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!