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Epyx

From Academic Kids

Epyx, Inc. was a notable computer game developer and publisher in the late 1970s and entire 1980s' game console and home computer arena. The company was founded under the name Automated Simulations by Jim Connelley and Jon Freeman.

History

Epyx (then Automated Simulations) was founded in 1978 as a vehicle for publishing Freeman and Connelley's first game in BASIC, Starfleet Orion for the Commodore PET. Their company quickly started developing games for other popular home computer ranges of the era, such as the Apple II family, the TRS-80 series, the Atari 400/800 and the Commodore 64.

In Europe, the British home computer game company U.S. Gold published Epyx' games for the C64, and also ported many of the games to other major European platforms such as the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC range.

Among Epyx' best known titles are the Summer Games and Winter Games series (later also including California Games and World Games), the Temple of Apshai games, Jumpman, Impossible Mission, and the "Computer Activity Toys" licenses of Hot Wheels, GI Joe and Barbie.

For the bestselling Commodore 64, Epyx made the FastLoad cartridge which enabled a fivefold speedup of floppy disk drive accesses through Commodore's very slow "serial IEEE-488" interface. Additionally, the FastLoad featured convenient disk access commands (for directory listings and program loads/saves, etc.), and a disk editor—a hacking tool allowing for direct low-level access to floppy disks.

Epyx also developed the Lynx handheld games console, the rights to which were later purchased by Atari.

In 1989, Epyx filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to Stephen Landrum, a long-time programmer at Epyx, the company went bankrupt because "it never really understood why it was so successful in the first place, and then decided to branch out in many directions, all of which turned out to be failures."

List of games

External links

  • MobyGames' entry on Epyx (http://www.mobygames.com/company/sheet/companyId,35/)
  • "An Epyx Tale" (http://www.emuunlim.com/doteaters/play4sta3.htm) – An in-depth history of Epyx
  • History of Epyx (http://www.geocities.com/conspiracyprime/e2_epyx.htm) – A brief history of the company
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