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Voyager: Windows-compatible software.

NEW YORK--The Voyager Co., a publisher of entertainment based CD-ROMs, laserdiscs, books on floppy disks, and multimedia development tools, is releasing several Windows-compatible versions of its software.

Voyager, founded in 1984, has won critical acclaim for CD-ROM releases. A Hard Day's Night, which Voyager published in 1992, was the first full-length movie made available on CD-ROM. But the company has had difficulty gaining access to mass market channels.

Wal-Mart and Egghead Software are among retailers that carry Voyager's better-known releases, including Baseball's Greatest Hits and People: 20 Years of Pop Culture, but most have been slow to embrace the company's titles due to the Macintosh focus, according to the company.

Voyager says it has decided to convert its entire list of 50 CD-ROM titles to a Windows format, and to develop all future titles for both Mac and Windows wherever possible.

"Our authors have important things to say and we want to bring them to as broad an audience as possible," said Robert Stein, the company's co-founder and creative director.

A Windows version of one release, The Resident's Freak Show, is currently shipping with a suggested retail price of $49.95, as well as a Macintosh/Windows hybrid disk which will run on both platforms. A Windows version of the company's dog simulator, P.A.W.S. and Voyager's This Is Spinal Tap CD-ROM will be available for Windows in early spring.

Voyager has made a successful foray into book and record stores, including Barnes & Noble and Tower Records, with its Spinner Rack merchandising packages. Designed to "Radically increase CD-ROM sales," the 20-by-20-inch Spinner Racks display up to 196 CD-ROM titles in 48 facings, and are supplied to stores with brochures and training.

"With the help of the Spinner Racks, we're probably one of the best established software publishers in the book store channels," said George White, director of retail sales. "We're now making a concerted effort to seek out both new distributors and channels."

Ingram Micro, GT Interactive Software and Merisel have distributed several Voyager titles during the last year.

In addition, Voyager has entered into a special nine-title promotion agreement with Software Etc. Under the agreement, Voyager will size up its packaging to fit into Software Etc.'s retail plan.

Most Voyager software comes packaged in what the company terms "digi-boxes," which are smaller and flatter than most current software packaging. "We're committed to digi-box packaging," said White. "I don't think the point is too far away where other publishers are going to be forced to scale down to this size."

The Resident's Freak Show, created by award-winning animator Jim Ludtke, takes users on an interactive jaunt through an eerie carnival world. P.A.W.S., the dog simulator, lets users do things like navigate the backyard, bury bones and chase cats.

Voyager's This Is Spinal Tap CD-ROM is the first feature-length film to be presented with 16-bit Dolby stereo surround sound.

The company adapted technology used in its Criterion Collection of laserdiscs to feature multiple soundtracks for Spinal Tap. This Is Spinal Tap, which also includes over an hour of footage of the cast and crew not seen in the movie, will carry a suggested retail price of $34.95.
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Title Annotation:special section: The Computer & Software Network
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Date:Feb 6, 1995
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