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Acclaim Entertainment

Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
Public
Traded as NASDAQ: AKLM
Industry Interactive entertainment
Fate Bankruptcy
Successor Acclaim Games
Founded 1987 (1987)
Founder Greg Fischbach
Defunct September 1, 2004 (2004-09-01)
Headquarters Glen Cove, New York, U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Greg Fischbach, CEO
Products Video games, comic books
Number of employees
800 (2001)[1]
Subsidiaries Iguana Entertainment, Probe Entertainment, Sculptured Software, Valiant Comics
Website Acclaim.com

Acclaim Entertainment (stylized as A«laim) was an American video game developer and publisher. It developed, published, marketed and distributed interactive entertainment software for a variety of hardware platforms, including Mega Drive/Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast, and Game Gear, NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance, PlayStation and PlayStation 2, Xbox, personal computer systems and arcade games. It also released video games for the Sega Master System in Europe.

After Acclaim Entertainment's 2004 demise, the Acclaim brand and logotype were purchased by the unrelated company Acclaim Games (defunct from August 27, 2010). Canadian video game publisher Throwback Entertainment acquired more than 150 titles from Acclaim's video game library. In July 2010, We Go Interactive Co., Ltd., based in Seoul, Korea, purchased all IP related with Re-Volt, RC Revenge Pro, RC De GO from Throwback Entertainment.[2]


History

Founded in 1987 as a Delaware corporation, Acclaim maintained operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Australia, and Japan.[3] In its initial years, Acclaim was exclusively a video game publisher, either farming out the creation of its video games to external developers or localizing existing video games from overseas. But as it grew, it purchased some independent studios, including Iguana Entertainment of Austin, Texas; Probe Entertainment of London, England; and Sculptured Software of Salt Lake City, Utah.[4][5]

The name of the company was picked because it had to be alphabetically above the co-founder's former place of employment, Activision, and also had to be alphabetically above Accolade (another company formed by ex-Activision employees). This was a common formula for picking names of new companies that were founded by ex-Activision employees (the founders of Activision used this formula when they left Atari).

Many of Acclaim's products were licensed titles: games based on comics, television series 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 publication didn't have an American branch, such as Technōs Japan's Double Dragon II: The Revenge and Taito's Bust-a-Move series.

In the 1990s, Sunsoft joined forces with Acclaim Entertainment to handle ad sales rights to Sunsoft's video games for game consoles.

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.

In June 1994, the company switched from video gaming to a media conglomerate.

In 1995, the company acquired Sculptured Software, Iguana Entertainment and Probe Entertainment and the companies switched to the first-party development studio, known as Acclaim Studios from 1999 to 2004.[5] The company also had a motion capture studio built into their headquarters, making them the first video game company to have an in-house motion capture studio.[6]

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. Lastly, they created the ASF/AMC motion capture format which is still in use in the industry today.[7]

Acclaim enjoyed a long relationship with the World Wrestling Federation dating back to 1988's WWF WrestleMania. However, after failing to match the success of World Championship Wrestling's THQ/AKI games amidst the Monday Night Wars, the WWF unexpectedly defected to THQ in 1999. Acclaim then picked up the license to Extreme Championship Wrestling and released two games for the company. ECW declared bankruptcy in 2001 while still owing Acclaim money. The game publisher would release three wrestling titles under the Legends of Wrestling banner in the throes of its final years.[8]

In 2001, Probe Entertainment became Acclaim Cheltenham.

In May, 2002 Acclaim bought most of the assets of the Software Creations studio and established a new development company, known as Acclaim Studios Manchester.[9] In December 2002, Acclaim closed its Salt Lake City studio (formerly veteran developer Sculptured Software).[10]

Acclaim suffered multiple lawsuits, a portion of them with former partners. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen sued over unpaid royalties.[11]

Acclaim suffered financial problems in 2004, the result of poor sales of their video and video game titles. 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, Kung Faux and Made Man.

On September 1, 2004, Acclaim filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, which would virtually annihilate their company in liquidating all possible assets to pay off their debt which reportedly tops USD$100 million.

