Sierra On-Line was a video game development and publishing company founded by Ken Williams and Roberta Williams in 1979 with the name On-Line Systems which they changed the next year. Through several innovative games and several shrewd business deals, Sierra became the world's most profitable computer game company in 1995. In 1996, Williams sold Sierra to CUC International and retired shortly after. Over the next few years, Sierra was broken up into smaller groups, sold and resold to various companies, and the bulk of the earlier staff was fired or retired. In 2008, the company was incorporated into Activision and officially dissolved, only to be reborn, in name only, in 2014 to cash in on the previous brands.
As a child, I adored Sierra games, especially their adventure titles. However, as an adult with more refined taste in games, I find that most of their games are pretty awful. I became further disenfranchised with the company after reading Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution which paints the Williams's as clever and fun-loving, yet dishonest, miserly with profit-sharing, and not the most competent of bosses.
The following are games developed or published by Sierra that are important to me:
- King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
- King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!
- Manhunter: New York
- Police Quest II: The Vengeance
- Quest For Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero
- Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge
These are people who worked at Sierra On-Line whose work I appreciate.
- Al Lowe - Creator of Leisure Suit Larry.
- Chris Iden - Co-developer of AGI and SCI.
- Jeff Stephenson - Co-developer of AGI and SCI.
- Mark Crowe - Co-designer of Space Quest.
- Scott Murphy - Co-designer of Space Quest.