Micro Forté is an Australian game development company responsible for the production of the spin-off game Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel. Nowadays Micro Forté Studios is known as the internal development studio of the world-renowned BigWorld company, and as the original developers of the BigWorld Technology.
Founded in 1985, Micro Forté was unusual from the start. In the mid-1980s, the video game development industry had not yet gained a foothold in Australian society, and Micro Forté became the first earnest attempt to develop games in Australia. Its founder, John De Margheriti, sought to capitalize on the emerging market.
Micro Forté's first released game was Arnie's America's Cup Challenge, a sailing strategy game based on the America's Cup yachting race and released for the Commodore 64. The company followed up on this moderately successful game with Demon Stalkers, a two-player game reminiscent of Gauntlet, which proved quite successful in the European and Australian markets.
Several more games, all developed and published in Australia, followed. Then, in 1998, Micro Forté paired with Panasonic/Ripcord to produce Enemy Infestation, an isometric squad-based real-time strategy (RTS) game for the PC. The game garnered mediocre reviews, but was commercially reasonably successful.
The Interplay Projects
When Interplay decided to produce a Fallout-themed RTS, Micro Forté was tapped to be the project's developer along with in-house division 14 Degrees East. The pairing resulted in the production of Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel in 2001. While initial sales were promising thanks to the loyal Fallout fan base, the game nevertheless received lackluster review ratings highly reminiscent of the performance of Enemy Infestation. Ultimately, a combination of relatively weak gameplay mechanics and the alienation of large sectors of the Fallout fan community led to trouble for the release.
Micro Forté would go on to release a combination Fallout box set called Fallout: Radioactive the following year. This box set included both of the original Fallout games, as well as Fallout Tactics. The release in North America was very limited, though Australia and Europe saw the set appear in higher numbers.
Shortly before the release of the first game Interplay and Micro Forté started pre-production for Fallout Tactics 2. Ultimately the original game's poor performance in sales led to the sequel's cancellation around December 2010.
At one point, Micro Forté was also contracted to develop Fallout Online but the project was eventually canceled.
In early 2008, Micro Forté released its first game since 2002, Kwari, with publisher Kwari Limited. This game was highly unusual in that it is a massively multiplayer deathmatch-style game that was played for real-world currency. Players purchased in-game resources using in-game money, itself purchased with actual currency. During a match, the game used what amounted to a wagering-based system to award and demerit cash from each player; hitting a player earned the shooter money while costing the target. Given its use of real-world currency, the game was not legal for play in some of the largest videogame markets in the world, including the United States, Korea, and Japan, as well as the developer's home country of Australia. Only member countries of the European Union were eligible to play, and lackluster interest coupled with dismal reviews led to Kwari Limited's insolvency shortly after the game's release. Kwari Limited fell into receivership and the game was disbanded and shut down.