Blog:RIP Michael Knox
Michael Knox, co-founder of developer Park Place Productions, passed away last week after a battle with cancer. This is according to Sega-16's Ken Horowitz, who posted the news on the Sega-16 Forums yesterday.
After attending San Diego State University, Knox went into the US Navy, where he worked as a Data Systems Technician, repairing and maintaining mainframes and other electronic systems aboard the USS Jouette CG-29 and the USS Horne CG-30. It was during this time he began designing and developing computer software.
From there, Knox worked for West Coast Consultants (a company that developed CAD software), Cinemaware, and Pacific Dataworks International. He then co-founded Park Place Productions in 1989 with $3,000 and a credit card. The company would eventually become the largest independent game development company in North America. For his accomplishments with Park Place, Knox received Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1993.
Park Place developed many sports games during its lifespan including the first console Madden football game, the first Joe Montana football game for the Genesis, and Electronic Arts' first NHL hockey game. For more information and stories about those, be sure to read Sega-16's extensive interview with Mr. Knox.
More recently, Knox co-founded V2P (Voice2Page) Communications, an Internet audio company.
A perusal of Knox's MySpace profile reveals that he had been dealing with cancer for some time. There are pictures from last year of him "recovering" and even a blog post about his illness. It is sad he did not survive, but he will be remembered. Some of the sports games he and Park Place were involved with were certainly a factor in the success of the Sega Genesis in the US, and the Madden and NHL franchises continue to be top-sellers to this day.
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