Highly invested in technology and a bit of a geek himself, he made video games his greatest passion. A surprise, even for him, when he was playing Pong in 1972. This discovery hit him again in 1980 when he had the mission to program “Tanks”, another game, on Sharp PC-1211 and ZX81.
So, he was expected to become a creator of online games. Creating video games was inevitable for his career and it comes with no surprise if today, he is still evolving towards this main target. This area of expertise is noticeable in all positions he held in the past. Before owning his own company, he started as a studio manager in Toonslab, a firm based in Mauritius. He also became the co-owner of Linux Cyberjoueurs during more than seven years. Even his position as project manager at Orange is linked to technology.
Only later, he’s considered as one of the pioneers of networks at Canal 4 where he worked during about three years. He is also an actor of the launching of the internet in France.
Stephane Portha, his Excalibur was the Pong game
Just as the young Arthur, Stephane Portha became the most powerfull digital knight, by removing his sword from the roc. His digital Excalibur was the Pong game, wich he discovered at the age of six, in 1972. Immediatly, and instinctively, he knew that his Graal will be the ultimate digital entertainement. He started his quest in 1980, by designing his first homemade video game called Tank. He used the digital tools of the 80’s, the Sharp PC-1211 and the ZX81 machines. His game happen to be quite fun and playable. It already earned him a success in the french gaming microcosm. The next stage of his quest was to find a way to play with many other players. At that time, the only french information network available was the Minitel. He began to pay attention to its development and started designing multiplayers games for the Minitel platform. This work process gave him a true passion for the information in all directions networks. His digital Graal quest may now get further, with an independant bunch of passionated digital knights.
One can say that Stephane was a real pioneer of the Internet. First, he worked on the Minitel, developing one of the first games for this medium. The Minitel would be a major technological reference in the 1980’s and 1990’s in France, and is still remembered with nostalgia by many. His game was very successful.
At some point, Stephane also worked on the launch of Internet in France. Internet is now part of our daily lives, but one has to remember that not too long ago, many people didn’t even know it existed, and much less even had access to it. So Stephane’s work was a major milestone for the web in France.
Games were also very much his passion, and he created his own company of online games in the year 2000. Back in the day the market for online games was still a baby, so we can only admire the intuition of a man who understood long before anyone else that there would be a major boom and some serious ground for entrepreneurship in the online games field.
His passion for video games brought him to set up a business related to this area. Ten years after his programming mission, he created Eurocenter, a company that allows him to focus both on his dedication for video games and on his pursuit of technological innovations. This company sold network games on Minitel and later, traded Graalonline massively multiplayer (MO).
The company did not stop its progress and contributed to the launching of many games on Appstore. For instance, Graalonline Zone, the first MMO game used on Smartphone iOS, which confirms again that this company was among the firsts to develop that kind of technology. The firm changed its name since then and is now named “Eurocenter Games”.
With 8 millions games spread on Appstore, one can say that the success has been phenomenal for this start-up company. Despite that, the firm did not reject some values and keeps on following the principles of independent game developers and most of all, it remains committed to its player base community.
Stephane, “Pendragon” Portha remained faithfull to the oath he took over his Pong Excalibur. He found his Graal, the ultimate modern digital entertainment. In 2007, Eurocenter, called Eurocenter Games, marketed the very first games sold on Appstore. The new intergalactic version of Graalonline, called Graalonline Zone, became the first multiplayers freetoplay game designed especialy for the Smartphone platform iOS. Three additionnal versions of Graalonline, designed especialy for today’s platforms such as Android or iOS, followed. Graalonline classical +, a modernisation of the medieval universe game, Graalonline Zone +, modern version of the intergalactic universe game, and Era +, ultimate version, screening the palyers in moderns and urbans surroundings, where they must build their own mafia empires. Today, Eurocenter company has sold some 8 millions games on Appstore. Stéphane Portha remains definitively the french digital king Arthur.
One can say that this entrepreneur, despite his success, always kept his simplicity and focused only on the work. He never quit looking for the best way to improve technology and to satisfy the users.
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