Stormfront Studios

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Stormfront Studios Inc.
Former type Private
Industry Software & Programming
Founded San Rafael, California (1988)
Defunct 2008
Headquarters San Rafael, California
Key people Don Daglow, President & CEO
Products The Spiderwick Chronicles Sierra
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers EA
Blood Wake Microsoft
NASCAR Racing series EA Sports
Madden Football EA Sports
Neverwinter Nights MMORPG on AOL
Tony La Russa Baseball SSI
Gold Box Dungeons and Dragons Games, SSI
Various Interactive Television demos
Revenue N/A
Employees ~33 (2008)
Website http://www.stormfront.com

Stormfront Studios was a video game developer based in San Rafael, California which had one of the longest creative histories in the industry. In 2007, the company had over 50 developers working on two teams, and owned all its proprietary engines, tools and technology. As of the end of 2007 over fourteen million copies of Stormfront-developed games had been sold. Stormfront closed on March 31, 2008.[1]

The company received major awards and award nominations from The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, G4 Television, BAFTA, The IGDA Game Developers Choice Awards, The EMMA Awards, SCEA, the Software Publishers Association and many magazines and websites.

In 2008 Neverwinter Nights was honored (along with Everquest and World of Warcraft) at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the art form of MMORPG games. Don Daglow accepted the award for project partners Stormfront Studios, AOL and Wizards of the Coast.

History[edit]

Stormfront was founded in 1988 by Don Daglow, who had worked as a game programmer and then as Director of Game Development at Mattel Intellivision, as a producer at Electronic Arts, and as a production executive at Broderbund. Stormfront's management includes veterans of Disney, Electronic Arts, Ensemble Studios, LucasArts, Origin Systems, THX, Vivendi Universal and Warner Bros..

Stormfront was originally founded as Beyond Software, but changed its name in 1991 when the trademark for Beyond proved difficult to enforce.

Highlights 1988-1993[edit]

  • Neverwinter Nights. Daglow had worked on game projects with Kathi McHugh and Steve Case of AOL (then called Quantum Computer Services) since early in AOL's history. Apart from baseball, Stormfront's initial projects were a series of online titles for AOL, including the first original play-by-email game, Quantum Space (1989) and later the first graphical MMORPG, the original Neverwinter Nights (1991–1997). Neverwinter Nights held the all-time record as the top revenue-producing online RPG for almost ten years until the success of Ultima Online in the late 1990s. BioWare subsequently purchased the rights to the name, and built a new generation of award-winning multiplayer RPG's set in the Neverwinter universe.
  • Tony La Russa Baseball. Upon its founding in 1988 Stormfront's first project was a baseball title, which over the following eight years was to become the Tony La Russa Baseball series of games, working closely with baseball manager Tony La Russa. La Russa remains a member of the company's Board of Directors today. Daglow had previously designed or co-designed a number of baseball games, including Baseball, Intellivision World Series Baseball and Earl Weaver Baseball, the latter two with programmer Eddie Dombrower.
  • Gold Box D&D Games. In 1990 the company began working with SSI on a series of Gold Box Dungeons and Dragons RPG games. This led to the company's first #1 hit, Gateway to the Savage Frontier (1991), and the first game where an AI character might fall in love with the player (depending on how they reacted to situations in the game), Treasures of the Savage Frontier (1992).
  • Stronghold (1993). The first RTS game to use a 3D perspective, Stronghold also featured a GUI interface in an era when most games continued to use text menus.

Highlights 1993-1999[edit]

Highlights 2000-2005[edit]

Highlights 2006-2008[edit]

Interactive TV[edit]

Stormfront had an ongoing involvement in the development of games for Interactive TV since its first experiments on Florida cable systems in 1990, and produced demos for companies including OpenTV.

List of Stormfront Titles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stormfront Studios Closing Edge Magazine, April 1, 2008

External links[edit]