Electronic Arts - The Early Years

Commodore 64, EA, Electronic Arts, Pinball Construction Set, The Bard's Tale, Trip Hawkins, video games -

Electronic Arts - The Early Years

Electronic Arts (EA) is one of the largest video game companies in the world, but it wasn't always that way. Founded in 1982 by Trip Hawkins, EA began as a small start-up with a big idea: to create high-quality, innovative games for the burgeoning home computer market. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the first five years of EA and how the company became a household name in the gaming industry.

Early Years of Electronic Arts

EA was founded by Trip Hawkins, a former Apple employee who wanted to bring high-quality games to the growing home computer market. Hawkins believed that the home computer market was poised for explosive growth and that games would be a major driver of that growth. In 1982, he left Apple and founded EA with a small team of developers.

At the time, the video game industry was still in its infancy, and there were few companies creating games for home computers. EA saw an opportunity to fill this gap and quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality games that were both innovative and fun to play.

In its first year of operation, EA released several games for the Apple II, including Pinball Construction Set and Archon. These games were unlike anything else on the market at the time, featuring advanced graphics and gameplay mechanics that were ahead of their time. Pinball Construction Set, in particular, was a groundbreaking game that allowed players to create their own custom pinball tables and share them with others.

Over the next few years, EA continued to innovate and release new games for a variety of platforms, including the Commodore 64, Atari 800, and IBM PC. Some of the most notable games released during this period include Seven Cities of Gold, M.U.L.E., and The Bard's Tale.

One of the keys to EA's success during this period was its focus on developing strong relationships with its developers. Unlike many other companies in the industry, EA treated its developers as partners and worked closely with them to ensure that their games were of the highest quality. This approach helped EA attract some of the best talent in the industry and cemented its reputation as a company that valued creativity and innovation.

EA also made a name for itself by using music and other forms of multimedia to enhance its games. For example, The Bard's Tale featured a full orchestral score, which was a first for a computer game. This attention to detail and commitment to creating immersive experiences helped EA stand out in a crowded market and attract a devoted fan base.

By the end of its first five years, EA had become one of the most successful game companies in the industry. Its games had won critical acclaim and earned a loyal following, and the company had established itself as a leader in innovation and creativity.


In its first five years, EA established itself as a leading force in the video game industry. Through innovation, creativity, and a commitment to excellence, the company created some of the most memorable and groundbreaking games of the early home computer era. Today, EA continues to be a major player in the industry, with a vast portfolio of games and a dedicated fan base around the world.

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