Legend Entertainment

Legend Entertainment

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Legend Entertainment was an American developer of computer games, best known for their complex, distinctive adventure
Adventure game
An adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving instead of physical challenge. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media such as literature and film,...

 titles throughout the 1990s.

The company was founded in 1989
1989 in video gaming
-Notable releases:* October 3, Brøderbund releases the Prince of Persia game, the first in a series of games, noted for its advancements in animation....

 by Bob Bates
Bob Bates
Robert Bates , better known as Bob Bates, is an American computer games designer. Starting as a designer in the 1980s for Infocom, he was later co-founder of Legend Entertainment, designing games such as Timequest and Eric the Unready...

 and Mike Verdu after the end of Infocom
Infocom
Infocom was a software company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that produced numerous works of interactive fiction. They also produced one notable business application, a relational database called Cornerstone....

. Their goal was to design interactive fiction
Interactive fiction
Interactive fiction, often abbreviated IF, describes software simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters and influence the environment. Works in this form can be understood as literary narratives and as video games. In common usage, the term refers to text...

 in the Infocom tradition. Their first products were all illustrated text adventures, some of them designed by Infocom veteran Steve Meretzky
Steve Meretzky
Steven Eric Meretzky is an American computer game developer, with dozens of titles to his credit. He has been involved in almost every aspect of game development, from design to production to quality assurance and box design...

. Starting in 1993
1993 in video gaming
-Events:*March — In Sweden, the Swedish video game magazine Super PLAY starts. The original name is Super Power.*Midway Games embroiled in controversy for its game Mortal Kombat from 1992 when the game is launched for video game consoles in 1993....

, they switched to a new development system for graphic-only adventures. Several of their adventure game
Adventure game
An adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving instead of physical challenge. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media such as literature and film,...

s were based on book licenses, including Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl
Frederik George Pohl, Jr. is an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years — from his first published work, "Elegy to a Dead Planet: Luna" , to his most recent novel, All the Lives He Led .He won the National Book Award in 1980 for his novel Jem...

's Gateway
Gateway (novel)
Gateway is a 1977 science fiction novel by American writer Frederik Pohl. Gateway won the 1978 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1978 Locus Award for Best Novel, the 1977 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1978 John W. Campbell Award. It is the opening novel in the Heechee saga...

, Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks
Terence Dean "Terry" Brooks is an American writer of fantasy fiction. He writes mainly epic fantasy, and has also written two movie novelizations. He has written 23 New York Times bestsellers during his writing career, and has over 21 million copies of his books in print...

' Shannara
Shannara
Shannara is an epic fantasy series of novels written by Terry Brooks, beginning with The Sword of Shannara in 1977 and continuing through Bearers of the Black Staff which was released on August 24, 2010, as well as a prequel, First King of Shannara...

, Spider Robinson
Spider Robinson
Spider Robinson is an American-born Canadian Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author.- Biography :Born in the Bronx, New York City, Robinson attended Catholic high school, spending his junior year in a seminary, followed by two years in a Catholic college, and five years at the State...

's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Piers Anthony
Piers Anthony
Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob is an English American writer in the science fiction and fantasy genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. He is most famous for his long-running novel series set in the fictional realm of Xanth.Many of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best...

's Xanth
Xanth
Xanth is a fantasy world created by author Piers Anthony for his Xanth series of novels, also known as The Magic of Xanth.-History:The name Xanth is in itself an unintentional pun, which matches the playful tone of the books...

, and Margaret Weis
Margaret Weis
Margaret Edith Weis is a fantasy novelist who, along with Tracy Hickman, is one of the original creators of the Dragonlance game world and has written numerous novels and short stories set in fantastic worlds.-Early life:Margaret Weis was born in 1948 in Independence, Missouri, and later attended...

 and Tracy Hickman
Tracy Hickman
Tracy Raye Hickman is a best-selling fantasy author, best known for his work on Dragonlance as a game designer and co-author with Margaret Weis, while he worked for TSR...

