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Brian Fargo papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 116.4504
The Brian Fargo papers are a compilation of personal and professional papers, including materials from Fargo’s time at Boone and Interplay. This collection contains game development documentation, correspondence, legal papers, financial documents, marketing materials, photographs, floppy disks, external game proposals, notes, and more. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1985 and 2000. Additional scope and content information can be found in the Contents List section of this finding aid.

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



The materials in this collection are primarily in English. There are some instances of French; these are denoted in the Contents List section of this finding aid.

Conditions Governing Access

At this time, digital files in this collection are limited to on-site researchers only. It is possible that certain formats may be inaccessible or restricted.

Please see The Strong's Digital Games Files Access Policy here.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


4.25 Linear Feet (8 boxes, 1 oversized folder)


The Brian Fargo papers are a compilation of personal notes, corporate records, and game design documentation from Fargo’s time at Boone and Interplay. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1983 and 2000.

Biographical Note

Brian Fargo (1962– ) is an American video game designer, producer, programmer, and founder of Interplay Productions and inXile Entertainment.

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

Custodial History

The Brian Fargo papers were donated to The Strong in August 2016 as a gift from Brian Fargo. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 116.4504 and were received from Fargo in two boxes, an envelope, and a rolled tube.


Finding Aid to the Brian Fargo Papers, 1981-2012
Julia Novakovic
31 January 2017
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)