Prior to founding Ascendant, Roberts was Chairman and CEO of Digital Anvil (DA), the game development and digital effects company he founded in 1996 with funding from Microsoft and Advanced Micro Devices. Roberts guided DA's growth to annual revenues of $14 million, prior to the release of many of its games in development.
In 1987, Roberts joined Origin Systems, Inc. (OSI), which was later acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary by Electronic Arts (EA) in 1992 for $30 million. Roberts was instrumental in OSI's growth from a company with $4 million in annual revenues to a company with annual revenues of $50 million. In 1990, Roberts developed Wing Commander, which set a new standard in PC games and evolved into a franchise series of game titles, all developed and produced by Roberts. With its cinematic quality, clearly developed story lines and well-known actors, the Wing Commander series created a whole new genre within the gaming industry known as the "interactive movie." By 1995, the Wing Commander series had generated well over $110 million in revenues, and from 1990 to 1995, the Wing Commander series accounted for more than 60% of OSI's revenue. In addition to selling more than 3 million units worldwide by 1995, the Wing Commander series won a record setting number of gaming awards. To date, the series has generated over $400 million in global retail revenue.
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