's The Death Gate Cycle
The Death Gate Cycle
The Death Gate Cycle is a seven-part series of fantasy novels written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The main conflict is between two powerful races, the Sartan and the Patryns, which branched off from humans following a nuclear/anti-matter holocaust...

.

The company was acquired by GT Interactive in 1998
1998 in video gaming
-Events:*Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences hosts 1st Annual Interactive Achievement Awards; inducts Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo to the AIAS Hall of Fame*British Academy of Film and Television Arts hosts the 1st annual BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards...

 and began changing their focus to action games. They developed a first-person shooter
First-person shooter
First-person shooter is a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective; i.e., the player experiences the action through the eyes of a protagonist. Generally speaking, the first-person shooter shares common traits with other...

 based on Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr. , under which he was best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the pseudonyms Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reilly.-Biography:Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina...

's The Wheel of Time
The Wheel of Time
The Wheel of Time is a series of epic fantasy novels written by American author James Oliver Rigney, Jr., under the pen name Robert Jordan. Originally planned as a six-book series, the length was increased by increments; at the time of Rigney's death, he expected it to be 12, but it will actually...

and finished the development of the second part in the Unreal
Unreal
Unreal is a first-person shooter video game developed by Epic MegaGames and Digital Extremes and published by GT Interactive in May 1998...

 series in 2002
2002 in video gaming
The year 2002 in video gaming saw the release of many games to sixth-generation video game consoles, predominately, the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox.-Events:...

. Late in 2003
2003 in video gaming
-Events:*February 27 — Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences hosts 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards; inducts Yu Suzuki of Sega to the AIAS Hall of Fame....

, they released a free expansion for Unreal II
Unreal II: The Awakening
Unreal II: The Awakening is a first-person shooter video game, designed initially only for a single-player campaign. The game is part of the Unreal series. It was developed by the now defunct Legend Entertainment, published by Atari and released on February 4, 2003 for Microsoft Windows...

, known as XMP (eXpanded MultiPlayer
EXpanded MultiPlayer
eXpanded MultiPlayer is a multiplayer expansion to Unreal II developed by Legend Entertainment. XMP contains just one game mode that is similar to Capture the flag but requires more sophisticated tactics.- Development :...

).

In 1999
1999 in video gaming
-Events:*British Academy of Film and Television Arts hosts the 2nd annual BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards*March – Game Over republished as “Game Over: Press Start to Continue”...

, GT Interactive was purchased outright by Infogrames
Infogrames
Infogrames Entertainment SA was an international French holding company headquartered in Paris, France. It was the owner of Atari, Inc., headquartered in New York City, U.S. and Atari Europe. It was founded in 1983 by Bruno Bonnell and Christophe Sapet using the proceeds from an introductory...

, who later acquired and rebranded themselves as Atari
Atari
Atari is a corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by Atari Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA . The original Atari, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was a pioneer in...

.

On Friday, January 16, 2004, Legend Entertainment was shut down. A brief press release from Atari
Atari
Atari is a corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by Atari Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA . The original Atari, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was a pioneer in...

 cites that it was "purely a business decision", and that "Legend had recently completed its only current project and had no new projects in the pipeline". Sources close to the company state that Legend was in fact working on a new project, though it has not been officially confirmed.
Fan reaction to Atari
Atari
Atari is a corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by Atari Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA . The original Atari, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was a pioneer in...

's decision has been rather sour, prompting the creation of a petition
Petition
A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer....

 demanding that Atari
Atari
Atari is a corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by Atari Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA . The original Atari, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was a pioneer in...

 continue to support Legend's games, among other things. It is unknown what further action, if any, Atari
Atari
Atari is a corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by Atari Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA . The original Atari, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was a pioneer in...

 plans to take in this matter.

Interactive fiction

  • Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls
    Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls
    The text adventure game Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls is the first installment of the Spellcasting series created by Steve Meretzky during his time at Legend Entertainment...

    (1990)
  • Spellcasting 201: The Sorcerer's Appliance
    Spellcasting 201: The Sorcerer's Appliance
    The text adventure game Spellcasting 201: The Sorcerer's Appliance is the second instalment of the Spellcasting series created by Steve Meretzky during his time at Legend Entertainment...

    (1991)
  • Timequest
    Timequest
    Timequest is an interactive fiction game released by Legend Entertainment, and written by Bob Bates.-Plot:In the year 2090 AD, the use of time machines is regulated by officers of the Temporal Corps...

    (1991)
  • Gateway
    Gateway (computer game)
    Gateway and Gateway II , are interactive fiction games released by Legend Entertainment, and written by Glen Dahlgren and Mike Verdu. They are based on Frederik Pohl's Heechee universe....

    (1992)
  • Spellcasting 301: Spring Break
    Spellcasting 301: Spring Break
    The text adventure game Spellcasting 301: Spring Break is the third and last installment of the Spellcasting series created by Steve Meretzky during his time at Legend Entertainment...

    (1992)
  • Eric the Unready
    Eric the Unready
    Eric the Unready is an adventure game from Legend Entertainment. Eric the Unready is a parody of the fantasy genre in general, though it parodies numerous other topics as well, ranging from Star Trek to Zork. The game engine uses an interactive fiction interface, although unlike most IF games, a...

    (1993)
  • Gateway 2 - Homeworld
    Gateway (computer game)
    Gateway and Gateway II , are interactive fiction games released by Legend Entertainment, and written by Glen Dahlgren and Mike Verdu. They are based on Frederik Pohl's Heechee universe....

    (1993)

Graphic adventures

  • Companions of Xanth
    Companions of Xanth
    Companions of Xanth is an adventure game published in 1993 by Legend Entertainment. The game is based on Piers Anthony's Xanth novels and is loosely based around much of the plot of his novel Demons Don't Dream, in which a young man uses a computer game to enter and explore the world of...

    (1993)
  • Death Gate
    Death Gate
    Death Gate is a computer adventure game loosely based on Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's fantasy book series The Death Gate Cycle. Legend Entertainment released it in 1994. It received several gaming awards , but it is no longer available for purchase....

    (1994)
  • Superhero League of Hoboken
    Superhero League of Hoboken
    Superhero League of Hoboken is a computer game from Legend Entertainment, designed by interactive fiction designer Steve Meretzky. The game combines the adventure and RPG styles of play and the superhero, comedy and post-apocalypse genres....

    (1994)
  • Mission Critical (1995)
  • Shannara
    Shannara (game)
    Shannara is a computer game released in 1995 for DOS and Microsoft Windows. It is based on the Shannara series of books by Terry Brooks.-Plot synopsis:...

    (1995)
  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
    Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
    In the fictional universe of Spider Robinson, Callahan's Place is a bar with strongly community-minded and empathic clientele. It appears in the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon stories In the fictional universe of Spider Robinson, Callahan's Place is a bar with strongly community-minded and empathic...

    (1997)
  • John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles
    John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles
    John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles: An Adventure in Terror is a 1998 computer adventure game developed by Legend Entertainment and Red Orb Entertainment, and published by Mindscape....

    (1998)

Miscellanea

  • Star Control 3
    Star Control 3
    Star Control 3 is a video game developed by Legend Entertainment. They were hired by Accolade to create a sequel of Star Control II when the original creators Toys For Bob expressed no interest in creating the sequel with the same budget as Star Control II...

    (1996)
  • Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali
    Unreal
    Unreal is a first-person shooter video game developed by Epic MegaGames and Digital Extremes and published by GT Interactive in May 1998...

    (1999)
  • Wheel of Time (1999)
  • Unreal II: The Awakening
    Unreal II: The Awakening
    Unreal II: The Awakening is a first-person shooter video game, designed initially only for a single-player campaign. The game is part of the Unreal series. It was developed by the now defunct Legend Entertainment, published by Atari and released on February 4, 2003 for Microsoft Windows...

    (2003)
  • Unreal II: eXpanded MultiPlayer
    EXpanded MultiPlayer
    eXpanded MultiPlayer is a multiplayer expansion to Unreal II developed by Legend Entertainment. XMP contains just one game mode that is similar to Capture the flag but requires more sophisticated tactics.- Development :...

    (2003)

External links