Born William M. Hawkins III, "Trip" is probably best known as the founder of Electronic Arts. His career path in digital entertainment began in 1972 at Harvard University where Trip developed his own major, Strategy and Applied Game Theory. Graduating magna-cum-laude in 1976 with an AB degree, Hawkins moved across the country to pursue an MBA at Stanford University, which he received in 1978. This was a move that, ultimately, led him into the video game industry.
He joined Apple Computer in 1978 as the Director of Strategy and Marketing. Then, at the beginning of 1982, he left the company to found Electronic Arts. Hawkins began working from home, funding the company with his own money.
During his time at EA, Hawkins published a game called John Madden Football. In 1984 he personally 'hunted down' John Madden, and learnt the rules of football so he could make the game more realistic. First published in 1988 on the Apple II, the subsequent series of Madden games continues to be a success for EA to this day.
Hawkins saw a window of the video game market left wide open; 3D graphics.
The idea of a 3DO (A games console) was created by Hawkins, he started a new company called the San Mateo Software Group, which soon evolved into The 3DO Company. In 1993, the 3DO came into the market. EA's Need for Speed game, was an early demonstration of the capabilities of the 3DO. EA was a partner in Hawkins' new console and it published a variety of titles for a 3DO including John Madden Football, Road Rash, and Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger.
The 3DO was the most powerful video game console at the time, but it was also the most expensive. It cost $700.
Although the 3DO never really 'took off', when the Sega Saturn, and the Sony Playstation came into the market, the new 32-bit technology appealed to the American public. Electronic Arts transferred some games from the 3DO over to these consoles.
Hawkins appointed Larry Probst as CEO of EA in autumn 1991, however Hawkins remained as chairman of the board for Electronic Arts, until he resigned in July 1994.
Hawkins now spends his time working on his company, Digital Chocolate. It was founded in 2003.
In 2005, Hawkins became the eighth person to be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of fame.
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