TCW 167 - Activision and Kotick Part 1

In part one of our look at Activision and Bobby Kotick we look at the early life, and history of the man. We see from an early age how business was always a driving factor in his life. Furthermore, we see some of his early companies and challenges as he transitioned into the technology field. With the help of influential businessman Steve Wynn, Bobby Kotick was able to start a software company. Wynn further helped in financing the eventual buy-in of Mediagenic when the company was floated as a cheap way to get into the game market by Nintendo. We finish by looking at how Kotick and others took control of Mediagenic and renamed it Activision. With the need to file for bankruptcy Kotick has the long task of building up the company from scratch. Promising investors to at least break even over the next four to five years.

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TCW 166 - Centuri

We look at the rebirth of Allied Leisure under new management and funding. The company found a niche importing Japanese games from lesser known companies. They also continued to leverage licensing to do cocktail cabinet styles of popular games. Most notably the big four games that made the company rocket to the top were: Eagle, Phoenix, Pleiads, and Vanguard. Later on the company would join into a partnership with Konami to import their games. With Japanese companies opening their own manufacturing in the states the deal with Konami ended. That combined with other issues lead to Centuri going out of business a few years later.

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TCW 165 - Allied Leisure

We look at the origins of the coin-op company Allied Leisure! The company came from a coin-op veteran who wanted to help his son establish a company he could call his own. Despite some notable successes Allied Leisure was plagued with quality issues in production. They made some unique games in coin-op with F-114, their pong clone, and pinball with cocktail cabinets. Unfortunately many setbacks including a fire, the death of Robert Braun, the stigma of the company being known as Allied Looser, and the near liquidation of the company when the bankruptcy was declared. Allied Leisure had a fascinating history and would be reborn as Centuri when David Braun sold the company.

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TCW 164 - Fallout

History. History is always changing. Greek historians recorded tales in scrolls, and simple books. Historians of the modern era use interviews, micro-film, and court documents to decipher history. In this episode Alex and Jeffrey look at the Fallout of all that historical work. How they can shape and mold it into the continuing narrative of the video game industry. Fallout almost was not a thing and possibly could not be made today. The game faced many challenges in its creation, but ended up being a very influential work affecting not just video games but role playing games as a whole.

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TCW 163 - California Pacific

We look at the company California Pacific. Founded by Al Remmers the company played a large role in launching the careers of Bill Budge and Richard Garriott. Al Remmers was in a unique position as a publisher. He had contacts with retailers spanning the entire country. In a way California Pacific was both one of the first distributors and used the EA model of programmers as rock stars. Promoting the games made by talented people, and promoting the individuals themselves. Unfortunately California Pacific had a too high royalty to those same programmers, and once dedicated distribution companies started to take over business declined. Al Remmers struggled with delegation, and unfortunately he developed a drug addiction. Though not well known today California Pacific did play a vital role during a crucial stage of the computer video game industry.

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