Westwood Studios was an American video game developer based in Las Vegas. It was founded by Brett Sperry and Louis Castle in 1985 as Westwood Associates and was renamed Westwood Studios when it merged with Virgin Interactive in 1992.
After some years working successfully for other companies, Westwood expanded into designing its own games in-house, mainly role-playing, strategy and adventure games. In 1992, Westwood created the Trope Codifier for Real-Time Strategy with Dune II. The greatest hit and commercial success came in 1995 with the release of Command & Conquer, which set sales records and spawned a successful saga. It was followed by Monopoly CD-ROM, which was the first commercial game with Internet support and by the awarded Blade Runner, a very expansive adaptation of the film.
Westwood had around 6% of the PC game market in August 1998 when it was acquired by Electronic Arts for $122.5 million in cash. In response to EA's buyout, many long-time Westwood employees quit and left Westwood Studios. Because of this and the subsequent EA's heavy Executive Meddling, games being developed by Westwood Studios at the time were rushed and left unfinished upon their release, namely Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. All succeeding games developed by Westwood were also heavily subjected to increased control by Electronic Arts, with some of them being cancelled.
Once an equal rival of Blizzard Entertainment, Westwood was liquidated by EA after Command & Conquer: Renegade failed to meet sales expectations, with all willing staff being assimilated into EA Los Angeles. The last former Westwood employee quit working for Electronic Arts after the release of Command & Conquer: Generals in 2003. Some of them formed Petroglyph Games in April 2003, and Jet Set Games development studio in 2008, also based in Las Vegas.
Games developed by Westwood Studios:
- Mars Saga (1988)
- BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception (1988)
- BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge (1990)
- Mines of Titan (1989), a remake of Mars Saga
- Circuit's Edge (1990), an adaptation of When Gravity Fails.
- Dragon Strike (1990)
- Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun (1992)
- Eye of the Beholder series (19901991)
- The Legend of Kyrandia series (19921994)
- Dune series (19922001), based on the 1984 film.
- Lands of Lore series (19931999)
- The Lion King (1994)
- Young Merlin (1994)
- Command & Conquer series (19952002)
- Monopoly (1995)
- Blade Runner (1997), a video game based on the 1982 film.
- Nox (2000)
- Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat (2002)
- Earth And Beyond (2002)
- Cutscene: A renowned use of this and a pioneer in the usage of the CD-ROM's possibilities. The videos were often produced and Directed by Cast Member Joseph D. Kucan (Kane's actor).
- Dueling Games: The Command and Conquer series had a friendly rivalry with Warcraft and Starcraft. I'm a Medieval Man, a Song Parody of Target ("Mechanical Man"), was a product of it.
- Executive Meddling: The programmers and games suffered from it after EA's buyout. The pulling of the plug came with the modest reception of C&C Renegade, a Creator Killer.
- Full Motion Video: A company staple.
- Genre Popularizer: Of the Real-Time Strategy genre.
- Genre Shift: C&C Renegade, a First-Person Shooter spin-off from the RTS saga. Disaster ensued.
- Recycled INSPACE
- Command & Conquer is Dune II not In Space!
- Red Alert is C&C versus STALIN!
- Spiritual Successor:
- The aforementioned studios Petroglyph Games and Jet Set Games.
- The C&C saga is this to Dune II
- Trope Codifier: Dune II codified many of today's RTS gameplay conventions.
- Video Game 3D Leap: Emperor Battle for Dune in 2001. Its Game Engine, Westwood 3D (aka SAGE) was evolved after Westwood's demise and used in subsequent C&C games and in LOTR: The Battle for Middle-Earth.