Speaking of Microprose, when I ordered Gothic I through Amazon (got it from one of their vendors), I received a free game called "Majesty". (Nice boon). It's a Fantasy Kingdom sim, which I have yet to load on my computer. But even more interesting is I had never heard of Microprose until I received the game. Fable, what kind of company are they? Small? Large? Medium? (I'm just curious and like to keep informed about this kind of stuff).
Micrprose was "Wild Bill" Stealey's first game company. Stealey was a decorated fighter pilot. He had connections, energy, intelligent and focus. He had an eye for talent. He was also rude, completely uninterested in anything outside his narrow field of vision, and unconcerned about marketing or budgets. He built a company of brilliant, dedicated programmers and gave them room to do what they wanted to do. He also made enormous mistakes in judgement--like never putting out a sequel to a big hit. Civilization was an enormous hit for Microprose in 1991. Do you know when they finally got around to its followup? Seven years later.
They were never large. Garriott had delusions of grandeur (of at least, Walt Disney) and hired enormous numbers of people, but even at their height, I don't think Microprose had more thirty or forty fulltimers on staff. I'm sure they farmed out parts of their activity for a game. In the end, they fell victim to their inability to hit deadlines, with many fine titles remaining vaporware after 2-3 years work.
Majesty was one of Cyberlore's games. They used Microprose for distribution; it was towards the end of the latter's existence. It was great fun, sort of a god sim/strategy title, in which you created buildings for heroes, who spent money buying potions, weapons, etc. You put bounties on the heads of evildoers, and your heroes killed 'em--earning the money. I understand a Majesty 2 has been in development some time, but the company keeps putting it on the backburner for other projects. It appears no current distributor is really interested in a title that's so non-formula, and that's so wrong.