|Not to be confused with Acclaim Games.|
"Acclaim Entertainment, one of the earliest video game companies to get finacially effect, pardon the acronyms profanity filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy, liquid izing its assets and bringing an end to an era in one of the widely regarded worst developers and publishers in the industry's history."— Classic Games Room
Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. was an American video game company based in Glen Cove, New York. Originally formed by Greg Fischbach, Robert Holmes and Jim Scoroposki out of an Oyster Bay storefront in 1987, the company established a worldwide development team through a series of acquisitions in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After poor financial returns in their 2003 fiscal year, Acclaim filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closed on September 1, 2004.
This company is well known for their created franchises, such as Turok, Burnout, NBA Jam, many of Acclaim's products used licenses from popular comics, television series and movies. Acclaim didn't develop games by themselves, they have their development studios under the Acclaim Studios name, which they are their purchased independent studios, including Iguana Entertainment of Austin, Texas; Probe Entertainment of London, England; and Sculptured Software of Salt Lake City, Utah. A Japanese division, Acclaim Japan, was also exclusively a Japanese video game publisher, located in Tokyo, Japan. It handled publishing and distribution in that region, as well as a few Japan-only games.
Why They Weren't Acclaimed
- Like Electronic Arts, due to their "expand through acquisition" policy, they mostly took over several developers/publishers for very large and easy cash-in, this policy would backfire on them later in 2004 after they went bankrupt, closed all subsidiaries and sold off many of their franchises and assets.
- They also acquired Hudson Soft American branch's rights for all of its yet-to-be-released games and the American branch was closed, but they never released Hudson Soft's games.
- While not often known for publishing shovelware games in all time, but one of the main examples of NES shovelware, alongside LJN, which Acclaim acquired in 1990.
- Notorious for poorly using licenses, which many of the games they publish are movie or television tie-in games that range from mediocre to terrible, such as their The Simpsons, South Park Trilogy and Mary-Kate & Ashley games.
- Stupid and incompetent decision-making. As can be seen by several marketing campaigns, that an entire page is dedicated to them. An example is when they published Turok: Evolution they would pay money if a person legally renamed themselves or named a newborn baby "Turok".
- Their N64 games had a nasty habit of corrupting the memory pak on boot-up and performing a "repair" that almost always resulted in erasing all the data on it.
- Their PC ports pretty much universally ran atrociously and were filled with bugs.
- They rushed their games, such as Shadow Man: 2econd Coming.
- They've also ruined beloved franchises, like Shadow Man (with Shadow Man: 2econd Coming) and NBA Jam (from NBA Jam 2001 to 2002).
- In later years, Acclaim never paid any of their licenses, leading to them getting sued a lot. They also frequently broke employment contracts, which led to them being sued even more.
- They laid off Iguana Entertainment founder Jeff Spangenberg over money constraints a year before his contract expired (the resulting legal action was settled out of court), who later founded Retro Studios, which went on to make many well-received games such as the Metroid Prime trilogy and Donkey Kong Country Returns.
- This is something of a double-edged sword (or more exactly, a very particular single-edged sword) since Spangenberg also almost destroyed Retro Studios before Nintendo bought out his share of the company. Issues included Spangenberg's rockstar lifestyle, his almost never being present at the company he was supposed to be CEO of, Retro starting out working on four projects at once, turning up in a brand-new Ferrari to lay off half the workforce after Nintendo visited and saw what was actually going on at the company, and having workplace issues up to and including staff running porn sites from Retro's corporate servers and embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- During these years, Acclaim Entertainment and their subsidiaries actually did have a bunch of good games, such as Extreme-G series, ZooCube, Shadow Man, Forsaken, first two Burnout games, Dakar 2 (a sequel to Paris-Dakar Rally), Turok series, Re-Volt, Alien: Trilogy, RC Revenge, All-Star Baseball series (Starring from 99 to 2005), NBA Jam (99, 2000 and the 2003 PS2/Xbox game), Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX series (and no, BMX XXX does not count), Vexx, Fur Fighters, Worms 3D, CRW: Counter Revolution War (Japan-only), and more.
- Even though many of their wrestling games are bad, they also had some good wrestling games such as the SNES / Sega Mega Drive WWF WrestleMania games (which published by them in Japan, LJN in Western markets, but with the exception of the Sega Mega Drive port of WWF Raw), WWF Attitude and WWF War Zone on the Nintendo 64, and the home ports of the arcade game.
- They had a great relationship with Taito Corporation, localizing their games to Western markets in the 1990s to 2000s after its American branch was closed in 1995.
- 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, and the faithful PlayStation 2 and GameCube ports of Crazy Taxi and 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker, they also published a few other PS2 Sega titles in the US and Europe.
- They've also made awesome comic series.
On September 1st, 2004, the trademark and logos associated with Acclaim Entertainment were purchased by former Activision CEO Howard Marks for $100,000. He later used these when he formed a new company, Acclaim Games, on January 6, 2006. This company, much like the modern forms of Coleco and Atari, had no actual relation to the old Acclaim. Neither did it own any of Acclaim's old IPs, and instead, it focused on browser-based MMORPGs. It was bought out by Disney subsidiary Playdom in August 2010: three months later, Playdom shut down Acclaim Games.
In 2005, Acclaim's former IPs were put up for sale. The Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX and ATV: Quad Power Racing series were purchased by Crave Entertainment. Juiced was purchased by THQ, Emergency Mayhem was purchased by Codemasters, Interview with a Made Man was purchased by former employees of Acclaim Studios Manchester's new company, SilverBack Studios, Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers was purchased by SouthPeak Games, 100 Bullets was purchased by D3 Publisher and The Red Star was purchased by budget publisher XS Games.
In 2006, Throwback Entertainment purchased more than 50 of Acclaim's games, including Re-Volt, Extreme-G, Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance, Vexx, and Fur Fighters.
Acclaim's headquarters were sold to Pistilli Realty Group for $6 million in November 2004.
In July 2010, South Korean based company We Go Interactive purchased Re-Volt, RC Revenge, and RC De Go! (developed and owned by Taito) from Throwback.
In May 2016, the Acclaim brand itself, and not any of the IP previously held by Acclaim, was acquired by Collectorvision, an independent game developer, publisher and manufacturer.
In October 2018, Liquid Media Group purchased 65 Acclaim titles from Throwback for $1 million, including games from the NBA Jam, AFL Live, All-Star Baseball and NFL Quarterback Club franchises.