Saturday, July 14, 2018

Gaming Ads: Melbourne House and Meldac of America

Melbourne House was founded in 1977 by Naomi Besen and Alfred Milgrom, and as the name suggests, was based in Melbourne, Australia. It started as a book publisher but quickly got into games distribution and created the subsidiary Beam Software in 1980. While Melbourne House concentrated on computer software, Beam got into console development in the late '80s. I'm not too familiar with the company's computer games though one thing that stands out in its library of 300+ games is that it did publish games based Tolkien's writings, such as The Hobbit (1982), The Fellowship of the Ring (1986), and War in Middle-Earth (1989), and Beam developed Riders of Rohan (1991).

In 1987 Mastertronic, which later joined Virgin Games, acquired Melbourne House's publishing division with Beam Software continuing as an independent developer. Virgin let the Melbourne House name go in 1996 and Beam revived it as a publishing brand, and then Infogrames purchased it from Beam in 1999 renaming it Infogrames Melbourne House. Beam Software changed its name in 2000 to Blaze International with a shift from games to other software applications. As I've discussed in previous ad posts, Infogrames took the Atari name and thus Infogrames Melbourne House eventually became Atari Melbourne House. Due to financial difficulties Atari sold off many divisions; Melbourne House was purchased by Krome Studios in 2006 before being closed in 2010.

Meldac is a Japanese company founded in 1990 that released around six games, though the U.S. division only published three games in North America: Heiankyo Alien (GB), Mercenary Force (GB), and Zombie Nation (NES). The company did advertise a fair amount as I actually have seven different ads covering those three games. Today Meldac appears to still be active as a music label for a company called Tri-M.

Flickr album: Melbourne House
Flickr album: Meldac of America

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