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Sierra

Sierra Entertainment Logo, as seen in SQ6

Sierra Entertainment was a computer game developer and publisher active from 1980 to 2004. The name survives as a brand of Vivendi Universal.

HistoryEdit

Sierra started modestly as On-Line Systems in 1980, with founders Ken Williams and his wife Roberta programming games and managing the company from their own home. Their first game was Mystery House, the world's first graphic adventure game.

In 1982 the company changed its name to Sierra On-Line and moved to Oakhurst, California.

In 1984, Sierra developed King's Quest, initially published by IBM, to show off the advanced technology of the IBM PCjr. The success of that game (subsequently port (computing)|ported to other platforms) set forth one of the most popular series Sierra has ever created, and spurred them into creating numerous adventure game series based on the Quest theme. In the years to come Sierra would remain on the forefront of groundbreaking computer game design, sometimes creating large blockbusters and other times, failed experiments.

Starting in 1990, Sierra began acquiring other companies, including Dynamix (1990), Bright Star Technologies (1992), Coktel Vision (1993) and Impressions Games (1995).

In 1991 Sierra started an online service called The Sierra Network. Pre-WWW, it was comparable to services like CompuServe or Prodigy except that its interface was completely graphical. Thematically it was a "kingdom" in which you visited different "lands" to post on message boards, exchange emails and play games. It was renamed ImagiNation Network and sold to AT&T in 1994 who sold it to AOL in 1996.

In 1994, Sierra moved its headquarters to Bellevue, Washington to attract more talent.

In 1996, the company was sold to CUC and Ken Williams left one year later. CUC later merged with HFS Corporation to form Cendant Software. After the discovery of an accounting scandal, Sierra was sold again to French publisher Havas who in turn were acquired by French giant Vivendi.

Sierra's location in Oakhurst was renamed Yosemite Entertainment in 1998, then shut down in 1999, on a day that has become known to Sierra fans as "Chainsaw Monday".

The company was renamed Sierra Entertainment in 2002.

In June 2004, Vivendi reorganized the Vivendi Universal games group, distributing Sierra's work to other units and finally shutting down Sierra's Bellevue location in August. The Sierra brand lives on in name only.

An independent group known as AGD Interactive have also remade and updated several of Sierra's classic Adventure Games from the 80's and 90's.

Companies under the Sierra umbrellaEdit

Fully-owned subsidiaries of SierraEdit

  • Impressions Games
  • Papyrus Design Group
  • Coktel Vision
  • Dynamix

Companies for which Sierra publishesEdit

  • Game Arts
  • Evryware
  • Breakaway Games
  • Relic Entertainment
  • Stainless Steel Studios

