GT Interactive Software Corp. last edited by TheKinsie on 06/16/18 10:59PM View full history

Overview

GT Interactive Software Corporation was formed in 1993 as a division of GoodTimes Home Video, a New York-based family-owned company that primarily dealt in distributing low-budget cartoons and public domain films to retailers like Wal-Mart. From these inauspicious origins, GT achieved rapid, stratospheric success by signing Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth, which by themselves apparently accounted for $111.3 million in revenue over a two year period.

GT's success story continued for several years, with a contract to be Wal-Mart (and later Target)'s sole provider of software, a low-budget software line distributed in K-Mart and other retail chains, acquisition deals like WizardWorks and FormGen, and the release of popular games like Quake, Duke Nukem 3D and the works of Humongous Entertainment.

In 1997, GT came ridiculously close to acquiring MicroProse for $250 million, before the deal was suddenly cancelled, with both CEOs simply stating that "the time is simply not right". MicroProse's stock plummeted as a result. In addition, the Wal-Mart exclusivity deal ended, meaning publishers no longer had to go through GT to put their games on the mega-retailer's shelves.

1998 was a still a good year for the publisher, with releases like Unreal and Deer Hunter 2: The Hunt Continues and acquisitions like Legend Entertainment and Reflections Interactive, but 1999 saw it all fall apart - a variety of circumstances led to large losses, games not coming out as planned, and eventually, the sacking of 35% of the workforce. Just before a dismal results release, Infogrames swooped in and acquired the company, spawning what would eventually become Atari Inc.

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