Down From the Top of Its Game

The Story of Infocom, Inc.

If you ever were a kid, you must have played the interactive fiction game Zork. If not you must have heard about it, and if not, well you can learn about it here. A company named Infocom became very successful in the early 1980s, propelled by Zork and its successors. In the middle of the decade, Infocom got involved with business software, releasing the powerful database software program, Cornerstone. But soon after that, Infocom got into financial trouble, until it was eventually bought by Activision... what happened?

This report was presented as part of the requirements for the class - 6.933J: Structure of Scientific Revolutions..

This project was prepared by:

Hector Briceño,
Wesley Chao,
Andrew Glenn,
Stanley Hu,
Ashwin Krishnamurthy,
Bruce Tsuchida
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All the information here was compiled from many sources. We interviewed the company's founders and employees. We perused through the company's annual reports, newspaper articles, and meeting notes. We played their games. We got immersed in their interactive fiction.

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You can either:

  1. Read the full report [pdf]
  2. Look at the slide presentation [html] [pdf]
  3. Or alternatively, follow the abridged story presented here, starting at the Introduction