Marketing, Part 2: Advertisements

Infocom's own ads also stood out from the rest of the crowd. They often contained bold headlines, complemented by sharp, rhythmic explanations harping on the qualities of Infocom's games. They also made fun of the poor quality of graphical games. One ad pictured a brain on one side and proclaimed, "We unleash the most powerful graphics technology." Another ad took a swipe at makers of graphical computer games. It included a shot of blocky, primitive-looking figure and asked, "Would you shell out $1000 to match wits with this?"

Advertisements for Infocom's games that raved about the enjoyment of playing text-adventure games while making fun of the current state of computer graphics. Click on any of the thumbnails to see a larger picture.

With the incredible publicity and the groundbreaking efforts to make exciting, flashy packaging, Infocom sales went through the roof. Zork I posted modest sales of $160,000 in 1981, but Zork I, Zork II, Zork III, Deadline, and Starcross combined for sales of $1.65 million in 1982. In 1983, Infocom produced five more games, reaching sales of over $6 million, and increased that number to $10 million in 1984 and 1985.

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