Timeline

Twenty Years and Counting

  • 1975 U.S. Navy Lt. Larry Bond learns NAVTAG. As a longtime wargamer, decides he can do better.
  • 1979 Adventure Games publishes the first commercial version of the miniatures rules Harpoon.
  • 1979 Don Gilman purchases Harpoon for reference material, writes Bond a letter, while working the graveyard shift on the Corps Quad at Texas A&M University.
  • 1982 Game Designers Workshop (GDW) acquires rights to publish Harpoon. Agrees to register Trademark.
  • 1986 Gilman reads “Red Storm Rising” and “The Hunt for Red October” and notices the credit given to Bond and Harpoon.
  • 1986 The Third Edition of Harpoon is published by GDW. Chris Carlson works tirelessly behind the scenes on various modeling issues.
  • 1987 Gilman fails in acquiring computer rights to “Red Storm Rising,” but is offered computer rights to the Harpoon game.
  • 1987 Agreement reached with Mr.Gilman Louie of Spectrum Holobyte/Sphere for Harpoon. Terminated a few months later.
  • 1987 Applied Computing Services (ACSI) harpoon 1reaches agreement reached with Three-Sixty Pacific, Inc. (TSPI) to fund and publish Harpoon.
  • 1988 Development begins, falters, two managers replaced. The Digital Illusions staff members are hired by Three-Sixty.
  • 1989 Gordon Walton leads the team in shipping Version 1.0 Harpoon.
  • 1989-93 Attempts to market Harpoon to the U.S. Navy fail. The U.S. Naval Institute does distribute the product as their first professional product a few years later.
  • 1991 ACSI signs an agreement with Kesmai Corporation to develop an on-line version of Harpoon.
  • 1990-93 BattleSets® are produced, the game is now v1.3. Sales are record breaking.
  • 1993 Kesmai’s Harpoon OnLine goes into limited beta testing on GEnie.
  • 1993 Bond publishes Command at Sea, a WWII miniatures rules — a derivative of the Harpoon system.
  • 1994 Kesmai is purchased by Newscorp. Adjustment is made to their contract, all military rights are returned to ACSI.
  • 1994 Carl Norman leads the team that ships Harpoon II.Copy of harpoon2_game
  • 1994 TSPI goes Tango Delta. IntraCorp buys the assets of TSPI. ACSI and Bond are unsuccessful in preventing the transfer of the Harpoon II contract and rights. New contract is more exclusive in that Harpoon II may be one- or two-player only, no military, no online rights are conferred.
  • 1995 ACSI licenses Alliance Interactive to upgrade and publish Harpoon Classic in accordance with the agreement with TSPI/IntraCorp. A Windows version is added.
  • 1996 Bond publishes the miniatures rules: Harpoon 4.
  • 1996 Kesmai’s Harpoon OnLine goes into limited public beta testing.
  • 1996 Alliance makes the last modification to Harpoon Classic for Windows 95 and calls it Harpoon Classic 97. Interactive Magic is the co-publisher. Sales are good for this “B” product
  • 1996: Carl Norman leaves Intracorp/360, but arranged to have Mike Robel brought on board. Frank Hale and Robel lead the small team that as a last act publishes Harpoon II Admiral’s Edition, including the basic game, scenario editor, and database editor. Robel folds the Intracorp office and returns to DoD Simulation Development.
  • 1996 IntraCorp goes Tango Delta.
  • 1997 Harpoon OnLine goes into final beta on AOL and Compuserve. Computer Gaming World gives it a 4.5-star review in the March issue.
  • 1997 Harpoon OnLine goes live on AOL, Gamestorm, CompuServe and others.
  • 1997 Adjustments are made to the licensing agreement between ACSI and Bond/Carlson, the copyright and trademarks are transferred to Bond and Carlson. ACSI retains interest in Harpoon, Harpoon II, Online and Military rights.
  • 1997 ACSI transfers all of its rights and interest in the Harpoon property to Advanced Gaming Systems, Inc. (AGSI).
  • 1997 A contract is signed for Computer Harpoon 4 (CH4) with SSI, Carl Norman is the Producer.
  • 1998 SSI fires original CH4 developers. SSI and its parent company are sold two or three times and ends up as a division of Mattel.
  • 1999 CH4 Final Design Milestone
  • 2000 Harpoon Online is dropped by AOL/Kesmai.
  • 2001 SSI is purchased by The Learning Company, which is purchased by Mattel, who divests itself of the gaming business via a third party, and the SSI games end up at Ubisoft (a French company that purchased many U.S. Game companies).
  • 2001 UBISoft cancels CH4.
  • 2001 AGSI authorized updates to Harpoon II Admiral’s Edition for both the Mac and PC as well as Harpoon Classic 97 (HC97) for Windows.
  • 2001 Jesse Spears ships Harpoon 3 for the Mac.
  • 2001 www.harpoonhq.com (Harpoon Headquarters) starts selling HC97 and H2AE for $20 for one and $25 for both FOB customer’s location.
  • 2001 UBISoft restarts CH4 development.H3 splash SSN
  • 2002 February Spears ships Harpoon 3 PC through Naval Warfare Simulations’ site.
  • 2002 March Second official military sale is made to the Australian Ministry of Defense.
  • 2002 August Harpoon Classic 2002 ships as an upgrade only to Harpoon Classic 97.
  • 2002 October Work begins on Harpoon 3 Pro by adding GIS features and writing specifications for Multiple Player, Umpire Assist and game logging (i.e. Hot Wash-up).
  • 2003 July – Open Beta begins for Harpoon Classic 2002 Gold.
  • 2003 July Harpoon 3 Pro has HTI features delivered for Beta testing.
  • 2003 October Harpoon Classic 2002 Gold ships.
  • 2003 November 24 UbiSoft Cancels Harpoon 4.
  • 2003 ACSI is dissolved, a long-suffering survivor of the recession.

