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Software expert produced 'Madden' football video game


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POSTED: Saturday, September 26, 2009

A computer software businessman who produced the most successful sports video game of all time died in Kaneohe after a battle with colon cancer.

Michael Anthony Knox died Sept. 15 surrounded by family members. He was 48.

In 1989, Knox established Park Place Productions, a company that marketed and produced the original "John Madden Football" video game, described to be "the most successful sports game of all time." Other popular video games under his company included "Monday Night Football," "Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing" and "Batman Returns."

His interest in the industry started when a woman in the computer field familiarized Knox with video games when his family lived in Tracy, Calif. He and older brother Richard Knox Jr. later joined the Navy where he became a "highly skilled computer programmer and engineer," according to his Web page at http://www.geocities.com/mikeknox61/mikeknox.html. "He had a good ability of grasping the computer concept," said brother Richard Knox Jr. yesterday.

""  Knox later started Park Place Productions, which was recognized "as one of North America's largest independent software design and development software houses," his Web page said. The company developed more than 70 software titles.

Knox was a great businessman who had a magnetic personality, added his brother. "He had a way of connecting with people."

In 1993 he and his business partner, Troy London, were recipients of INC. Magazine's "Entrepreneur of the Year" award by Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch for the software industry category for the Greater San Diego Country, according to his Web page.

Knox is also survived by parents Vickie Lenore Knox and Richard James Knox Sr., son Aaron Michael Knox, daughter Tyra Renee Knox, sisters Kanani L.Y. Fung and Kahle Miller, and two grandchildren. Services are private.