Reply To: Ken and Infocom


(re: re: Ken and Infocom)

Dear ken,
first of all, thank you for such a fast reply. I know this is meant to be normal since this is your site, but I’ll never get used to be able to dialogue with the founder of Sierra ! It’s really great.
Well, back to the issue: you have my 100% agreement on all.
Thanks to eBay I was recently able to get some Infocom adventures I never played before and maybe not all, but most are indeed great. As per Douglas Adams (never tried to read the first “Dirk Gently”, it made me laugh out at the electric monk my friends thought I was gone nuts), I’m sure you know that he died a couple of years ago, so sad, sic.
Infocom failure hit me too. I have copy of a very clear case study called “down from the top of its game” which is very interesting and informative. I don’t want to be tough, but their biggest mistake was the fact that they never believed fully in the power of their games, they considered them as a bridge to the business software. From a management point of view though I do understand their willingness to differentiate in a world so fastly evolving towards graphic (Sierra docet too), but I will never be able to forgive them for not having separated their business project financing from the rest: you cannot drain money from adventures like this damaging beyond hope the chance to evolve and stay alive (maybe moving vs Magnetic Srolls like advs…, who knows).
I live in Italy and at that time it was really hard to get adventure games: english language was still a barrier for many people. It went improving though and I must admit that I improved my english thanks to Sierra and Infocom.
To close this message, I was glad to read your reply also because I remember having read somewhere that there was a big rivalry between your two companies: so it was a fair business rivalry, with mutual (I believe mutual) esteem, and this is great.

PS: don’t worry, my collection of original boxes of AGI games is complete too.