|Origin Systems, Inc.
|Manchester, NH, United States
Origin Systems, Inc., often abbreviated to OSI, was a video game company founded in Austin, Texas by Robert Garriott, Richard Garriott, Owen Garriott, and and Chuck Bueche in 1983. The company produced numerous popular game series such as Ultima, Wing Commander, and System Shock. The company motto was "We create worlds," which was fitting since their game worlds were of the most detailed at the time. In addition to large amounts of dialog, sandbox game elements, and AI-driven NPCs, many of the game boxes included cloth maps, themed manuals, and trinket objects from the game.
In September 1992, Electronic Arts acquired OSI. With EA came many changes. The headquarters was relocated to Manchester, NH, and by 1999. After the huge success of Ultima Online (W32), EA decided to make OSI focus on online gaming only, and Ultima IX: Ascension (W32) was the last non-online game made by the company.
As tension grew between the Origin staff and Electronic Arts, co-founder Richard Garriott and a few other employees left the company in 2000 in order to found Destination Games. OSI continued to support Ultima Online, but spent little time on other franchises. In 2004, EA cancelled all of OSIs remaining games and dissolved the company, though EA still uses the name "Origin" for its online gaming presence.
OSI pioneered several aspects of video game music. In particular, they were one of the few Apple II game developers that utilized the Mockingboard and one of the few DOS game developers to utilize the SSI 2001. They also took full advantage of the Roland MT-32, creating orchestral scores with customized instruments.
Most OSI games from the 1980s were primarily released for the Apple II and Commodore 64. Commodore music is ripped to SID format, while Apple II music has yet to have a standard rip format. DOS ports were made, but since soundcards were not yet available, only PC Speaker sound effects were ported over. In 1988, OSI created the M format for their DOS games, which they continued to use until 1990. After that, they began using more popular formats like MIDI and XMI.
These people worked at OSI on the audio staff:
- Amanda Dee
- Dan Schmidt
- Dana Glover
- David Watson
- George Oldziey
- Herman Miller
- John Miles
- John Tipton
- Ken Arnold
- Kirk Winterrowd
- Marc Schaefgen
- Martin Galway
- Nenad Vugrinec
- Raymond Benson
These people did freelance audio for OSI:
Beginning with its first game in 1983, Ultima III: Exodus (C64), Origin used this logo until 1988.