From Sega Retro


Zono logo.png
Founded: 1991-07-25
Defunct: 2007-12
Merged into: MumboJumbo (2006)
1991:  Costa Mesa, California, United States[1]
2007:  El Segundo, California, United States

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Zono Inc. was an American video game developer headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. Founded on July 25, 1991, by Ed Zobrist and William Novak, the studio produced games for clients like Sega, Sony, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Microsoft, Fox Interactive, Activision, and Virgin Interactive.[2]


I had my own software development company and we could only afford to hire inexperienced people. So, the new people coming in had to be taught how to perform their work- whether it was on the design side, game art or programming.

William Novak[3]

During the troubled 1995 development of Mr. Bones, the game's producer Ed Annunziata began looking for another company to finish development. Ed Zobrist of Pacific SoftScape reached out to Annunziata about filling that role, which resulted in the game being largely finished by Pacific SoftScape staff. This also resulted in a number of SoftScape staff migrating to Zono.[4]

Sometime in the early 2000's, Mark Miller (then serving as audio director of Harmonix) contracted Zono's William Novak for the development of a $30,000 music rhythm game prototype. This concept would later evolve into 2005's Guitar Hero.[5] That same year, Zono was acquired by fellow game developer MumboJumbo and renamed MumboJumbo LA. In 2007, the company was moved to El Segundo, California. In December 2007, MumboJumbo closed MumboJumbo LA and terminated all employees.


Mega Drive

  • (1993) (design)
  • (1995) (design)
  • (unreleased)


  • (1996)


  1. https://www.linkedin.com/in/keith-freiheit-10145679/
  2. https://woodbury.edu/news/the-many-creative-sides-of-novak/ (Wayback Machine: 2023-10-19 12:08)
  3. https://www.animationcareerreview.com/articles/fun-games-woodbury-university-qa-game-art-design-chair-william-novak (Wayback Machine: 2022-12-03 12:37)
  4. K Horowitz (2016). Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games
  5. K Horowitz (2016). Playing at the Next Level: A History of American Sega Games