An attempt to reopen the Cheltenham and Manchester studios in October 2004 (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 was aimed at the US and UK preteen multiplayer markets. However the second iteration of Acclaim did not go well due to connectivity and payment issues for their online games, along with a lack of action against dishonest players, earning that iteration of the company an "F" grade from the Los Angeles/Southern California Better Business Bureau.[12]

In 2006, Throwback Entertainment, a video game company that had once considered acquiring Acclaim Entertainment, announced that it had purchased more than 50 of Acclaim's games, and vowed to bring such titles as Re-Volt, Extreme-G, Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance, Vexx, Fur Fighters and many other franchises into the next generation and beyond.[13]

In July 2010, We Go Interactive Co.,Ltd, based in Seoul, Korea, acquired all IP related with Re-Volt, RC Revenge Pro, RC De Go from Throwback Entertainment.[2]

Controversies

During Acclaim's decline towards bankruptcy, an executive Steve Perry, made several controversial business and marketing decisions. One example was a promise that a US$10,000 (£6000) prize would be awarded to UK parents who would name their baby "Turok", to promote the release of Turok: Evolution.[14] Another was an attempt to buy advertising space on actual tombstones for Shadow Man: 2econd Coming.[14]

In the last iteration of the BMX series, BMX XXX, semi-nude, nude and pornographic content (e.g., full motion video of strippers and nude female riders) was added in hopes of boosting sales.[15] However, like most of its other contemporary titles, BMX XXX sold poorly and was derided for its content and poor gameplay. Dave Mirra himself publicly disowned the game, stating that he was not involved in the decision to include nudity, and he sued Acclaim for fear of being associated with BMX XXX.[16] Another was from Acclaim's own investors, claiming that Acclaim management had published misleading financial reports.[15]

Subsidiaries

Studios

Labels

  • Arena Entertainment, founded as Mirrorsoft, acquired in 1992, discontinued in 1994.
  • Acclaim Max Sports, launched in 2000, Renamed AKA Acclaim in 2002
  • Acclaim Sports, Launched in 1997, discontinued in 2003
  • AKA Acclaim (Athletes Kick Ass), launched in 2002, discontinued in 2003
  • Club Acclaim, launched in 1999, discontinued in 2004
  • Flying Edge in Glen Cove, New York, started in 1991, discontinued in 1994.
  • LJN, founded in 1970, acquired in 1988, closed in 1994. Brand briefly revived in 2000.

