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Origin Systems

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Origin Systems, Inc. (sometimes abbreviated as OSI) was a video game developer based in Austin, Texas, which was active from 1983 to 2004. It is most famous for the Ultima and Wing Commander series.

Brothers Richard Garriott and Robert Garriott, their father Owen, and Chuck Bueche founded Origin Systems in 1983 because of the trouble they had collecting money owed to Richard Garriott for his games released by other companies. The company's first game was Ultima series, Ultima III: Exodus; because of Ultima's established reputation Origin survived the video game crash that occurred that year. It published many non-Ultima games, and Richard Garriott claimed that he received the same royalty rate as other developers.

By 1988 Origin had 15 developers in Austin, Texas, and 35 other employees in New Hampshire. In September 1992, Electronic Arts acquired the company for $35 million in stock, despite a dispute between the two companies over EA's 1987 game Deathlord. Origin, with about $13 million in annual revenue, stated that it had considered an Initial Public Offering before agreeing to the deal. In 1997, Origin released one of the earliest graphical MMORPGs, Ultima Online. After this title, Electronic Arts decided that Origin would become an online-only company after the completion of Ultima IX in 1999. However, within a year's time, in part due to Ultima IX's poor reception, EA canceled all of Origin's new development projects, including Ultima Online 2, Privateer Online, and Harry Potter Online. Richard Garriott left Origin shortly after and founded Destination Games in 2000.

In later years, Origin mainly existed to support and expand Ultima Online and to develop further online games based on the Ultima franchise such as Ultima X: Odyssey, originally to be released in 2004 but later canceled. In February 2004, the studio was disbanded by Electronic Arts. The Longbow series of simulation games was developed at Origin and published under the "Jane's Combat Simulations" brand of Electronic Arts. A follow-on project, Jane's A-10, was under development when the project was canceled in late 1998 and the team moved to other projects.

Developed games
Screenshot Title Category File type(s) Year
BioForge
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Adventure 1995
Crusader: No Regret
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Shooter 1996
Crusader: No Remorse
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Shooter 1995
CyberMage: Darklight Awakening
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
First-Person Shooter 1995
Wing Commander
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1990
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1994
Wings of Glory
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1995
Published games
Screenshot Title Category File type(s) Year
Abuse
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Rating:
Platform 1995
BioForge
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Adventure 1995
Crusader: No Regret
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Shooter 1996
Crusader: No Remorse
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Shooter 1995
ShadowCaster
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
First-Person Shooter 1993
System Shock
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
First-Person Shooter 1994
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Role-Playing 1992
Wing Commander
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1990
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1994
Game descriptions
Screenshot Title Category File type(s) Year
Abuse
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Rating:
Platform 1995
Crusader: No Regret
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Shooter 1996
Crusader: No Remorse
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Shooter 1995
CyberMage: Darklight Awakening
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
First-Person Shooter 1995
System Shock
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
First-Person Shooter 1994
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Role-Playing 1992
Wing Commander
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1990
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1994
Wings of Glory
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1995
Screenshots
Screenshot Title Category File type(s) Year
Abuse
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Rating:
Platform 1995
Crusader: No Regret
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Shooter 1996
Crusader: No Remorse
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
Shooter 1995
CyberMage: Darklight Awakening
Violence:Yes
DOSBox:Supported
First-Person Shooter 1995
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger
DOSBox:Supported
Simulation 1994


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