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Founded in 1985 by Bob and Phyllis Jacobs, Cinemaware's first title was the popular Defender of the Crown, a swashbuckling adventure featuring graphics that were considered extraordinary for the era, and became the hallmark of Cinemaware's games.
Cinemaware went onto release a string of hits based on a classic category of movies. Their games generally debuted on the most graphically powerful home computer of the era, the Amiga, and then ported to others, such as the Apple IIGS, Atari ST, Commodore 64, PC (running under DOS) and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Defender of the Crown is the most ported Cinemaware game.
Cinemaware eventually expanded to sports games, with its "TV Sports" line. The "TV Sports" line covered basketball and American Football. Some "TV Sports" titles were only released in Europe, such as TV Sports: Boxing and TV Sports: Baseball.
Cinemaware went bankrupt in 1991. While porting S.D.I. to another system, one of the company's owners demanded the programmers add more features, increasing the programming time and delaying the product's release. Coupled with falling sales of their other titles in the midst of an economic downturn, the company suffered. The company also suffered from software piracy, threatening to stop publishing Amiga games at several points because of the ease by which computer games could be copied. Many of their games, including Wings, were cracked and spread amongst gamers even before release.
In 2000, the Cinemaware intellectual property and name were bought by Lars Fuhrken-Batista. Some remakes have been made of the original titles and the company has evolved into something new.