Saturday, June 3, 2017

Gaming Ads: Black Pearl Software, Blizzard Entertainment, Bondwell, and Broderbund Software

This week has a couple big name publishers but only 15 ads overall between the four companies. Black Pearl Software was acquired by THQ in 1993 and used as a publishing brand for the company. It published a number of 16-bit games and many handheld ports of console games, such as Madden 96, Shaq Fu, and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Blizzard Entertainment was originally known as Silicon & Synapse when it was founded in 1991 and often worked with Interplay in its early years. Before being acquired by Davidson & Associates and changing its name to Blizzard in 1994, Silicon & Synapse's best known games were The Lost Vikings and Rock 'n Roll Racing. Four other companies purchased the developer over the years and it became part of Activision Blizzard following Activision's merger with Vivendi's games division in 2008. Blizzard continues to develop for its three biggest franchises, StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo, and last year launched the very successful online shooter Overwatch. A few of the games it developed do have ads under other publishers.

Bondwell was an accessory maker that acquired the QuickShot brand in the mid-'80s. It released a variety of game controllers for both home computers and video game consoles.

Founded in 1980, Broderbund Software was a major developer and publisher of home computer software during the '80s and '90s. Broderbund found success in both games and non-gaming software, such as The Print Shop and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. It created one of the biggest game franchises in Carmen Sandiego which even became a television game show for kids from 1991-1995. Other significant games from Broderbund include Karateka, Prince of Persia, Choplifter, and Lode Runner. It also published Will Wright's (SimCity, The Sims) first game Raid on Bungeling Bay. In 1998 Broderbund was acquired by The Learning Company and then proceeded to change hands many times over the next five years with portions of the company being owned by Mattel and Ubisoft at one time. Ubisoft now owns the Prince of Persia property while what remains of Broderbund continues to operate as part of Encore Software.

Black Pearl Software albums: Facebook - Google Photos
Blizzard Entertainment albums: Facebook - Google Photos
Bondwell albums: Facebook - Google Photos
Broderbund Software albums: Facebook - Google Photos

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