Jon Freeman

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For other people with a similar name, see John Freeman (disambiguation) and Jonathan Freeman (disambiguation).

Jon Freeman was an influential computer game industry figure of the 1980s and early 1990s. He was a co-founder of Epyx and Free Fall Associates and the spouse of game programmer Anne Westfall. Besides founding these two companies, though he is credited with some programming, Freeman is most noted as a game designer.

Career[edit]

Automated Simulations and Epyx[edit]

Freeman worked as a game designer for video game developer and publisher, Epyx, which he co-founded with Jim Connelley in 1978 as Automated Simulations.[1]

Their first game, Starfleet Orion, was a two-player only game developed mainly so Connelley could write off the cost of his Commodore PET computer. Freeman provided design while Connelley handled the programming in BASIC. Freeman was amazed when they actually had a finished product and they had to create a company to publish it.[1] So, both he and Connelley, "fell into" the computer game industry by accident.

It was while with this company, still known as Automated Simulations in 1980, that Freeman met his future wife, Anne Westfall, at a computer fair.[1]

Starfleet Orion was quickly followed by Invasion Orion. What followed was a slew of very successful titles for various platforms. Freeman designed or co-designed a number of Epyx games, such as Crush, Crumble and Chomp! and Rescue at Rigel.[1]

But soon Freeman tired of what he called "office politics" and yearned to get away from the now much larger company.[1]

Free Fall Associates[edit]

Main article: Free Fall Associates

In 1981, he and his spouse, Anne, left Epyx to create Free Fall Associates along with game designer Paul Reiche III.[1]

Free Falls' first game was 1982's Tax Dodge, which garnered little attention.[1] Free Fall went on to develop two highly acclaimed games with Electronic Arts (EA) as publisher. Archon and Archon II: Adept were enormous successes and highly lucrative for both EA and Free Fall. They were ported to numerous systems of the home computer era.[1]

Free Fall developed a few more titles after Archon II, but they garnered little attention. Free Fall has dropped from the radar of game development, though Freeman is credited with some recent development work with Square Enix. By all accounts, Freeman and Westfall are still married.

References[edit]

External links[edit]