Activision

publisher and developer

Founded in October 1979
Based in Santa Monica, California, USA

Activision was originally founded on October 1, 1979 and became the first independent developer and distributor of video games with its first games developed for the Atari 2600. Activision was founded by former music industry executive Jim Levy along with former Atari programmers David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Alan Miller, and Bob Whitehead. Activision's first game release came in the form of Dragster in 1980, with their first big hit being Pitfall! in 1982. Pitfall! quickly became one of best selling Atari 2600 games ever selling over 4 million copies.

On June 13, 1986, Activision merged with Infocom due to Jim Levy being a big fan of the company and did not want to see them fall. Six months later, Bruce Davis, who was heavily against the merger, became CEO of Activision. In 1989, the Infocom studios were finally closed by Activision putting 21 out of 26 employees out of business.

In 1988, Activision moved on to produce more software outside of the video game industry and changed its corporate name to Mediagenic. Activision continued to develop video games, however, for many platforms including the NES, Sega Master System, Atari 7800, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and Amiga.

In the following years, Mediagenic had multiple financial issues including patent infringement suits and eventually was taken over by Robert Kotick, an investor group lead. The company eventually filed for Chapter 11 reorganization and merged with The Disc Company. Mediagenic started to rise out of bankruptcy, made some strategic acquisitions, and changed its name back to Activision in December 1992. Activision also moved its headquarters from Mountain View in the Silicon Valley to Santa Monica, CA deciding as well to produce only video games from that point on.

In 1991, Activision released The Lost Treasures of Infocom which was a package of 20 Infocom games on one disc. A year later, Activision released another 11 games in The Lost Treasures of Infocom II.

Other companies in Santa Monica, California, USA