Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The company's first projects consisted of contract work for companies like Epyx and Strategic Simulations (SSI), porting 8-bit titles to 16-bit systems like Commodore Amiga and Atari ST. One of the comapny's first successes was Eye of the Beholder (1990), a real-time computer role-playing game based on the Dungeons & Dragons license, developed for SSI. Proceeds from contract work allowed the company to expand into designing its own games in-house.
Their first original title was Mars Saga, a game developed for Electronic Arts and released 1988. Other publishers of early Westwood games included Infocom and Disney. In 1992, the company was renamed Westwood Studios and sold to Virgin Interactive.
Well-known Westwood titles from this period include Dune II, the adventure game The Legend of Kyrandia and the role-playing game Lands of Lore . Westwood's greatest commercial success came in 1995, with the release of real-time strategy game Command & Conquer. Building on the gameplay and interface ideas of Dune II, it added pre-rendered 3D graphics for gameplay sprites and video cinematics, a techno soundtrack streamed from disk, and modem play. Command & Conquer, Kyrandia, and Lands of Lore all spawned multiple sequels.
In 1998, Westwood was acquired by Electronic Arts (EA). In response to what they perceived as unwillingness to maintain the Westwood's brand and independence from EA's side, many long-time employees quit. Several of these went on to found Petroglyph Games. One of the last games released by Westwood, "Command & Conquer: Renegade" (an action which mixed elements from first-person shooters and real-time strategy games) failed to meet consumer expectations and commercial goals Westwood and EA had set for it. In March of 2003, Westwood Studios was closed by EA and all willing staff were absorbed into EA Los Angeles. At the time of its closure, Westwood employed more than 100 people. Their last game was the MMORPG Earth & Beyond.
Some time after the closing of Westwood Studios a new company, Petroglyph Studios, was formed consisting mainly of former Westwood employees. Some of these people include, Chris Rubyor (aka: Delphi), Adam Isgreen (lead designer of Red Alert), and Frank Klepacki (Music). Their first project has been the RTS game "Star Wars: Empire At War".
Selected games developed by Westwood
- Blade Runner computer game movie adaptation
- Circuit's Edge a game adaptation of George Alec Effinger's novel When Gravity Fails
- Command & Conquer series (including the Red Alert titles)
- DragonStrike a 3D dragon flight combat simulator
- Dune series
- Earth & Beyond
- Lands of Lore series
- Legend of Kyrandia, The series
- Official homepage of Electronic Arts
- Moby Games Rap Sheet on Westwood Studios
- A brief history of Westwood Studiosfrom MobyGames
- story of closing
- louis castle, VP EALA
- FED2k (Since WW's site was closed, the onus for support of the Dune series passed to this fan community)
- Petroglyph's Website
- Petroglyph Fansite Containg information on both Petroglyph and its upcoming first release
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