April 28, 2006

[Industry] Access Software, RIP 1983-2006

Access Software, one of the last great independent developers, finally met its untimely end the afternoon of April 27, 2006.

Access Software was founded back in 1983 by the late Bruce Carver and Chris Jones, and quickly rose to the pantheon of classic game developers, with classics such as the "Links" series of golf games, the "Tex Murphy" series of adventure games, and the "Beach Head" series of action games.

The cost of acquiring rights to golf courses escalated over the years while Access was competing with Electronic Arts. In order to keep the company alive and give "Links" a solid financial backing, the company was sold to Microsoft in 1999. (MobyGames incorrectly shows 1998.)

However, Microsoft Game Studios managed to strip the profitability away from the studio by eliminating the means that Access had used to keep their products low-cost. As a result, the studio did not have many profitable titles during its stay with Microsoft.

In 2003, there was a massive layoff at the studio, which Microsoft promptly denied to "Penny Arcade." Less than a year later, the studio was sold to Take-Two Interactive and renamed to Indie Built, Inc.

Access had about seventy employees left at the time of their untimely demise. If you know of a position that is available for someone in the area, let me know and I'll try to pass the word on to the appropriate people.


Kevin said...

Very nice! Yeehaw!

You can read my eulogy at: http://www.clariticity.com/

Francesco Poli said...

I guess this means no new Tex Murphy game then.