Bill Hogue

written by Matthew Reed

Bill Hogue is arguably the most famous of the TRS‑80 game programmers. The games he wrote for Big Five Software, the company he established with Jeff Konyu, rank among the best ever created for the TRS‑80.

After writing Defense Command, his final game for the TRS‑80, he shifted his programming focus to the Atari. In 1982, he released the very influential Miner 2049er. It was the first game to be widely cross-licensed. There was a version available for almost every platform at the time (except, sadly, the TRS‑80). In more recent years, there have been ports for the GameBoy, Blackberry, and various cell phones. Miner 2049er was voted the 1984 Electronic Game of the Year (beating out Donkey Kong). In 1985, he released Bounty Bob Strikes Back!, a sequel to Miner 2049er.

See Bill Hogue’s Miner 2049er history page for more details.

Categories: People

Comments

Bones says:

I knew Bill when he worked as a salesman for the Radio Shack in Reseda where I got my TRS‑80 from. Shortly after he started selling his first product (the awesome game SuperNova) I remember Bill coming over to buy something at the shop I was working at and talking about quitting Radio Shack to focus on Big 5 Software. The Tandy Corp executives allegedly had tried to get him to sell the ownership of SuperNova to them for the company’s in-house software line but they had offered him a silly amount like $20K for total ownership which he wisely turned down. The execs had figured a “kid” like Bill would jump at that much money in the late 70’s but Bill did the math. If memory serves Big 5 had just one small print add in a magazine (might have been BYTE, not sure) and that ad alone was generating sales of about 15 copies a day for $15 each which meant Big 5 was clearing about $80K per year after overhead. Dumb greedy executives … smart Bill & Jeff!

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