Al Lowe, the creator of the Leisure Suit Larry series and a principal figure in the early days of PC video gaming through his work at Sierra On-Line, has put all of his source code on eBay — including to the original Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards and Leisure Suit Larry 2, where both are commanding bids greater than $7,500.
Lowe, 72, who also was the lead programmer for King’s Quest 3 and Police Quest, discussed the sale in a video posted yesterday by YouTuber MetalJesusRocks. “I backed everything up because I knew Sierra didn’t,” Lowe said, explaining the provenance of his source code file. Most of it is on old 5-1/4 inch floppy (as in, actually floppy) disks, for that bona fide retro feel. Assuming collectors have a drive to access it, Lowe says they can put it into a text editor to read the code, as it’s all text.
“When I finished creating Larry 2, I thought I should keep a clean archive of everything needed to recreate the game, so I copied all the source code, text, animation, background art, music, sound effect … everything I could to these floppies,” Lowe explains in the listing for Leisure Suit Larry 2. “I then packed them in a box (that once contained blank floppies that I bought to produce my games before my Sierra days). I then put that yellow box into a black storage box where it sat, undisturbed, for over 30 years!
It’s important to note (as Lowe does) that this is only his copy of the code, and it doesn’t give the eventual owner any rights over the games, nor to distribute the code. “The IP rights were sold over and over again, until they are now owned by a German game company,” Lowe wrote.
The listing includes a first-run floppy of Softporn, which Lowe says was the game that inspired him to make the Leisure Suit Larry series. That is fetching a price of $210.50 as of the time of writing. Other highlights:
- Bop-a-Bet, an “extremely rare Apple ][ game” from 1982, going for $1,009 right now.
- A “Christmas Card” disk Sierra originally sent out to friends and family of the company over the holidays. “Since it’s lettered in my handwriting, I suspect this is the disk that was used to create the master disk,” Lowe writes. That’s going for $355.00.
- The source code to Leisure Suit Larry 2, now going for $8,001.
- And the source code to Leisure Suit Larry from 1987, fetching $7,601.
Lowe says more code will follow on eBay (these initial listings run for the next eight days or so).
Leisure Suit Larry last appeared in 2013 in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded by Replay Games, with Lowe back on board as a designer. It was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2012. Lowe, however, later quit Replay Games following the conviction of that studio’s president on a charge of showing an explicit video to a minor.