Active Enterprises

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Active Enterprises
Active Enterprises - 01.png
Founded ca. 1989
Closed ca. 1994
Headquarters California, USA

Active Enterprises was an American video game developer founded by Vince Perri and Raul Gomila. The company is best known for two unlicensed games for the NES; Action 52 (NES) and Cheetahmen II (NES). The only other game Active Enterprises worked on was a Genesis version of Action 52 (GEN), which was developed by Farsight Technologies. A SNES version of the game, as well as a few other titles were set to be developed by Active Enterprises, but due to the company's demise, these games never came to fruition, and it's unknown if any working prototypes exist.

Perri got the idea for Action 52 by watching his son play an unlicensed NES multicart from Taiwan. According to Perri, his neighborhood was interested in it. Perri stated "I figured I'd do it legally. It's obvious when you see something like that, you know there's something there." Despite his claim of doing it legally, all of the games Active Enterprises developed were unlicensed.

Because Active Enterprises developed games without Nintendo's endorsement, the company needed to figure out a way to make games for the NES without getting locked out by the 10NES chip, the technology used to prevent unlicensed NES games from working on the console. While some companies such as Color Dreams and Tengen figured out ways of getting around the 10NES chip, the staff of Active Enterprises was flown to (by Perri) Sculptured Software, a prolific game developer which had developed several licensed games for the NES. Because Sculptured Software had official development tools by Nintendo, the Active Enterprises staff was able to easily make the games functional on the NES. Sculptured Software was developing Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (NES) while Active Enterprises went to work on Action 52.

The company disappeared from the game industry around 1994. The founder Vince Perri has proved elusive, so there is not much known about the company.

Audio Development

GEN

Neuromantic Productions was hired to do the music for the Genesis version of Action 52. The composers used GEMS.

NES

To create the music and sound for Action 52, Mario Gonzalez and Javier Perez first wrote MIDI files, and then coded the music in 6502 assembly. They used Sculptured Software's NES sound driver programmed by Ken Moore. Though the game uses many original tunes, it also uses several from The Music Studio (AST), written by Ed Bogas.


Games

Audio Personnel

  • Ed Bogas - Composer for The Music Studio (AST), in which several tunes were used in Action 52 and Cheetahmen II (NES). It is most likely Ed was not personally involved with the titles, and that the developers used the songs without Ed's blessing.
  • Javier Perez - Composer for Action 52 and Cheetahmen II.
  • Ken Moore - Programmer of the sound driver used in Action 52 and Cheetahmen II. It is most likely he was not involved with either of the games' development. Ken was an employee of Sculptured Software.
  • Mario Gonzalez - Composer for Action 52. His music would later be used in Cheetahmen II, though he was not personally involved with the game's development.