Looking Glass Studios

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Looking Glass Studios
Industry Interactive entertainment
Founded 1990[1]
Founders Paul Neurath
Ned Lerner
Defunct May 24, 2000
Headquarters Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
Doug Church
Warren Spector
Seamus Blackley
Harvey Smith
Ken Levine
Emil Pagliarulo
Website www.lglass.com
(archived as of June 20, 2000)

Looking Glass Studios was an American computer game development company during the 1990s. Their games demonstrated innovative gameplay, pioneering physics simulation, and well-written, engaging stories. Their best-known franchises were Ultima Underworld, System Shock and Thief.


Early logo of the studio.

The company originally formed as Looking Glass Technology in 1990, when Blue Sky Productions and Lerner Research merged.[2] 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;[3] Austin, TX; and Huntington Beach, California.[citation needed] Looking Glass gained industry renown for their 3D engine used in Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss and System Shock.[2] In 1997, the company was renamed to Looking Glass Studios.

In 1997, the company merged with Intermetrics, Inc[4] 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.[5]

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.

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.

Ion Storm developed Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War, the first two games in the Deus Ex series, and Thief: Deadly Shadows, the third game in the Thief series.

Irrational Games later developed games including System Shock 2 and its spiritual successors, Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite.

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), Dishonored, Dishonored 2 and Prey.

List of titles[edit]

As Lerner Research

As Blue Sky Productions

As Looking Glass Technologies

As Looking Glass Studios


  1. ^ "#12 Looking Glass Studios". IGN. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Looking Glass". Next Generation. Imagine Media (4): 60–64. April 1995.
  3. ^ "Company Fact Sheet". Looking Glass Studios, Inc. Archived from the original on 2000-03-08. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Averstar Inc · S-1/A". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 1999-07-16. Retrieved 2008-09-25.

External links[edit]