Coktel Vision

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coktel Vision
IndustryVideo games
Founded1984; 39 years ago (1984)
FounderRoland Oskian
DefunctOctober 2005; 18 years ago (2005-10)
FateMerged into Mindscape

Coktel Vision (also known as Coktel and Coktel Studio) was a French video game developer and publisher based in Paris. It was best known for its educational and adventure games.


Coktel Vision was founded in 1984 by Roland Oskian, an engineer and a former executive at Matra Espace.[1] The French gaming market was still developing at the time, the company consisted of only several people who worked from Oskian's house, with Roland acting as a director and composer and his wife Catherine creating graphics and cover art.[2]

Coktel made its name by publishing simulation, action and narrative-driven adventure titles for the Thomson and Amstrad CPC computers. Their catalogue included both original and licensed games often based on Franco-Belgian comics such as Asterix, Lucky Luke and Blueberry. They saw a quick growth and in several years entered the edutainment market, while also starting to port their games to PC and Macintosh.[2]

In 1986, Muriel Tramis joined Coktel Vision. Known as the first female French video game designer, she quickly turned into the studios' leading talent, developing some of its best-selling games and gaining the informal title of "Roberta Williams of France".[3][4] Tramis often explored political and social themes novel for its time such as imperialism, slavery and eroticism, collaborating with the créolité writer Patrick Chamoiseau.[5][6] Yet her name is usually associated with more family-friendly series like Gobliiins co-created with Pierre Gilhodes and Adibou, the long-running commercially successful educational games that had sold over 1.5 million copies by 1997.[7][8]

Tramis described Coktel Vision as a diverse company with a "start-up atmosphere" that allowed plenty of freedom to its designers.[9] During the early 1990s Coktel experimented with various formats such as 3D and FMV and enjoyed continued strong growth: in 1993 it made 75 million francs against 30 million in 1992, with the Adibou series covering 65% of the French edutainment market and 35% of the European market.[1] By 1996 those numbers increased up to 75% in France.[2]

In 1992, the company was acquired by the American publisher Sierra On-Line (the deal was finalised on 29 October 1993).[2][10] Ken Williams later said that Sierra was more interested in expanding its European educational sales than in Coktel's games.[11] As part of the deal, Sierra published popular French titles worldwide while Coktel localised and published Sierra's games through its Tomahawk publishing label. In 1996 after Urban Runner became a commercial failure the company decided to focus on educational titles rather than adventure games.[2]

In February 1996, Sierra along with its subsidiaries was acquired by CUC International, with Coktel becoming part of CUC's new CUC Software branch.[12] CUC was then merged with HFS Incorporated into Cendant and in 1998 sold its software branch to the French publisher Havas, which was acquired by Vivendi.[13] Coktel continued producing edutainment titles, focusing on the European market only; in 1999 Roland Oskian left the company, and in 2003 he was followed by Muriel Tramis after the new management decided to subcontract some of the major Coktel's titles.[2]

In October 2005, Coktel Vision was sold to French publisher Mindscape, wherein eleven Coktel employees were absorbed into Mindscape.[14] Mindscape retained the Coktel brand until closing in 2011.[2]


  • MDO – a Bordeaux-based company which did all the programming. Named after its three founders: Mathieu Marciacq, Arnaud Delrue and Roland Oskian.[2]
  • Tomahawk – presented as a subsidiary, it was only a label that Coktel Vision used to publish simulation and erotic games to distance themselves from edutainment titles.[15]

Games published[edit]

Year Title
1987 Asterix and the Magic Carpet
Dakar Moto
Robinson Crusoe
1988 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Freedom: Rebels in the Darkness
The Jungle Book
1989 Asterix: Operation Getafix
Oliver & Company
Legend of Djel
1990 No Exit
Galactic Empire
1991 E.S.S. Mega
Little Red Riding Hood
1992 A.J.'s World of Discovery
Bargon Attack
Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon
1993 Goblins Quest 3
Lost in Time
Ween: The Prophecy
1994 The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble
Inca II: Wiracocha
Playtoons 1: Uncle Archibald
Playtoons 2: The Case of the Counterfeit Collaborator
1995 The Last Dynasty
Playtoons 3: The Secret of the Castle
Playtoons 4: The Mandarin Prince
Playtoons 5: The Stone of Wakan
1996 Urban Runner
1999 Adiboo's Magical Adventure
2001 Adibou Et L'Ombre Verte
2003 Adiboo & Paziral's Secret
The Cat in the Hat
2004 Adiboo and the Energy Thieves
Crash Bandicoot Fusion
Spyro Fusion


  1. ^ a b de Gasquet, Pierre (4 May 1994). "L'américain Sierra-On-Line absorbe Coktel Vision" [American Sierra-On-Line absorbs Coktel Vision]. Les Echos (in French). Archived from the original on 20 August 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Crookes, David (28 December 2018). "From the Archives: Coktel Vision". Retro Gamer. No. 189. Future Publishing. pp. 44–47.
  3. ^ Berhouet, Patxi (19 July 2018). "Muriel Tramis, créatrice d'Adibou, va recevoir la Légion d'honneur" [Muriel Tramis, creator of Adibou, received the Legion of Honour]. La Croix (in French). Archived from the original on 3 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  4. ^ Dunslim (16 March 2018). "Game designers : un répertoire enrichi" [Game designers: an enriched repertoire]. SensCritique [fr] (in French).
  5. ^ Donovan, Tristan (30 November 2011). "Ten Unsung Gaming Heroes". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Muriel Tramis, pionnière du jeu vidéo : " Je ne me suis jamais posé la question de la légitimité "" [Muriel Tramis, video game pioneer: "I never asked myself the question of legitimacy"]. Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (in French). 11 March 2019. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Muriel Tramis, première créatrice de jeux vidéo décorée de la Légion d'honneur" [Muriel Tramis, the first video game designer decorated with the Legion of Honor]. Le Monde (in French). 19 July 2018. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  8. ^ Claude, Frederick (January 2017). "Adiboo: I can read, I can count!". Coming Soon Magazine. Archived from the original on 16 May 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  9. ^ Salvador, Phil (5 March 2018). "Muriel Tramis speaks about her career and the memory of Martinique". The Obscuritory. Archived from the original on 5 August 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Sierra On-Line Form 10-K". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 1 July 1996. Archived from the original on 16 April 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  11. ^ Lindsey, Jason (18 March 2022). Sierra Flashback w/ Ken & Roberta - Good, Bad & Disappointments. YouTube. Event occurs at 9:35.
  12. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (21 February 1996). "CUC Will Buy 2 Software Companies for $1.8 Billion". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 21 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  13. ^ Marshall, Caroline (17 April 1988). "Alain's Masterplan for Havas". Campaign.
  14. ^ Poischich (21 October 2005). "VU Games cède Coktel à Mindscape" [VU Games sells Coktel to Mindscape]. Gamekult (in French). Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  15. ^ Jauhiainen, Ilmari (19 March 2018). "Interview with Muriel Tramis". The Adventure Gamer. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.

External links[edit]