Parker Brothers was another major company that began licensing games for home use.  In addition to acquiring arcade games like Sega’s Frogger, Parker Brothers also licensed the movie The Empire Strikes Back and designed a game around it.

Even the cereal company Quaker Oats got into the act by purchasing US Games, a third-party company that had released a few 2600-compatible games under the Vidtec label.  One of the the first things that Quaker Oats did was license the movie The Towering Inferno from Twentieth Century Fox and turn it into a video game.

Coincidentally, Twentieth Century Fox also went into the software business and set up Twentieth Century Fox Games of the Century, a division to market games that were based on Twentieth Century Fox movies and television shows.  Ironically, the first four games that Fox released had nothing to do with either medium.  In an attempt to quickly get games out on the market, Fox licensed four computer games from a computer software company called Sirius Software, which then converted and released for the 2600.  These were soon followed by original games based on the movies Alien and Fantastic Voyage.

Check out more of the rich history of the industry in Leonard Herman’s book Phoenix IV available at Rolenta Press www.RolentaPress.com and make sure to sign up to get Old School Gamer Magazine for free by clicking here!

Leonard Herman Leonard Herman (11 Posts)

Leonard Herman, The Game Scholar, is regarded as one of the earliest and most respected videogame historians. The first edition of his book Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames, which was published in 1994, is considered to be the first serious and comprehensive book about the history of videogames. He has written articles for Videogaming & Computer Illustrated, Games Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Pocket Games, Classic Gamer Magazine, Edge, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Manci Games, Gamespot.com and Video Game Trader, which he also edited. He has also contributed articles to several videogame-related books, including Supercade, The Video Game Explosion and The Encyclopedia of Video Games. Mr. Herman has also written the book ABC To the VCS (A Directory of Software for the Atari 2600), a compendium of game summaries. He has also written and designed user’s manuals for the following Atari VCS games: Cracked, Save the Whales, Pick-Up, Rush Hour, Looping, The Entity and Lasercade, as well as the user’s guide to Ralph Baer’s Pinball! for the Odyssey2. In 1994, he founded Rolenta Press, a publisher of videogame books, whose catalogue included Videogames: In the Beginning, by Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the videogame console, and Confessions of the Game Doctor by Bill Kunkel, the world’s first videogame journalist. Two Rolenta Press books were included in a list of the top ten videogame books of all time by Game Informer magazine in 2008. Mr. Herman has served as an advisor for Videotopia, Classic Gaming Expo and the National Videogame Museum. He has appeared in several episodes of G4’s Icons and in the documentary, The King of Arcades. In 2003, Mr. Herman received a Classic Gaming Expo Achievement Award in recognition for his accomplishments in documenting game history