|Type||Division of Activision|
Sierra On-Line, Inc.
Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
Sierra label under Vivendi
Sierra label under Activision
August 7, 2014
|Headquarters||Oakhurst, California, U.S.|
|Key people||Ken Williams, founder|
Roberta Williams, founder
Sierra is a brand and publishing label owned by Activision.
Sierra was founded in 1979 as On-Line Systems by the husband and wife team of Ken Williams and Roberta Williams. They initially formed the company to develop and distribute graphic adventure games that were designed by Roberta and programmed by Ken.
In 1982, the company was incorporated as Sierra On-Line, named after the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the western United States. Roberta and Ken continued to make games, which were so successful that the company expanded to a point where, by the early 1990s, it became one of the largest publishers of computer games.
Sierra On-Line was sold to CUC International in 1996. In December 1997, CUC International merged with HFS Incorporated to become the Cendant Corporation. After the Cendant book-cooking scandal in 1998, Sierra was sold to Havas S.A, which was purchased by Vivendi.
Publishing label under Vivendi
Sierra On-Line was renamed Sierra Entertainment in 2002, however, the company was unincorporated in August 2004. However, it continued to operate as a division within Vivendi.
Vivendi merged with Activision, forming Activision-Blizzard in 2008. The entire Sierra staff was laid off, the Sierra building was closed, and the Sierra label was retired.
Return of the Sierra label
Activision, which became an independent company in 2013 after they purchased Vivendi's share of the Activision Blizzard stock, brought the Sierra label back on August 7, 2014. The Sierra label was re-established to publish games developed by independent game developers, for both original games and games developed based on the Sierra game licenses.