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(re: Sierra and IBM relationship) Vincent:
You are right about everything you posted. IBM did fund the development of Kings Quest I for the PCJr .. and, the game did save Sierra (we had lost a ton of money making video games).
IBM did not ask for any sort of exclusivity in their agreement, which allowed us to to market the code, with almost no changes, on the Tandy 1000. It was a HUGE hit.
The reason IBM didn’t ask for an exclusive is interesting…
At the time, IBM was dominant, and in fact, so dominant that they feared anti-trust action. IBM, 25 years ago, was in the position that Microsoft is in now. IBM was afraid that they might be broken up by the government. This meant that their contract administration group was extremely worried about anything in an agreement that could be deemed monopolistic. We didn’t have to ask for non-exclusivity – IBM never asked for it, and didn’t seem to want it.
The PCJr bombed, but the Tandy 1000 was a hit. IBM did quite well with the PC, so everything turned out fine for everyone.
-Ken W
PS One other interesting piece of history. I dealt at the time directly with a gentleman at IBM named Don Estridge, who many considered the father of the IBM PC. Don was a strong supporter of Sierra and of our word processor, Homeworks. Sadly, he and his wife died in a plane crash (I think it was an American Airlines flight going into Dallas) just after the launch of the IBM PC. I remember a quote from him: “If you want to compete with people in a garage, you have to build a garage” He was referring to his vision that IBM could compete with Apple, at a time when IBM was a giant lumbering beast, and Apple was a nimble young company.