New World Computing was a developer and publisher of RPG and strategy games. Their work was primarily on computer platforms but some of their titles have been ported to early consoles as well. The company was originally founded in Agoura Hills, California
in 1984 by John Van Caneghem
, his wife Michaela Van Caneghem
and Mark Caldwell
. A few of their titles were published by other companies but the vast majority of their titles were self-published, a practice that was more common in that period (with the exception of everything developed after their acquisition by 3DO
which were all published by that company.) Their catalog consisted of a number of different titles (many of them one-offs) but they are most famous for the lengthy Might & Magic series of RPGs (which has 9 titles in the core series and several additional series) and its subsequent turn-based strategy spin-off series, Heroes of Might & Magic
The company met with significant success which led to them being acquired by NTN Communications (now known as NTN Buzztime, famous for their bar video trivia system) and then in 1996, they were sold to The 3DO Company
for approximately $13MUS. The New World Computing imprint was kept and they continued to operate under 3DO's banner as a creatively independent studio. The 3DO Company began a string of financial difficulties in the years that followed. Their 3DO console platform was a huge failure and after that, they tried to refocus on software publishing. Despite the continued success of New World Computing's titles, they were not enough to stem 3DO's losses and on April 15, 2002, it was announced that a large portion of the studio's staff were being laid off. 3DO's fortunes continued to decline and the company entered chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, 2003. Unable to secure new funding and unable to find a buyer for the studio, the intellectual property rights to the Might & Magic and Heroes of Might & Magic franchises were sold to Ubisoft for a mere $1.3MUS and the New World Computing studio was dissolved with the rest of The 3DO Company.
Ubisoft has since released three titles with these properties, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic
, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic: Elements
(a console adaptation of the previous game with some different content) and Heroes of Might & Magic V
. These titles have very little to do with the original series they are based on, save sharing the name.
In 2004, Jon Van Caneghem
where he worked until 2005. On September 25, 2006, he announced that he was forming a new company called Trion World Network
which is currently working on several projects, including a new fantasy MMO with Van Caneghem
leading the project.