Games

Name Release date Platform(s) Ref(s)
18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker 2002 Nintendo GameCube
2001 PlayStation 2
AFL Live 2003 2002 PlayStation 2
Windows
Xbox
AFL Live 2004 2003 PlayStation 2
Windows
Xbox
AFL Live Premiership Edition 2004 PlayStation 2
Windows
Xbox
Alias 2004 PlayStation 2
Mobile
Windows
Xbox
Alien 3 1992 Amiga
1992 Commodore 64
1993 Nintendo Entertainment System
1994 Sega Game Gear
1993 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
1992 Sega Master System
Alien Trilogy 1996 PlayStation 2
Sega Saturn
PlayStation
All-Star Baseball '97 1997 PlayStation
Sega Saturn
MS-DOS
All-Star Baseball '99 1998 Nintendo 64
Game Boy
All-Star Baseball 2000 1999 Nintendo 64
Game Boy Color
All-Star Baseball 2001 2000 Nintendo 64
Game Boy Color
All-Star Baseball 2002 2001 Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
All-Star Baseball 2003 2002 Game Boy Advance
Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
All-Star Baseball 2004 2003 Game Boy Advance
Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
All-Star Baseball 2005 2004 PlayStation 2
Xbox
ATV Quad Power Racing 2 2003 Game Boy Advance
Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M. 1999 Game Boy Color
Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Aggressive Inline 2002 Game Boy Advance
Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Batman & Robin 1998 PlayStation
Batman Forever 1995 DOS
Game Boy
Sega Game Gear
Sega Master System
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Blast Lacrosse 2001 PlayStation
BMX XXX 2002 Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Bubble Bobble/Rainbow Islands 1995 PlayStation
Sega Saturn
Burnout 2002 Nintendo GameCube
2001 PlayStation 2
2002 Xbox
Burnout 2: Point of Impact 2003 Nintendo GameCube
2002 PlayStation 2
2003 Xbox
Bust-a-Move 2 1996 Game Boy
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
Bust a Move 99 1999 Game Boy
Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
College Slam 1996 DOS
Game Boy
PlayStation
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Sega Saturn
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Constructor 1997 PlayStation
Windows
Crazy Taxi 2001 Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation
D 1995 3DO
DOS
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2000 Dreamcast
Game Boy Color
PlayStation
Windows
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 2001 Game Boy Advance
Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 3 2002 Game Boy Advance
Double Dragon II 1991 Game Boy
Double Dragon II: The Revenge 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System
Double Dragon 3: The Arcade Game 1992 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Game Boy
Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones 1991 Nintendo Entertainment System
Dragonheart: Fire & Steel 1996 DOS
Game Boy
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
ECW Anarchy Rulz 2000 Dreamcast
PlayStation
ECW Hardcore Revolution 2000 Dreamcast
Game Boy Color
Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Extreme-G 1997 Nintendo 64
Extreme-G 2 1998 Nintendo 64
Windows
Fantastic Four 1997 PlayStation
Forsaken 1998 Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Windows
Fur Fighters 2000 Dreamcast
2001 PlayStation 2
2000 Windows
Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance 2003 PlayStation 2
Windows
Xbox
Iggy's Reckin' Balls 1998 Nintendo 64
Itchy & Scratchy in Miniature Golf Madness 1994 Game Boy
Jupiter Strike 1995 PlayStation
Justice League Task Force 1995 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Krusty's Fun House 1992 Amiga
DOS
Game Boy
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Game Gear
Sega Master System
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Kevin Sheedy AFL Coach 2002 2001 Windows
Legends of Wrestling 2002 Nintendo GameCube
2001 PlayStation 2
2002 Xbox
Legends of Wrestling II 2002 Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Machines 1999 Windows
Mark Davis' The Fishing Master 1995 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Mary-Kate and Ashley: Get A Clue 1999 Game Boy
Mary-Kate and Ashley: Get A Clue 2 2000 Game Boy Color
Mary-Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall 1999 PlayStation
Windows
Mortal Kombat 1992 DOS
Game Boy
Sega 32X
Sega CD
Sega Game Gear
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Mortal Kombat II 1993 DOS
Sega 32X
Game Boy
Sega Game Gear
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
NBA Jam Extreme 1996 Arcade
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
1997 Windows
NBA Jam 99 1998 Game Boy
Nintendo 64
NBA Jam 2000 1999 Nintendo 64
NBA Jam 2001 2000 Game Boy
NBA Jam 2002 2002 Game Boy Advance
NBA Jam 2003 PlayStation 2
Xbox
NFL Quarterback Club 1993 Game Boy
1995 Sega 32X
1994 Sega Game Gear
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
NFL Quarterback Club 96 December 1995 DOS
Game Boy
Sega Game Gear
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Sega Saturn
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
NFL Quarterback Club 97 1996 DOS
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
NFL Quarterback Club 98 1997 Nintendo 64
NFL Quarterback Club 99 1998 Nintendo 64
NFL Quarterback Club 2000 1999 Dreamcast
Nintendo 64
NFL Quarterback Club 2001NFL QB Club 2001 2000 Dreamcast
Nintendo 64
NFL Quarterback Club 2002NFL QB Club 2002 2001 Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
NHL Breakaway 1998 Nintendo 64
1997 PlayStation
NHL Breakaway '99 1998 Nintendo 64
Othello 1988 Nintendo Entertainment System
Paris-Dakar Rally 2001 PlayStation 2
Windows
Paris-Dakar 2: The World's Ultimate Rally 2003 Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Predator 2 1992 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Rambo 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System
Re-Volt 1999 Arcade
Dreamcast
Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Windows
RC Revenge 2000 PlayStation
RC Revenge Pro 2000 PlayStation 2
Revolution X 1995 PlayStation
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Sega Saturn
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Shadow Man 1999 Dreamcast
Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Windows
Shadow Man: 2econd Coming 2002 PlayStation 2
Showdown: Legends of Wrestling 2004 PlayStation 2
Xbox
Smash TV 1991 Nintendo Entertainment System
South Park 1998 Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Windows
South Park Rally 2000 Dreamcast
Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Windows
South Park: Chef's Luv Shack 1999 Dreamcast
Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Windows
Space Jam 1996 PlayStation
Sega Saturn
Windows
Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six 1992 Nintendo Entertainment System
1993 Sega Game Gear
1992 Sega Master System
Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge 1993 Game Boy
1992 Sega Game Gear
1993 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
1992 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage 1994 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Spider-Man: The Animated Series 1995 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System


