Brian Fargo papers
The Brian Fargo papers have been arranged into two series, both of which have been further divided into subseries. The materials are housed in eight archival document boxes and one oversized folder.
- 1981 - 2012
- Majority of material found within 1983 - 2000
- Fargo, Brian (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Please see The Strong's Digital Games Files Access Policy
Conditions Governing Use
4.25 Linear Feet (8 boxes, 1 oversized folder)
Fargo grew up in California, a fan of fiction, comics, and role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons. In 1977, he received an Apple II computer and soon learned to program video games with his friend Michael Cranford. Fargo self-published and marketed his first widely-distributed adventure game, The Demon’s Forge (1981) through his one-man studio, Saber Software. A Stanford graduate, Michael Boone, wished to break into the video game industry in 1982 and bought Fargo’s Saber Software, establishing Boone Corporation. Fargo joined Boone as the head of research and development. In 1983, Fargo left Boone and founded Interplay Productions, taking some former Boone programmers (including Rebecca Heineman) with him.
Activision published Interplay’s first game, Mindshadow, in 1984, to much acclaim. Fargo worked as a writer on several of Interplay’s titles, including Tales of the Unknown: Volume 1 - The Bard’s Tale (1985) and The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight (1986). (He went on to produce and direct other iconic Interplay titles, such as Wasteland, Dragon Wars, and Fallout.) In 1988, Interplay transitioned from being solely a game developer to a development and publishing firm. As a result, Interplay published its own games as well as externally-created ones. The company grew to more than 600 employees at its peak. In 1998, Interplay Productions changed its name to Interplay Entertainment Corporation after going public. Following a majority acquisition of Interplay by Titus Software in 2000, Fargo resigned from the company.
In 2002, Fargo established inXile Entertainment, a company which develops interactive entertainment software for all popular game systems and wireless devices. Since 2012, inXile has successfully raised money for video game development projects through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Fargo continues to be active in the video game industry.
System of Arrangement
Series I: Personal papers, 1983-2012
Subseries A: Notebooks and planners
Subseries B: Publicity
Series II: Professional papers, 1981-2000
Subseries A: Game development
Subseries B: Correspondence
Subseries C: Financial documents
Subseries D: Legal papers
Subseries E: Historical information and photographs
- Activision (Firm)
- Bard's Tale (Computer game)
- Bard’s Tale II (Computer game)
- Bard’s Tale III (Computer game)
- Boone Corporation
- Computer adventure games.
- Computer games
- Computer games industry
- Cranford, Michael
- Dragon Wars (Computer game)
- Game design and development
- Games -- software
- Heineman, Bill
- Heineman, Rebecca
- Interplay Entertainment Corporation
- Interplay Productions
- Mindshadow (Computer game)
- Patel, Jay
- Stackpole, Michael A.
- Worrell, Troy
- Finding Aid to the Brian Fargo Papers, 1981-2012
- Julia Novakovic
- 31 January 2017
- Description rules
Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA