Microsoft now owns Infocom and its interaction fiction classics

Originally published at: Microsoft now owns Infocom and its interaction fiction classics | Boing Boing


It would be a nice PR move. A Win -Win situation.


Microsoft has already published “Colossal Cave Adventure”.

This is a direct ancestor to Zork. And it is free.


That would be pretty cool, but I’m pretty pessimistic in terms of expecting anything good from mega-corporations.


Season 5 Nbc GIF by The Office

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Just trying to imagine Zork as a Game Pass Exclusive…

Nah. Not happening.

Just think, you could put the Z-Machine VM and all of the classic adventures in less space than that occupied by a typical animated GIF.

Maybe they can offer Infocom’s Cornerstone as a high-performance alternative to Access? :slight_smile:


New Bing AI responses? “Your query was eaten by a grue.”


Grand Inquisitor and Nemesis maybe, but those are already on GoG, along with the rest of the Zorks

Somehow I am envisioning ChatGPT (or the graphic equivalents) to “create a matching scene to match the corresponding gameplay locations.” (with some human editorial monitoring of the output.)

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Glad I ran wget a while back on the major Infocom manuals/feelies archive sites, so I have all the content locally. I could see Microsoft deciding to be an asshole about it and shutting them down.

The z-machine files for all the Infocom games are super-easy to find - for now.


That’s enough reason right there to be confident it’ll never happen.

here ya go:

first released in 2019

Not to be confused with the rerelease?


I was envisioning the original (simple) text storyline, but with graphic overlays. This would be similar to the Sierra Online games of this vintage (Mission Asteroid, Mystery House, Kings Quest but with more up-to-date-graphics.

I rather suspect that even if you include the '90s graphical Zork games still on sale on Steam, the only value “the property” has is as a trademark, and not a lot of value there, either. The likelihood that they’ll do anything with it is about zero, but they won’t want to give it up either, as having old IPs with even fading name recognition is important to game publishers. At some point they’ll need new fodder for games, and they’re increasingly averse to actually creating anything new. Also they could potentially make money by just licensing out the name to someone who actually does care about it. (Of course, the eventual new Zork game, if it happens, will have zero connection to the original in any way…)

Funny, I could never play Zork without booting up MSDOS.

The latest rerelease of Wizrdry is a fancy overlay onb the Apple Ii original.


oh you’re thinking too small. :wink: maybe they can get benedcict cumberbatch as the voice of leblong, and chris pine (of course) as the grue.


Morgan Freeman as Wizard of Frobozz