Looking Glass Studios
|Defunct||May 24, 2000|
|Headquarters||Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States|
|Key people||Paul Neurath (co-founder)
Ned Lerner (co-founder)
|Website||www.lglass.com (archived, last version of 2000-06-20)|
Looking Glass Studios was a computer game development company during the 1990s. Their games were regarded for demonstrating innovative gameplay, pioneering physics simulation, and well-written, engaging stories. However, many of their games, despite wide critical acclaim, sold poorly in comparison to contemporary rivals. Their best known game franchises were Ultima Underworld, System Shock and Thief.
The company originally formed as Looking Glass Technologies in 1990, when Blue Sky Productions and Lerner Research merged. Originally based in Lexington, Massachusetts, in 1994 the company moved to Cambridge. A significant number of Looking Glass personnel were MIT graduates. Looking Glass also had satellite offices in Redmond, Washington, Austin, TX and Huntington Beach, California.
In 1997, the company merged with Intermetrics, Inc to become Intermetrics Entertainment Software, LLC. Intermetrics became AverStar after it acquired Pacer Infotech in February 1998. In March 1999, Intermetrics divested Looking Glass Studios Inc.
The company went out of business on May 24, 2000 during a financial crisis related to their publisher at the time, Eidos Interactive. Warren Spector managed to move many Looking Glass Studios employees over to Ion Storm Austin.
After the company folded, people from Looking Glass went on to work at Ion Storm, Irrational Games, Harmonix, Mad Doc Software, Arkane Studios, Westwood Studios, Valve, and to found Floodgate Entertainment and Digital Eel, amongst other later studios.
Arkane Studios went on to develop Arx Fatalis (a dungeon crawling game that bore heavy resemblance to Looking Glass' cult series Ultima Underworld), Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (co-designed by Floodgate) and Dishonored.
Ex-Looking Glass personnel have worked on such games as Deus Ex, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Half-Life 2, Freedom Force, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3, Bioshock, Empire Earth II, Boom Blox, Star Trek: Armada II and Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, among others.
The following people worked on projects with Looking Glass Studios (by no means an all-inclusive list):
List of titles
As Lerner Research
- Car and Driver (1992)
As Blue Sky Productions
As Looking Glass Studios
- Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds (1993)
- System Shock (1994)
- Flight Unlimited (1995)
- Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri (1996)
- British Open Championship Golf (1997)
- Flight Unlimited 2 (1997)
- Thief: The Dark Project (1998)
- Command & Conquer (N64) (1999)
- System Shock 2 (1999)
- Flight Unlimited 3 (1999)
- Destruction Derby 64 (1999)
- Thief II: The Metal Age (2000)
- Jane's Attack Squadron (2002)
- "Company Fact Sheet". Looking Glass Studios, Inc. Archived from the original on 2000-03-08. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Nicholas Valtz. "Intermetrics and Looking Glass Studios Merge Computer Game Operations to Form Multimedia Powerhouse". Intermetrics, Inc. Archived from the original on 1999-11-03. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- "Averstar Inc · S-1/A". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 1999-07-16. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Looking Glass Studios profile from MobyGames
- An illustrated history of Looking Glass Studios from the-nextlevel.com
- To all the fans and supporters of LookingGlass: Final message from Looking Glass Studios website, from Archive.org
- Article on the closure of Looking Glass from IGN PC
- Through The Looking Glass: Honoring the Legacy of Looking Glass Studios from TTLG.com
- "Reasons for the Fall: A Post-Mortem On Looking Glass Studios" from TTLG.com
- Final Days a photographic tribute to LGS employees, particularly on the last day of the company's existence