Game company profile: Infocom
Infocom was a software company that was a pioneer in the development of interactive fiction, a genre of computer games that emphasizes storytelling and player interaction through text-based commands. The company was founded in 1979 by MIT staff and students, including Tim Anderson, Bruce Daniels, Marc Blank, Dave Lebling, and others. Infocom's games were renowned for their well-crafted narratives, clever puzzles, and sophisticated parser systems.
Infocom is best known for creating the Z-Machine, a virtual machine that allowed their text-based adventure games to run on a wide range of computer platforms without modification. This innovation allowed players on different computers to enjoy the same games, which was a significant advantage during the early days of personal computing when there was a lack of standardization across systems.
Some of Infocom's most popular and critically acclaimed titles include: the Zork Series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Planetfall, A Mind Forever Voyaging, Deadline.
Infocom's games were characterized by their attention to detail, intricate puzzles, and immersive storytelling, which made them stand out in the gaming industry. They were hugely popular during the 1980s, and many fans still hold these games in high regard today.
Despite their success, Infocom faced challenges in the late 1980s, and the rise of graphical gaming eventually led to a decline in the demand for text-based adventures. Infocom was eventually acquired by Activision in 1986, and while the Infocom brand continued for a short time, the company's focus shifted to other types of games. The legacy of Infocom and its contributions to the interactive fiction genre continue to influence game developers and storytellers to this day.