Davidson & Associates

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Davidson & Associates, Inc.
IndustryVideo game industry
Founded1982; 36 years ago (1982)
  • Bob Davidson
  • Jan Davidson
Defunct1998 (1998)
HeadquartersTorrance, California, U.S.
Key people
Jan Davidson (president) (1982-1997), Larry Gross (president) (1997-1998)
Number of employees
800[1] (1998)
ParentCendant Software (1996–1998)

Davidson & Associates, Inc. was an American developer of educational software based in Torrance, California. The company was founded in 1984 by husband-and-wife Bob and Jan Davidson, the latter of whom led the company as president until January 1997. Specializing in the production of edutainment software, the company was acquired by CUC International in February 1996 and served as the base for CUC's CUC Software division, being made responsible for the sales and distribution of the combined company.

Davidson owned several studios, including Funnybone Interactive, Learningways,[2] Capitol Multimedia, and Blizzard Entertainment. Other subsidiaries included First Byte, Maverick Software, Fas-Track and Educational Resources[3] as well as Gryphon Software. [4]

Davidson & Associates was known chiefly for their Blaster series of educational games, including Math Blaster as well as their licensed games based on the products of Fisher-Price.[5]


Davidson & Associates was founded in 1984 by Bob Davidson and his wife, Jan, in 1982.[6] In April 1993, the company became publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol "DAVD".[6] By February 1994, sales generated by the company's software totaled to US$40 million.[6] On March 1, 1994, Davidson & Associates acquired Chaos Studios (later renamed Blizzard Entertainment), a Costa Mesa, California-based video game developer, in a stock deal valued $6.75 million, as well as Learningways, an educational software firm from Cambridge, Massachusetts, for an undisclosed sum.[7]

In February 1995, Davidson acquired Funnybone Interactive, a developer of children's entertainment and educational software, headquartered in Canton, Connecticut.[8]. On February 21, 1996, CUC International announced that they had agreed into acquiring Davidson & Associates, alongside software publisher Sierra On-Line, for $1.8 billion in total.[9] As a result of the acquisition, CUC International formed CUC Software around Davidson & Associates and its Torrance, California offices.[10] Bob Davidson became chairman and chief executive of the new establishment.[11]

On January 21st, 1997, both Davidsons announced that they had resigned from their respective positions at CUC Software and Davidson & Associates to pursue personal interests, although both of them stayed part of the board of directors of CUC International. [12]. After the Davidson' departure, Chris McLeod, the CEO of CUC Software, was placed in charge of Davidson & Associates.[13].

In June 1997, Davidson launched a new product line entitled Math For The Real World. The same month Davidson announced a new student aimed development line called Educast[14][15]

By February 1998, Larry Gross, the CEO of Knowledge Adventure had been named as the CEO of Davidson & Associates[16] and Davidson announced the release of Reading Blaster: Ages 9-12 in March 1998[17]

By October 1998, the company's brand named was retired, and was merged with that of Knowledge Adventure.[18] Davidson's Math Blaster, Reading Blaster, Fisher Price and Syracuse Learning product lines, as well as Sierra's Dr. Brain product line, were transferred to Knowledge Adventure.[19]. Control of Davidson's subsidiary studios such as Funnybone Interactive was also transferred to Knowledge Adventure, with the exception of Blizzard Entertainment, which became a separate division of Cendant Software.

By December 1998, Davidson's website would redirect to Knowledge Adventure's website[20], while the Torrance, California offices of Davidson & Associates would, as of 2001, continue to serve as the headquarters for Cendant Software's successor, Havas Interactive.[21]


  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19981202044501/http://cucsoftware.com:80/cdpress/CDBACK.html
  2. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1994-03-01/business/fi-28733_1_video-game-developer
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19970714182022/http://www.cucsoftware.com:80/press/cucback1.html
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19981202044501/http://cucsoftware.com:80/cdpress/CDBACK.html
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19970714182022/http://www.cucsoftware.com:80/press/cucback1.html
  6. ^ a b c Guglielmo, Connie (February 1, 1994). "Class Leader". Wired. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Takahashi, Dean (March 1, 1994). "Technology". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19971021172423/http://funnybone.davd.com:80/wild/ID.HTML
  9. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (February 21, 1996). "CUC Will Buy 2 Software Companies for $1.8 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  10. ^ Kaplan, Karen (February 10, 1997). "Davidson Founders Make Quiet Exit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  11. ^ Kaplan, Karen (November 6, 1996). "CUC Will Buy Knowledge Adventure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  12. ^ http://ir.avisbudgetgroup.com/node/16171/html
  13. ^ http://ir.avisbudgetgroup.com/node/16171/html
  14. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19980120191703/http://education.com:80/press/school/roadiesh.html
  15. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19980120191434/http://education.com:80/press/school/educast2.html
  16. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19981206134417/http://cucsoftware.com:80/cdpress/SYRACUSE.html
  17. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19980520032220/http://education.com:80/press/school/rb912.html
  18. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20020320021246/http://www.knowledgeadventure.com:80/press-room/all/k9030prepre070.html
  19. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19990219234746/http://www.knowledgeadventure.com:80/corporate/backgrounder/
  20. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/19990219234746/http://www.knowledgeadventure.com:80/corporate/backgrounder/
  21. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20010208215726/http://www.havasinteractive.com:80/