Sierra's gamesEdit

Adventure gamesEdit

  • Mystery House (1980, produced in 1979, re-released by SierraVenture in 1982)
  • Mission Asteroid (1980, re-released by SierraVenture, 1982))
  • The Wizard and the Princess / Adventure in Serenia (1980, re-released by SierraVenture in 1982)
  • Cranston Manor (1981)
  • Ulysses and the Golden Fleece (1981, re-released by SierraVenture in 1982)
  • Time Zone (computer game)|Time Zone (1982 (produced in 1981, re-released by SierraVenture in 1982)
  • Dark Crystal (1982)
  • Gelfling Adventure (1984)
  • Mickey's Space Adventure (1984)
  • The Black Cauldron (computer game)|The Black Cauldron (1984, re-released in 1986)
  • Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood (1986)
  • Dragon's Keep (1983)
  • Troll's Tale (1983)
  • Bop-A-Bet (1983), the cult classic
  • Gold Rush! (1988)
  • Codename: Iceman (1989)
  • The Adventures of Willy Beamish (1991)
  • Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist (1993)
  • Betrayal at Krondor (1993)
  • Slater & Charlie Go Camping (1993)
  • Urban Runner (1995)
  • Torin's Passage (1995)
  • Rama (1996)
  • Lighthouse: The Dark Being (1996)
  • Betrayal in Antara (1997)
  • King's Quest series
    1. King's Quest: Quest for the Crown (1984, produced in 1983, re-released in 1987, improved version 1989)
    2. King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne (1985)
    3. King's Quest III: To Heir is Human (1986)
    4. King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella (1988)
    5. King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart go Yonder! (1990, CD-ROM version 1991)
    6. King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (1992, CD-ROM version 1993)
    7. King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride (1994)
    8. King's Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity (1998)
  • Space Quest series
    1. Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (1986, Space Quest I (VGA), improved version 1990)
    2. Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge (1987)
    3. Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon (1989)
    4. Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (1991)
    5. Space Quest V: Roger Wilco in the Next Mutation (1993)
    6. Space Quest VI: The Spinal Frontier (1995)
  • Leisure Suit Larry series
    1. Softporn Adventure (1981, precursor to Leisure Suit Larry)
    2. Leisure Suit Larry In the Land of the Lounge Lizards / Leisure Suit Larry 1 (1987, improved version in 1991)
    3. Leisure Suit Larry Goes Looking for Love (In Several Wrong Places) / Leisure Suit Larry 2 (1988)
    4. Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals (1989)
    5. Leisure Suit Larry 4 (unwritten, unreleased)
    6. Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work (1991)
    7. Laffer Utilities (1992)
    8. Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! (1993)
    9. Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail (1995)
    10. Leisure Suit Larry's Casino (1998)
    11. Leisure Suit Larry 8: Lust in Space (unreleased)
    12. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (2004), not by Al Lowe
  • Police Quest series
    1. Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel (1987, improved version in 1991)
    2. Police Quest II: The Vengeance (1988)
    3. Police Quest III: The Kindred (1990)
    4. Police Quest IV: Open Season (1993)
  • Manhunter (game)|Manhunter series
    1. Manhunter: New York (1988)
    2. Manhunter 2: San Francisco (1989)
  • Laura Bow series
    1. The Colonel's Bequest (1989)
    2. Laura Bow II: The Dagger of Amon Ra (1991)
  • Conquests series
    1. Conquests of Camelot: King Arthur, The Search for the Grail (1989)
    2. Conquests of the Longbow: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1992)
  • Quest for Glory series (formerly Hero's Quest)
    1. Quest for Glory I (a.k.a. Hero's Quest I): So You Want to be a Hero (1989, enhanced version in 1991)
    2. Quest for Glory II (a.k.a. Hero's Quest II): Trial by Fire (1990)
    3. Quest for Glory III: Wages of War (1992)
    4. Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness (1994)
    5. Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire (1998)
  • EcoQuest series
    1. EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus (1991)
    2. EcoQuest 2: Lost Secret of the Rainforest (1993)
  • Gabriel Knight series
    1. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1993)
    2. Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within (1995)
    3. Gabriel Knight: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (1999)
  • Phantasmagoria series
    1. Phantasmagoria (1995)
    2. Phantasmagoria II: A Puzzle of Flesh (1996)
  • Shivers series
    1. Shivers (1996)
    2. Shivers II: Harvest of Souls (1997)

Other notable gamesEdit

  • Ultima II|Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress
  • The Incredible Toon Machine (a.k.a. Sid & Al's Incredible Toons)
  • No One Lives Forever (series)
  • Red Baron (game)|Red Baron
  • Aces of the Pacific
  • SWAT Series|SWAT (series)
  • NASCAR Racing
  • Tribes: Aerial Assault
  • Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
  • Homeworld
  • Jones in the Fast Lane|Jones in the Fast Lane (1991)
  • Quarky & Quaysoo's Turbo Science (1992)
  • Half-Life (computer game)|Half-Life and Half-Life 2
  • Dr. Brain series
    1. Castle of Dr. Brain (1991)
    2. Island of Dr. Brain (1992)
    3. The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain (1995)
    4. The Time Warp of Dr. Brain (1996)
    5. Dr. Brain Thinking Games: Puzzle Madness (1998)
  • The Incredible Machine series
    1. The Incredible Machine (1992)
    2. The Even More Incredible Machine (1993)
    3. The Incredible Machine 2 (1994)
    4. The Incredible Machine 3.0 (1995)
    5. Return of the Incredible Machine: Contraptions (2000)
    6. The Incredible Machine: Even More Contraptions (2001)
  • City Building Series
    1. Caesar (1993)
    2. Caesar II (1995)
    3. Caesar III (1998)
    4. Pharaoh (1999) and Queen Of The Nile (2000)
    5. Zeus: Master of Olympus (2001) and Poseidon (2002)
    6. Emperor: Rise Of The Middle Kingdom (2003)
  • Outpost series
    1. Outpost (1994)
    2. Outpost 2: Divided Destiny (1997)
  • Hoyle's series
    1. Hoyle's Official Book of Games: Volume 1 (1989)
    2. Hoyle's Official Book of Games: Volume 2 (1990)
    3. Hoyle's Official Book of Games: Volume 3 (1991)
    4. Hoyle Casino
    5. Hoyle Board Games
    6. Hoyle Card Games
    7. Hoyle Kids Games
    8. Hoyle Puzzle Games
    9. Hoyle Table Games
    10. Hoyle Solitaire (1996)
    11. Hoyle Majestic Chess (2003)
    12. Hoyle Backgammon and Cribbage (1999)
    13. Hoyle Casino Empire (2002)

External linksEdit

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