Muse Software

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Micro Users Software Exchange, Inc.
Muse Software
Private
IndustryVideo game industry
FateChapter 7 bankruptcy
FoundedAugust 1, 1978; 40 years ago (1978-08-01)
FounderEd Zaron
DefunctOctober 7, 1987 (1987-10-07)
HeadquartersBaltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Area served
North America
Key people
  • Ed Zaron
  • Silas S. Warner
  • John F. Kutcher
Products

Micro Users Software Exchange, Inc., doing business as Muse Software, was an American video game developer based in Baltimore, Maryland, focusing on the development of games for the first generation of home computers. The company began with developing games for Apple II, and later expanded to the Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit family, and MS-DOS. They are best known for creating the Wolfenstein series, having developed the first two installments: 1981's Castle Wolfenstein and its 1984 sequel, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. The series is now owned by id Software.[1]

History[edit]

Muse Software was incorporated by Ed Zaron on August 1, 1978,[2] with Silas S. Warner becoming the first employee. Initially publishing games, the team also sold non-game software such as Super-Text, a word processor written by Zaron, and Appilot, a course-writing language written by Warner. Their original market was for the Apple II, with their first programs sold on cassettes, and later on floppy disks. They expanded their software offerings for the Atari 8-bit family and Commodore 64, plus ported both Castle Wolfenstein games to the IBM PC. The company also ran a retail store on the corner of Charles Street and Mulberry Street in Baltimore, called "Muse Software and Computer Center," which was closed down in 1982.

At its peak, Muse was making more than US$2 million per year in sales. According to Zaron, the growth of Muse's sales was "extremely slow" because of a slump in the home computer software market. The company, which had about 40 employees at its peak in 1983, had shrunk down to just six prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 1985. Warner, who was leaving Muse to join MicroProse, said the company had difficulty setting up a sales program because of the long-term illness of a key sales employee. Muse Software was legally disestablished on October 7, 1987.[2]

In 1992, id Software released Wolfenstein 3D, based on Muse Software's Wolfenstein intellectual property. It brought the Wolfenstein brand to a much larger audience.

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform
1978 Maze Game Apple II
Escape!
Side Show
Tank War
1979 Global War
Three Mile Island
1980 ABM
Three Mile Island: Special Edition [3]
1981 International Gran Prix
RobotWar
Castle Wolfenstein Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS
1982 The Caverns of Freitag Apple II
The Cube Solution
Firebug
Frazzle
1983 Advanced Blackjack
Titan Empire
Rescue Squad Commodore 64
1984 Beyond Castle Wolfenstein Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MS-DOS
Intellectual Decathlon Apple II
Space Taxi Commodore 64
1985 Leaps and Bounds! Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plunkett, Luke (July 1, 2011). "In Memory of the Original Castle Wolfenstein (the one That Wasn't In 3D)". Kotaku. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "MICRO USERS SOFTWARE EXCHANGE, INC.: D00917153". Maryland Business Express. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Three Mile Island Manual". archive.org.