After the Merger

About six months after the merger, Bruce Davis replaced Jim Levy as the CEO of Activision. Bruce Davis worked at Activision before the merger, and was always against the Infocom deal. According to several Infocom employees, once he became CEO, Davis worked to dismantle Infocom in whatever way he could.

One result of the Activision merger and another cause of the eventual fate of Infocom was the manner in which Infocom games were marketed after its merger with Activision. Infocom games used to be sold like books; one could find a game on the shelf from one or two years ago just as easily as one could locate the latest release. However, Activision management favored a shorter shelf life for each game. To fill the shelves, Activision ordered Infocom to produce more games per year: eight games were to be made each year, instead of four or five. Activision expected these games to be created with the same number of employees and at the same quality level as Infocom's previous gamse

Infocom continued to create games under Activision for three years at a loss of approximately $200,000 per fiscal quarter. On May 5th of 1989, fifteen of the remaining twenty-six Infocom employees were laid off from Activision. The eleven others were offered the chance to move from Cambridge to Silicon Valley, where Activision was headquartered. Only five accepted the offer; most were disgusted by Activision's management and wanted to stay in Massachusetts. The sales, marketing, public relations and customer support teams of Infocom were all incorporated into Activision.

What can we conclude from this?