Interview With William Fisher

by Alessandro Pace, 2008/2009
Put into interview form by Dieter K├Ânig in February 2009, with permission from Alessandro Pace

William Fisher wrote Space Hawk and co-wrote B-17 Bomber and Space Spartans for the Intellivision. He also headed up the Apple II and IBM PC software groups at Mattel (M-Network).

William, about the games you worked they were all published, so perhaps you could help me about Space Spartans. Can you confirm that the German, Italian and French versions were 100 % complete and just weren’t released? Can you confirm that a rumoured Spanish version was planned too?

Don’t know about foreign language versions, unfortunately. It’s been a long time, and I definitely didn’t do them. I would not be surprised if they’d been done.

Do you have any information about other unpublished games or about keyboard component software?

I know a tiny amount about keyboard component. I did the duplication of the master tapes for the crossword puzzle games on that unit – one of the very first things I did when I was hired at Mattel. We had TONS of unpublished games for the Apple II and IBM PC. I had about 20 games in development when we shut down. I have a list of the games buried somewhere. The ones closest to release were BurgerTime, which actually did get released briefly, Lock ‘N’ Chase, and Night Stalker. I have boxes for several of these, but not all made it to the market before we shut down. They were all complete, and were demoed at the 1984 CES in Las Vegas.

I didn’t know that Mattel Electronics was working on PC and Apple games. Were all those games programmed at Mattel or at other software houses?

All of the Apple II and IBM PC games were done in-house or by partner companies, i.e. Mattel Electronics Ltd. Taiwan.

Of course we all would be curious to give a look at the photos of the boxes.

We only had boxes for the first three games on Apple and IBM. The others were not close enough to release.

Many thanks for the interview, William.

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