Stargate 1995 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Star Voyager 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System
Summer Heat Beach Volleyball 2001 PlayStation 2
The Addams Family 1992 Sega Game Gear
Sega Master System
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
The Itchy & Scratchy Game 1995 Sega Game Gear
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Simpsons: Bart & the Beanstalk 1994 Game Boy
The Simpsons: Bartman Meets Radioactive Man 1992 Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Game Gear
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants 1991 Amiga
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Game Gear
Sega Master System
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World 1991 Amiga
Atari ST
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Master System
Sega Game Gear
The Simpsons: Bart vs. The Juggernauts 1992 Game Boy
The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare 1992 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
TrickStyle 1999 Dreamcast
Windows
Trog! 1991 DOS
Nintendo Entertainment System
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 1997 Game Boy
Nintendo 64
Windows
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil 1998 Game Boy Color
Nintendo 64
Windows
Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion 2000 Game Boy Color
Nintendo 64
Turok: Rage Wars 1999 Game Boy Color
Nintendo 64
Turok: Evolution 2002 Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Windows
Xbox
Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety 1995 DOS
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Vexx 2003 Nintendo GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox
Virtua Tennis 2 2002 PlayStation 2
Virtual Bart 1994 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
WWF in Your House 1996 DOS
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
WWF WrestleMania 1988 Nintendo Entertainment System
WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game 1996 DOS
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Sega Saturn
PlayStation
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
WWF War Zone 1998 Nintendo 64
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
WWF Attitude 1999 Dreamcast
Nintendo 64
PlayStation
WWF Raw 1995 Game Boy
Sega 32x
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
WWF Royal Rumble 1994 Game Boy
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
X-Men: Children of the Atom 1997 DOS
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
XG3: Extreme G Racing 2001 GameCube
PlayStation 2
XGRA: Extreme-G Racing Association 2003 GameCube
PlayStation 2
Xbox

Headquarters

Acclaim had its headquarters in One Acclaim Plaza, located in Glen Cove, New York.[17] Acclaim bought the 3 story, 65,000 square feet (6,000 m2), Class A office building in 1994 for $4 million.[18] Acclaim was originally located in the hamlet of Oyster Bay in the Town of Oyster Bay.[19] It originally occupied a one-room office in Oyster Bay. At a later time it occupied a brick structure with two stories.[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ "L.I. @ WORK; Acclaim Entertainment: Back in the Groove". New York Times. 2003-03-31. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Throwback Press Release: Re-Volt Sale". Throwback Entertainment. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-05-21. 
  3. ^ "Acclaim Entertainment- History Re-Volt Sale". Acclaim Entertainment. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-08-01. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Acclaim to Buy Iguana". New York Times. 1994-12-21. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  5. ^ a b "Acclaim to acquire world's largest independent entertainment software developers; company to purchase both Probe and Sculptured Software in stock swaps. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 1995-10-10. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  6. ^ "Hooray for Hollywood! Acclaim Studios".  
  7. ^ "Acclaim ASF/AMC". Cs.wisc.edu. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  8. ^ McLaughlin, Rus IGN Presents the History of Wrestling Games IGN (November 12, 2008). Retrieved on 2-03-11.
  9. ^ "Software Creations Ltd". MobyGames. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  10. ^ Varanini, Giancarlo. "Acclaim closes Salt Lake City studio". GameSpot. 
  11. ^ "Olsen Twins Sue Acclaim Over Royalties". Los Angeles Times. 2004-04-27. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  12. ^ "Acclaim Games Incorporated Business Review in Beverly Hills, CA". La.bbb.org. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  13. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2006-07-10). "Q&A: Throwback CEO Thomas Maduri".  
  14. ^ a b Turok' maker plays the name game"'". CNET. 2002-08-27. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  15. ^ a b "L.I.@WORK". New York Times. 2003-03-23. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  16. ^ "L.I.@WORK". New York Times. 2003-11-03. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  17. ^ "Headquarters." Acclaim Entertainment. June 23, 2000. Retrieved on July 8, 2010.
  18. ^ "Acclaim buys Glen Cove site." Real Estate Weekly. July 20, 1994. Retrieved on July 8, 2010.
  19. ^ Standard and Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, Volume 1. Standard & Poor's, 1995. Page listing Acclaim. Retrieved from Google Books on July 8, 2010. "ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT INC. (See Corporate Information Section) 71 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay, NY 11771"
  20. ^ Pederson, James P. International Directory of Company Histories, Volume 24. St. James Press, 1998. Approx. Pages 3-7-ish. Retrieved from Google Books on July 8, 2010. ISBN 1-55862-365-5, ISBN 978-1-55862-365-1 "Acclaim went from a shoestring budget and one-room office in Oyster Bay, to a two-story brick structure,"

External links

  • Official website (maintained by the Wayback Machine) (1999–2004)
  • MobyGames' entry on Acclaim Entertainment
  • "Acclaim: back from the dead" at GameSpot
  • "Top 10 Acclaim Games" at GameSpy
  • 1up.com's list of the ten worst titles published by Acclaim
  • An employee's account of the late years at Acclaim
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