  • 2004 March Harpoon 3.6.1 ships.
  • 2004 March Harpoon 3 Multi-Player goes Beta
  • 2004 May Press Release on the future of Computer Harpoon.H4_Paper
  • 2005 February Work restarts on Harpoon Classic 2005
  • 2005 April AGSI signs with Matrix Games to publish Harpoon products as Harpoon Commander’s Edition (HCE) and Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare (ANW).
  • 2005 May Community Beta for H3 ANW begins.
  • 2005 October Northrop Grumman utilizes Harpoon 3 Professional with DIS enhancements.
  • 2006 June Work completes on H3 ANW, Harpoon 3 Pro DIS, Matrix Games ships Harpoon 3 ANW.006 October Serious Games Presentation on the long standing dual use of the Harpoon system.
  • 2006 December Participated in the first I/ITSEC Serious Games Competition.
  • 2007 May Shipped version 3.8 of H3 ANW. Established Content Creator’s Channel for those who contribute databases, scenarios, and generally contribute to the H3 ANW product.HPUE-3dBox-800px
  • 2007 July Harpoon Commander’s Edition ships
  • 2008 July Harpoon 3 ANW receives the Vanguard Award at the Origins Gaming Conference
  • 2009 Partnerships signed with RepSim (training and analysis services) and AGI (Satellite Tool Kit)
  • 2010 H3 Pro is renamed H3 MilSim2010 
  • Twentieth Anniversary Bundle of H3 ANW (V3.10) and HCE ships as Harpoon Ultimate Edition. Both available at Matrix Games.
  • 2010 H3 ANW Macintosh version discontinued
  • 2012 Military sales continue
  • 2012 Version 3.11 ships of all products

 

 

 


 

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Notes:

  • The computer copyright for Harpoon was registered to ACSI but transferred to Bond and Carlson and licensed back to AGSI.
  • The trademark to Harpoon is registered to Larry Bond and Chris Carlson and licensed to AGSI.
  • The trademark to BattleSet and Staff Assistant were registered to ACSI but transferred to Bond and Carlson and licensed back to AGSI.
  • Microprose won the rights to “Red Storm Rising” and did a great tactical submarine simulation. Gilman’s design was for a series of interconnected games.
  • Spectrum Holobyte became Sphere and bought Microprose and then was assimilated by Hasbro.