|Former type Subsidiary|
Defunct January 29, 2003
Acquisition date 1998
Parent organization Electronic Arts
|Industry Video games|
Owner Electronic Arts
|Key people Brett Sperry
Joseph D. Kucan (video game director)|
Products Eye of the Beholder series The Legend of Kyrandia series Dune series Lands of Lore series Command & Conquer series
Founded 1985, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Headquarters Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Founders Louis Castle, Brett Sperry
Video games Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Command & Conquer: Tiberian, Command & Conquer: Yuri's Re, Command & Conquer
The golden years of westwood studios 10th anniversary retrospective
Westwood Studios, Inc. was an American video game developer, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was founded by Brett Sperry and Louis Castle in 1985 as Westwood Associates and was renamed Westwood Studios when it merged with Virgin Interactive in 1992. The company was bought from Virgin Interactive by Electronic Arts (EA) in 1998, and closed by EA in 2003.
- The golden years of westwood studios 10th anniversary retrospective
- Blade runner looking back with louis castle westwood studios ragnarrox
- Early history and company name
- Later success and acquisition by Virgin Interactive
- Acquisition by EA and liquidation
Westwood is best known for developing real-time strategy, adventure and role-playing genres. It was listed in Guinness World Records for selling more than 10 million copies of Command & Conquer worldwide. The last former Westwood employee quit working for Electronic Arts after the release of Command & Conquer: Generals in 2003.
Blade runner looking back with louis castle westwood studios ragnarrox
Early history and company name
Brett Sperry and Louis Castle founded Westwood Studios in 1985.
According to Louis Castle, the company was named after the "entertainment meets professional" character of Westwood, California.
We really liked the "entertainment meets professional" character of Westwood CA (in L.A.) and the attraction of the area to teens and young adults felt like the perfect fit for a new company specializing in entertainment software. Even back then we recognized that it took a team of people to make great products so we appended the "Associates" to emphasize that aspect of product development. We were not really sure if we could make a go at game development so the original name "Westwood Associates" also gave us the ability to get into more traditional business software if necessary.
The company's first projects consisted of contract work for companies like Epyx and Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI), porting 8-bit titles to 16-bit systems like Commodore Amiga and Atari ST. Proceeds from contract work allowed the company to expand into designing its own games in-house. Their first original title was Mars Saga, a game developed for Electronic Arts and released in 1988. They laid the foundations for the real-time strategy genre with the release of real-time tactics game BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge, one of the more literal translations of the classic tabletop game BattleTech.
Later success and acquisition by Virgin Interactive
One of the company's first great successes was Eye of the Beholder (1990), a real-time role-playing video game based on the Dungeons & Dragons license, developed for SSI. Other publishers of early Westwood games included Infocom and Disney. Their company was eventually acquired by Virgin Interactive in 1992.
The company in the late 1980s was known for shipping products late, but by 1993 it had so improved that, Computer Gaming World reported, "many publishers would assure [us] that a project was going to be completed on time because Westwood was doing it". The magazine added that it "not only has a solid reputation for getting product out on time, but a reputation for good product", citing Eye of the Beholder, The Legend of Kyrandia, and Dune II as examples. By then Westwood had about 50 employees, including up to 20 artists. Other well-known Westwood titles from the early 1990s include Lands of Lore and Westwood's greatest commercial success, the 1995 real-time strategy game Command & Conquer. Building on the gameplay and interface ideas of Dune II, it added pre-rendered 3D graphics for gameplay sprites and video cinematics, an alternative pop/rock soundtrack with techno elements streamed from disk, and modem play. Command & Conquer, Kyrandia, and Lands of Lore all spawned multiple sequels.
Acquisition by EA and liquidation
In August 1998, Westwood was acquired by Electronic Arts for $122.5 million. At the time, Westwood had 5% to 6% of the PC game market. In response to EA's buyout, many long-time Westwood employees quit and left Westwood Studios. Because of this and EA's newly imposed demands, games being developed by Westwood Studios at the time were rushed and left unfinished upon their release, namely Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. All the subsequent games developed by Westwood were also heavily subjected to increased control by Electronic Arts, with some of them being canceled.
Along with Westwood, EA had also acquired Virgin Interactive's development studio based in Irvine, California. It was managed by Westwood and became known as Westwood Pacific, and later EA Pacific. Westwood Pacific developed or co-developed games like Nox and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, which takes place in an alternate universe to that of the original title Command & Conquer.
At the time of its liquidation, Westwood employed a third of the original Westwood Studios personnel, some of whom formed Petroglyph Games in April 2003. Another three (Brett Sperry, Adam Isgreen and Rade Stojsavljevic) formed a development studio called Jet Set Games in 2008, both based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The following is a list of games produced by Westwood: