|Scott Miller didn't create the
try-before-you-buy concept of shareware, but he was the
first one to make it profitable. In 1987, Miller realized
that selling an entire game online would not make money,
so he put his marketing education into action and split
his 75-level Kroz game into three episodes, releasing the
first episode, Kingdom of Kroz, as shareware. It served
as a self-perpetuating advertisement for the remaining
two episodes. He was soon bringing in more income from
his game sales than from his day job - as much as $500 a
day and $2000 per week.
That's how the "Apogee Model" of shareware marketing was created. Miller and his partner at Apogee, George Broussard, soon found themselves applying this model to games from little-known companies, such as id Software and Epic MegaGames. "Without taking anything away from these great companies," said Miller, "I doubt that either would be around if it weren't for Apogee showing that it is possible to be successful as a shareware games company." Apogee games also introduced cheat codes and a save/restore option, dropped the concept of "lives" or "men," and offer a parental lockout option.
Apogee was eventually inducted into the Shareware Hall of Fame, and President Scott Miller became one of five recipients of the Shareware Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also one of The Most Influential People in Computer Gaming of All Time.