Sunday, October 15, 2006
Acclaim Entertainment History
Acclaim Entertainment was an American video game developer and publisher. It developed, published, marketed, and distributed interactive entertainment software for a variety of hardware platforms, including Sega's Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast, and Game Gear, Nintendo's NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance, Sony's PlayStation and PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and, to a lesser extent, personal computer systems and arcade games.
Founded in 1987 as a Delaware corporation, Acclaim maintained operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Australia, and Japan. As they grew, they purchased some independent studios, including Iguana Entertainment of Austin, Texas, and Sculptured Software of Salt Lake City, Utah
Many of Acclaim's products were licensed titles: games based on comics, television series (including wrestling shows) and movies. They were also responsible for the ports of many of Midway's arcade games in the early-to-mid 1990s, including the Mortal Kombat series. They also published some games from other companies that at the time of publishment didn't have an American branch, such as Rare's Wizards and Warriors, Technos Japan's Double Dragon II and Taito's Bust-A-Move series.
The waning of the arcade game industry, coupled with some poor sales and public enthusiasm from several key titles led to the eventual loss of many of their licenses. One result of this was their late refactoring of the Dave Mirra's Freestyle BMX series. Late into development, nude, and semi-nude content (e.g., full motion video of strippers and nude female riders) was added in hopes of boosting sales. However, like most of their other contemporary titles, BMX XXX sold poorly and was derided for its trashy content and poor gameplay. To add to that, their arcade game Batman Forever had poor sales also due to poor gameplay.
A less significant aspect of Acclaim's business was the development and publication of strategy guides relating to their software products and the issuance of "special edition" comic magazines, via Acclaim Comics, to support the more lucrative brand names.
During Acclaim's decline towards bankruptcy, they made several infamous business and marketing decisions. One example was a promise to UK gamers that a 500 pound prize would be awarded to up to five winners who would name their baby "Turok", to promote the release of Turok Evolution. Another was an attempt to buy advertising space on actual tombstones for a Shadowman game.
Acclaim also suffered multiple lawsuits, a portion of them with former partners. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen sued over unpaid royalties. Dave Mirra sued for fear of being associated with BMX XXX. Another was from Acclaim's own investors, claiming that Acclaim management had published misleading financial reports.
Acclaim suffered severe financial problems in 2004, the result of most of their video and computer game titles selling very poorly. This resulted in the closure of Acclaim Studios Cheltenham and Acclaim Studios Manchester in England and other places and their filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, leaving many employees unpaid. Amongst the titles under development at the UK studios were Emergency Mayhem, and Made Man.
On 1 September 2004, Acclaim filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New York, which will virtually annihilate their company in liquidating all possible assets to pay off their enormous debt which reportedly tops USD$100 million.
An attempt to reopen the Cheltenham and Manchester studios (under the new name Exclaim) failed due to legal wrangling over IP, with both the US and UK administrators claiming rights.
In August 2005, former Activision executive Howard Marks purchased the name "Acclaim" for a reported $100,000. In the beginning of 2006, Marks formed a new company called Acclaim Games. According to a job listing for the company, Acclaim Games will "be the first US major brand to bring some of the most successful online games in the world, specifically designed to meet the community and multiplayer experience that the 36 million U.S. tweens and the 41 million European tweens want."
On 7 July 2006, Throwback Entertainment announced that it acquired over 150 Acclaim-published titles and vows to bring some into the next-generation.
AFL Live 2003 PC, PS2, XBOX
AFL Live 2004 PC, PS2, XBOX
AFL Live Premiership Edition PC, PS2, XBOX
All-Star Baseball PS, PS2, N64, Xbox, GameCube
Armorines: Project Swarm PS, N64, GBC
Aggressive Inline PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Blast Lacrosse PS
BMX XXX Xbox, GameCube
Burnout PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Crazy Taxi Game cube,PS2,Game boy,Arcade coin machene
D PS, Saturn, 3D0, PC
ECW Anarchy Rulz Dreamcast, PS
ECW Hardcore Revolution Dreamcast, PS, N64, GBC
Extreme-G 2 N64, PC
Extreme-G 3 PS2, GameCube
XGRA: Extreme-G Racing Association PS2, GameCube, Xbox
Fantastic Four PS
Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance PS2, XBox, PC
Juiced PC, PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Jupiter Strike PS
Legends of Wrestling PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Legends of Wrestling II PS2, Xbox, GameCube
Marvel's X-Men NES
Re-volt Dreamcast, PS, N64, PC
Shadowman Dreamcast, N64, PS, PC
Shadowman: 2econd Coming PS2
Showdown: Legends of Wrestling PS2, Xbox
Smash TV NES
South Park PS, N64, PC
South Park Rally PS, N64, PC, Dreamcast
South Park: Chef's Luv Shack PS, N64, PC, Dreamcast
Space Jam PS, Saturn, PC
Summer Heat Beach Volleyball PS2
The Simpsons: Bart and the Beanstalk GB
The Simpsons: Bart Meets Radioactive Man NES
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants NES, Master System
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World NES
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Juggernauts GB
The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare SNES, Genesis
The Simpsons: Virtual Bart SNES, Genesis
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter N64, PC
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil N64, GBC, PC
Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion N64
Turok: Rage Wars N64, GBC
Turok: Evolution PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC
WWF In Your House PS
WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game SNES, Genesis, Saturn, Arcade, PS
WWF War Zone PS, N64
WWF Attitude PS, N64
Vexx PS2, Xbox, GameCube