|Canberra, Australia (1985)|
Micro Forté now known as Micro Forté Studios, is an Australian electronic entertainment company with development studios in Canberra, Australia and Sydney, Australia. Founded in 1985 by John De Margheriti at a time when there was little game development presence in Australia, Micro Forté has been closely linked to the growth of the Australian game development industry, with CEO John De Margheriti initiating events such as the Australian Game Developers Conference (AGDC) and founding the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) which have helped to lift the profile and create a pool of talent for the industry in Australia.
History[edit | edit source]
Micro Forté’s first title developed for Electronic Arts and released in 1986 was the Americas Cup Sailing Simulation for the Commodore 64 platform. Their second title also developed for Electronic Arts, Demon Stalkers was well received following its release in 1987. The sequel Fire King was published by SSG Strategic Studies Group in 1989.
For a number of years the company pursued other activities outside the arena of game development, returning in 1994 to game development creating two children’s titles Nordice and Bombs Away. Micro Forté then developed titles for other international publishers including Enemy Infestation (Panasonic/Ripcord), HotWheels Bash Arena (THQ), and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (Interplay). Their most widely known title, Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel was published by Interplay and was a squad based tactical game based on the Fallout (video game) universe, and achieved scores between 80 and 90 from reviewers and fans alike.
Development of BigWorld Technology[edit | edit source]
In 1994 when Micro Forté returned to game development, the company began work on Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) technology. The research and development work was supported with a grant from the Australian Government and venture capital received through Allen & Buckeridge.
Micro Forté spent a number of years concentrating their efforts on developing a technology capable of supporting multiple platforms with more players able to participate in limitless worlds and in the same space. The culmination of years of research and development resulted in BigWorld Technology, which is now a separate commercial company, and provides game developers a cost effective, stable and complete middleware solution to develop MMOG and virtual worlds.
The BigWorld company was formed in 1999 and the BigWorld Technology Suite was commercialised and launched in 2002. BigWorld is now one of the leading middleware solutions available for developers of online games.
Awards[edit | edit source]
The company has been awarded with a number of game and business related awards:
- Finalist 2007 Australian Technology Showcase Patrons Awards
- Finalist 2006 Secrets of Australian IT Innovation competition (Arts and Entertainment category)
- Winner 2005 ACT Chief Minister's Export Award (Art and Entertainment)
- National Winner 2003 Telstra and Australian Government Small Business Awards (Panasonic Australia Business Award Category) 
- Territory Winner 2003 Telstra and ACT Government Small Business Awards (Panasonic Australia Business Award Category) 
- National Finalist 2003 Austrade Australian Export Award (Arts and Entertainment) for the outstanding export achievement in the field of fine arts, performing arts, electronic and on-line entertainment
- Winner 2003 Secrets of Australian IT Innovation competition (Arts and Entertainment category)
- Winner 2003 ACT Chief Minister's Export Award (Arts and Entertainment Category)
- Australian Winner of The 2002 Asia Pacific ICT Award (APICTA) (Creative Digital Industries category) for its BigWorld Technology
- Winner 2002 ACT Chief Minister's Export Award (Arts and Entertainment Category)
- National Finalist 2002 Austrade Australian Export Award (Arts and Entertainment) for the outstanding export achievement in the field of fine arts, performing arts, electronic and on-line entertainment
- 2002 Australian Game Developers Conference Award for Best Level Design, HotWheels Bash Arena.
- 2002 Australian Game Developers Conference Award for Outstanding Innovation, Micro Forte BigWorld Technology.
- Territory Winner and National Finalist 2001 Telstra & Australian Capital Territory Government Small Business Awards (Cisco Systems Innovation Category)
Games and Development Projects[edit | edit source]
- America's Cup Challenge (C-64, Amstrad, Electronic Arts)
- Demon Stalkers (C-64, PC, Electronic Arts)
- FireKing (C-64, PC, SSG)
- Nordice (PC game, Emu Multimedia)
- Bombs Away (PC game, Emu Multimedia)
- Enemy Infestation (PC game, Panasonic/Ripcord)
- Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (PC game, Interplay)
- Hotwheels: Bash Arena (PC game, THQ)
- Citizen Zero (Xbox MMO for Microsoft, Unpublished)
- Super Spy Online (PC MMO prototype)