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Stormfront Studios Inc.
Basic Information
Business Type
Private
Foundation
1988
Product(s)
The Spiderwick Chronicles Sierra
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers EA
Blood Wake Microsoft
NASCAR Racing series EA Sports
Madden Football EA Sports
Neverwinter Nights MMORPG on AOL
Tony La Russa Baseball SSI
Gold Box Dungeons and Dragons Games, SSI
Various Interactive Television demos
Industry
Software and programming
No. of Employees
~50 (2007)
Key People
Don Daglow, President & CEO
Head Office(s)
 United StatesSan Rafael, California

Stormfront Studios was a video game developer based in San Rafael, California which had one of the longest creative histories in the industry. In 2007, the company had over 50 developers working on two teams, and owned all its proprietary engines, tools and technology. As of the end of 2007 over fourteen million copies of Stormfront-developed games had been sold. As of March 31, 2008, they are out of business.

The company received major awards and award nominations from The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, G4 Television, BAFTA, The IGDA Game Developers Choice Awards, The EMMA Awards, SCEA, the Software Publishers Association and many magazines and websites.

In 2008 Neverwinter Nights was honored (along with Everquest and World of Warcraft) at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the art form of MMORPG games. Don Daglow accepted the award for project partners Stormfront Studios, AOL and Wizards of the Coast.

History[]

Stormfront was founded in 1988 by Don Daglow, who had worked as a game programmer and then as Director of Game Development at Mattel Intellivision, as a producer at Electronic Arts, and as a production executive at Broderbund. Stormfront's management includes veterans of Disney, Electronic Arts, Ensemble Studios, LucasArts, Origin Systems, THX, Vivendi Universal and Warner Bros..

Stormfront was originally founded as Beyond Software, but changed its name in 1991 when the trademark for Beyond proved difficult to enforce.

Highlights 1988-1993[]

  • Neverwinter Nights. Daglow had worked on game projects with Kathi McHugh and Steve Case of AOL (then called Quantum Computer Services) since early in AOL's history. Apart from baseball, Stormfront's initial projects were a series of online titles for AOL, including the first original play-by-email game, Quantum Space (1989) and later the first graphical MMORPG, the original Neverwinter Nights (1991-1997). Neverwinter Nights held the all-time record as the top revenue-producing online RPG for almost ten years until the success of Ultima Online in the late 1990s. BioWare subsequently purchased the rights to the name, and built a new generation of award-winning multiplayer RPG's set in the Neverwinter universe.
  • Tony La Russa Baseball. Upon its founding in 1988 Stormfront's first project was a baseball title, which over the following eight years was to become the Tony La Russa Baseball series of games, working closely with baseball manager Tony La Russa. La Russa remains a member of the company's Board of Directors today. Daglow had previously designed or co-designed a number of baseball games, including Baseball, Intellivision World Series Baseball and Earl Weaver Baseball, the latter two with programmer Eddie Dombrower.
  • Gold Box D&D Games. In 1990 the company began working with SSI on a series of Gold Box Dungeons and Dragons RPG games. This led to the company's first #1 hit, Gateway to the Savage Frontier (1991), and the first game where an AI character might fall in love with the player (depending on how they reacted to situations in the game), Treasures of the Savage Frontier (1992).
  • Stronghold (1993). The first RTS game to use a 3D perspective, Stronghold also featured a GUI interface in an era when most games continued to use text menus.

Highlights 1994-1999[]

  • NASCAR Racing, the original versions of the top-selling American auto racing game series of all time, created by Stormfront for EA Sports. John Madden Football game designer Scott Orr, who produced a long series of games with Stormfront, championed the development of Andretti Racing, which led in turn to the creation of NASCAR.
  • Madden NFL. Stormfront created the original PC versions of Madden for EA Sports.
  • Byzantine Although the game earned limited distribution in the United States, Stormfront's 1997 Discovery Channel game Byzantine swept the European Emma Awards at the Frankfurt Book Fair, winning honors as Best Adventure Game, Game of the Year, and CD of the Year.
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf, EA Sports.
  • Tony La Russa Baseball 3 and Old Time Baseball. In 1994-1995 the company self-published these two baseball games, both distributed by EA. The baseball strike of 1994 severely hampered sales, and Stormfront returned to being solely a developer.
  • Stormfront was the first video game developer to use motion control photography in a video game, in the Electronic Arts game Eagle Eye Mysteries, (1993).

