Way back when, youngsters, there existed a company that put out some of the best video games in history. Titles such as F-117 Stealth Fighter, F-15 Strike Eagle III, F-14 Fleet Defender, and Master of Orion II just to name a few. This company was started by Sid Meier and Bill Stealey who called it…. Microprose. And, after serious financial trouble and a six year hiatus in the great beyond, some investors and ‘industry veterans’ have resurrected the software company….Or have they?
After browsing the new corporate website, it seems to me that they just bought the name to slap onto some hardware they produce (or perhaps just license from manufacturers – that is not clear). They mention the games of the past every so often, but never state they will make games again. The ‘new’ Microprose is all about hardware and cabling, NOT software development.
From the company site:
‘In 2007, the Microprose brand was acquired from Atari Interactive, Inc. (formerly known as Hasbro Interactive, Inc.). It is being restructured and relaunched by a team of veterans of the video game industry as a Video Game accessories and Consumer Electronics products firm. The new Microprose stays true to the brand, focusing on high quality products delivering to the user the ultimate experience in the interactive entertainment universe.’
And just what is the ‘ultimate experience in the interactive entertainment universe’? The answer: Digital TV Receivers. Yup, thats right, those and HDMI 3-port switchers. In what is almost a slap in the face nod to gamers, they will also make a very crude-looking gamepad/joystick (looking like a relic from 1985) which will surely have gamers lined up around the block. All of these products branded with the once proud Microprose logo.
They claim that the new company ‘stays true to the brand..’, which is true I guess, my father told me that they once had a Microprose stereo system. It was cherry. They only thing that is staying true to the brand is their use of the original logo and they added some text to it as well. Maybe that ‘brand truthfulness’ will really drive the point home, Microprose: We are the same…but totally different – hey, look at our logo!
I seriously wish them success, but I also wish they did not have to tarnish the name of one of the greatest game developers in history to get it. So I ask you, gamers who remember the Microprose that was: Is it really back?
The ‘new’ Microprose site.
Image gallery of Microprose hardware after the break.
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