- THIRD PARTY PROFILE: EPYX -
The company best known for its development for the Atari Lynx
color portable machine (by R.J. Mical and Dave Needle of Amiga computer
fame) was also one of the few software houses that produced Atari 2600
(and 7800) software long after the video game crash of 1984. What
inspired it to take part in a losing proposition is anybody's guess,
but at least its games were respectable -- if not stellar -- efforts.
Basically, the company took its most popular computer franchise
and ported them over to the 2600. Summer Games,
Winter Games and California Games
were best-sellers on the Atari computers and Commodore 64 were
highly regarded alternative sports titles, and Epyx did nothing
to tarnish the series' reputation with its 2600 tranlations.
The fancy visuals and most of the cinematic sequences were
left off in the 2600 version, but the repetitive yet addicting
gameplay was thankfully retained. The Atari 7800 versions
of the same titles were also well received by the few players
that owned the machine as well. Epyx later went on to work on
versions for several other systems, including the Atari Lynx
and Super Nintendo.
As a result of Atari's failure with the 2600 and 7800, Epyx's
games did not sell well. Toy retailers such as KayBee were soon
dumping Atari cartridges for a dollar a piece in the late 1980's.
And with the Commodore and Amiga user base shrinking faster than
a snail doused with salt, Epyx ran into some financial and
managerial problems in 1989. So Epyx sold its prototype Handy system
to Jack Tramiel of Atari (later known as Lynx). Atari was unable to
successfully market the Lynx against Nintendo's comparatively slow,
monochrome Game Boy and the rest is history. Epyx filed for bankruptcy
sometime in 1991.
- California Games
- Summer Games
- Winter Games