Highlights 2000-2005[]

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). Published by Electronic Arts for PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox and based on the Peter Jackson film from New Line Cinema. One of the top-selling games of both 2002 and 2003, The Two Towers allows players to join Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring in their quest to save Middle-earth from Sauron. Players can fight as Aragorn, Legolas or Gimli in this epic adventure that features scenes and music from the first two movies in the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, battling Orcs including the Uruk-hai, Ringwraiths and more. Players play a pivotal role in the defense of Helm's Deep. The game features extensive unlockable content, including exclusive interviews with the stars of the films. Winner, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering.
  • Blood Wake for Xbox (2001). A featured title in Microsoft’s launch of the Xbox, Blood Wake is a fast-action naval combat game with real wakes and waves and the most striking water effects created on a video game console. The game later became part of the Xbox Platinum line of classic hits.
  • Demon Stone (2004). Published by Atari for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. Players can switch which of the three main characters they control “on the fly” at any moment to battle an onslaught of enemies. The game was nominated for multiple Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Interactive Achievement Awards and BAFTA Awards.

Highlights 2006-2008[]

  • The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and PC, published by Sierra, based on the Paramount film (adapted from the illustrated children's fantasy books written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi).
  • Eragon (2006). Published by Vivendi Universal Games for Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC, based on the Twentieth Century Fox movie Eragon, adapted from the best-selling Christopher Paolini fantasy novel.
  • (2008) Stormfront closed its doors on March 31, 2008.

Interactive TV[]

Stormfront had an ongoing involvement in the development of games for Interactive TV since its first experiments on Florida cable systems in 1990, and produced demos for companies including OpenTV.

List of Stormfront Titles[]

  • The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) Wii, Xbox360, PlayStation 2, and PC, published by Sierra, based on the Paramount film (adapted from the illustrated children's fantasy books written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi).
  • Eragon (2006) for Xbox360, PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC, published by Vivendi Universal Games, based on the film from Twentieth Century Fox (adapted from the Christopher Paolini novel).
  • Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (2004) for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, published by Atari
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, published by EA, based on the Peter Jackson film from New Line Cinema.
  • Blood Wake (2001) for Xbox, published by Microsoft Games
  • Legend of Alon D’ar (2001) for PlayStation 2, published by UbiSoft
  • Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (2001) for PC, published by SSI
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 2001 (2000) for PlayStation, published by EA Sports
  • My Style / My World: Kindergarten (2000) for PC and Macintosh, published by Lego
  • My Style / My World: Pre-K (2000) for PC and Macintosh, published by Lego
  • NASCAR 2000 (1999) for PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and PC, published by EA Sports
  • Hot Wheels Turbo Racing (1999) for PlayStation and Nintendo 64, published by EA
  • Starfire Soccer Challenge (1998) for PC and Macintosh, published by Purple Moon
  • NASCAR 99 (1998) for PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and PC, published by EA Sports
  • Madden NFL ’98 (1997) for PC, published by EA Sports
  • Byzantine: The Betrayal (1997) for PC, published by Discovery Channel
  • La Russa Baseball 4 (1997) for PC, published by Maxis
  • Andretti Racing ’98 (1997) for PC, published by EA Sports
  • NASCAR 98 (1997) for PC, published by EA Sports
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1996) for PC and Macintosh, published by Viacom New Media
  • Andretti Racing (1996) for PlayStation and PC, published by EA Sports
  • Madden NFL ’97 (1996) for PC, published by EA Sports
  • La Russa Baseball ’96 (1996) for PC, self-published by Stormfront
  • Old Time Baseball (1995) for PC, self-published by Stormfront
  • La Russa Baseball 3 (1995) for PC, self-published by Stormfront
  • ESPN National Hockey Night (1995) for PC, published by Sony
  • Mario Andretti Racing (1994) for Sega Genesis, published by EA Sports
  • ESPN Baseball Tonight (1994) for PC, published by Sony
  • Eagle Eye Mysteries in London (1994) for PC and Macintosh, published by Creative Wonders (EA Kids)
  • La Russa Baseball ‘95 (1994) for Sega Genesis, published by EA Sports
  • La Russa Baseball II (1994) for PC, published by SSI
  • Rebel Space (Online Play-by-email) (1993–95) for PC and Macintosh, available on the Prodigy online service
  • Tony La Russa Ultimate Baseball (1993) for Sega Genesis, published by EA Sports
  • Stronghold (1993) for PC, published by SSI
  • Eagle Eye Mysteries (1993) for PC and Macintosh, published by Creative Wonders (EA Kids)
  • Treasures of the Savage Frontier (1992) for PC and Amiga, published by SSI in the Gold Box D&D series
  • Neverwinter Nights (Online) (1991–97) for PC, available on AOL, boxed set also published by SSI in the Gold Box series
  • Tony La Russa Ultimate Baseball (1991) for PC, published by SSI
  • Gateway to the Savage Frontier (1991) for PC, C64 and Amiga, published by SSI in the Gold Box series
  • Quantum Space (Online Play-by-email) (1989-1992) for PC, Macintosh, Apple II, C64, available on AOL
  • The QuantumLink Serial, AppleLink Serial and PC-Link Serial (Online) (1988-1989) for PC, Macintosh, Apple II, C64, available on AOL

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