Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Microprose

Microprose
Microprose
180 Lakefront Drive
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
USA
Year Founded:
Year Defunct:
1982
1998
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MicroProse, as a corporation and brand name, has been owned by several entities since its original founding by Sid Meier and Bill Stealey in 1982, as Microprose Software.

Founded in 1982 by Bill Stealey and Sid Meier, Microprose Software, Inc was primarily known as a publisher of flight, military simulation, and strategy titles for home computers, with titles such as Spitfire Ace, Hellcat Ace, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization.

MicroProse Software Inc., in an attempt to diversify without changing their name, created two labels, MicroStyle in the UK, and MicroPlay in the US. This label released games like Rick Dangerous 2 (adventure), Stunt Car Racer (arcade racing) and Xenophobe (action/arcade).

In 1993, MicroProse Software Inc. was acquired by Spectrum HoloByte, another game company. In 1994, Bill Stealey departed MicroProse Software and Spectrum HoloByte agreed to buy out his shares. Bill Stealey went on the found Interactive Magic, another simulation software company. Both MicroProse Software Inc. and Spectrum HoloByte continued as separate brands until 1996. In 1996, Spectrum HoloByte, to reduce costs, started cutting a majority of the MicroProse Software Inc. staff. Soon after, it consolidated all of its titles under the MicroProse brand (essentially renaming itself MicroProse). Sid Meier and Jeff Briggs departed the company after the staff cut, forming a new company called Firaxis Games. Brian Reynolds, who designed Civilization II, also moved to Firaxis. A core group of artists, designers, and programmers left MicroProse UK to join Psygnosis, which opened an office in Stroud, UK, specifically to attract ex-MicroProse employees.

In 1998, the MicroProse and properties were acquired for USD$70 million in cash by Hasbro and then merged with Hasbro Interactive. At that time MicroProse's staff cost $20 million a year.

At the time of Hasbro's acquisition, MicroProse had 343 employees, including 135 at Alameda, CA. Besides the development studio in Alameda, MicroProse had three other studios: Hunt Valley, MD; Chapel Hill, NC; and Chipping Sodbury, England. In December 1999, Hasbro Interactive closed down former MicroProse studios in Alameda, California and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.