- Eric M. Scharf has always displayed a strong aptitude towards creativity –
in strategy, design, content generation, and communication. He
originally intended to pursue a career in the graphic design /
visual communication field which – to this day – remains the
critical link between most forms of entertainment.
Following two years within an exclusive
high school commercial art program – where he augmented his aptitude – Eric
continued to enhance the quality of his craft at California
Institute of the Arts (CalArts) from 1989-1993. An
oversaturated, undervalued graphic design field, however,
encouraged Eric to invest his skills in a different direction.
Brøderbund Software visited CalArts’ Character Animation
department in the School of Film / Video in the spring of 1991.
Brøderbund was in search of their first-ever Computer Graphic
Artist intern. Eric interviewed with Brøderbund’s then-Creative
Director, Michelle Bushneff. Two weeks later – and as the
acceptance letter read “after an exhaustive international
search” – Brøderbund found their intern and, thus, began Eric’s
games industry career.
Upon finishing his internship, Eric returned to CalArts to
continue with his degree – not yet knowing whether his brief
taste of the games industry ingredients would make for some
serious career cuisine. Eric was hired at the end of that same
year by Activision Studios to become a primary member of one of
their most talented development teams (tasked with rejuvenating
their popular-but-age-old “Zork” text adventure video game
series). The latest edition – “Return To Zork” – gave the series
a first-ever rendered-graphic adventure and unmatched (at the
time) user interface. RTZ was a multi-sku, million-plus selling
success and the key to ensuring Activision’s permanent survival
of some delicate financial conditions.
Years later – along with numerous game development studios and a
wide range of products (from entertainment to medicinal to
military) – Eric became a family man and made a conscious effort
to better guard against market volatility by further
diversifying his skill set through product management roles
within the Chicago-area corporate digital space (representing both
business clients and interactive agencies alike).
he has maintained a balance with and connection to the games
industry through a variety of flexible-term commitments, Eric is
always interested in other new and exciting creative technology
which he can further expand his hybrid expertise.