Wizardry began as a simple dungeon crawl by Andrew C. Greenberg and Robert Woodhead. It was written when they were students at Cornell University and then published by Sir-Tech. The first five games in the series were written in Apple Pascal, an implementation of UCSD Pascal, and were ported to many different platforms by writing UCSD Pascal implementations for the target machines (Mac II cross-development).
David W. Bradley took over the series after the fourth installment, adding a new level of plot and complexity. Woodhead went on to found the North American anime import company AnimEigo, and Greenberg to become an intellectual property lawyer and contributor to the Squeak open source project. Greenberg also wrote another game series, Star Saga.
The earliest installments of Wizardry were quite successful, as they were the first graphically-rich incarnations of Dungeons & Dragons-type gameplay for home computers. The release of the first version coincided around the height of D&D's popularity in North America.