“Arnie’s America’s Cup Challenge”, the Official America’s Cup Sailing Simulation computer game, was developed for the Commodore 64/128 and the Amstrad. Being a simulation game, it offers you a chance to race the actual 24.3 mile course off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. With constantly changing winds and weather conditions, you need to master authentic 12-metre racing tactics. Key features of the game are realistic yacht performance, as well as innovative use of the joystick to winch a selection of genoa and spinnakers. The game was published by Armchair Entertainment in Australia, Electronic Arts in the USA and U.S. Gold in Europe.
Reference: Micro Forté Studios
“Arnie’s America’s Cup Challenge” was also known as “America’ s Cup Challenge” (in Europe) and “The Official America’s Cup Sailing Simulation” (in USA).
It was Micro Fortè’s first game, and at the time of winning the job, John De Margheriti, Steven Wang, John Reidy and Stephen Lewis were mostly still students studying engineering and computer science. On hearing that a group of local entrepreneurs who called themselves Arm Chair Entertainment were looking to capitalise on Australia’s new found enthusiasm for 12m sailing with an electronic game De Margheriti quickly put the team together. To win the job, they made a demo in two days of working on a Commodore 64, which they had bought on credit at Grace Bros. Department store which they returned after completing the demo. The game took twelve weeks to make, during which time the team recalls many sleepless nights. The game sold well but not much of the profits found there way back to the development team. It did however create one of Australia’s most enduring professional teams, as the core group of friends De Margheriti, Wang and Lewis, would go on to work together for several decades building innovative and sustainable businesses with in a volatile industry.
Reference: Interview John de Margheriti 11 August 2013
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