire at War.
Related companies: Electronic Arts, Strategic Simulations Inc., Infocom, Virgin InteractiveRelated companies: Electronic Arts Strategic Simulations Inc. Infocom Virgin Interactive