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When General Mills' Parker Brothers joined the video game publishing fray in 1982, it marked the first time that a highly-funded and well-established entertainment company became a publisher of third party videogames. Already well-known for their action figures and board games such as Monopoly, Clue and Risk, Parker Brothers' aim was to tie strong movie, comic and arcade licenses with first-rate video games.

The circumstances that brought Parker Brothers into the video game business are quite different from other companies which were formed exclusively to produce videogame software. Along with Tiger Electronics, Parker Brothers was the leader in hand-helds. They were so delirious over the lucrative hand-held category, that they believed the videogame market was insignificant in comparison. Where the hand-helds were a billion-dollar business in 1979, videogames were lingering around $150 million. But then the (hand-held) crash hit in 1981, and while Parker didn't get hurt as badly as some of the other companies, it did have some inventory problems. As the videogame market began to take off during the same period, Parker Brothers realized the potential for money to be made in that segment. However, they had no experience with video games, and were late in the ballgame compared to other publishers such as Activision, Imagic, Apollo and Spectravision.

But Parker Brothers had an ace in the hole. Its sister company, Kenner Products (both owned by General Mills at the time) had signed a contract with LucasFilm in 1977 that gave General Mills' Toy Group exclusive worldwide rights to toys and games based on the Star Wars series.

Its introductory games, Frogger and The Empire Strikes Back, made a splash in the 2600 software market and sold a combined total in excess of three million units in 1982 alone and ranked among 1982's top ten sellers. Parker Brothers particularly milked the Star Wars franchise (wouldn't you?) as they released four games (Star Wars: Ewok Adventure only exists as a prototype), while arcade translations such as Tutanhkham, Super Cobra, Popeye, Q*bert and Reactor appeared in 1983. Comic book heroes starring Spider-Man and GI Joe and a game based upon the James Bond series of films rounded out a stellar staple of 2600 cartridges.

On the whole, Parker Brothers was well respected as a publisher of decent if not fabulous games that were tied to "hot" properties, and as the crash of 1983-84 hit the scene, they fled to the greener pastures of home computer software, until they called it quits and exited the software publishing market..... until its now-parent, Hasbro, announced in 1997 its entry into the video entertainment field, with its maiden offering being... Frogger!


  • Action Force (PAL only)
  • Amidar
  • Circus Charlie (not released)
  • Frogger
  • Frogger II: Threedeep!
  • GI Joe Cobra Strike
  • Gyruss
  • James Bond 007
  • Incredible Hulk, The (not released)
  • Lord of the Rings: Journey to Rivendell (not released)
  • McDonald's (not released)
  • Montezuma's Revenge
  • Mr. Do's Castle
  • Octopussy (not released)
  • Popeye
  • Q*Bert
  • Q*Bert's Qubes
  • Reactor
  • Sky Skipper
  • Spider-Man
  • Star Wars: The Arcade Game
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars: Ewok Adventure (not released)
  • Star Wars: Jedi Arena
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Death Star Battle
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi -- Game 1 (not released)
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi -- Game 2 (not released)
  • Strawberry Shortcake Musical Match-Ups
  • Super Cobra
  • Tutankham

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