Yvan lists The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3 for short) is just around the corner where we’ll be able get hands-on experience with the latest that gaming publishers have to offer. Sadly, throughout the years, there have been casualties whether it’s due poor sales, moving onto mobile platforms, or simply going bankrupt. It’s not all bad though, as a lot of your beloved franchises have been reborn through other publishers.
Here, we list the bigger casualties from years past which we sadly won’t be seeing at this years E3.
If you were a kid playing video games in the 90’s, you’d recognise the Acclaim logo (although it kind of looked like it was meant to say Acclaim) from games like Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, as well as the Turok series, a slew of WWF and Simpsons games. Acclaim were around during the 3rd generation of consoles, making games for the NES all the way through to the PS2.
In September 2004, Acclaim filed for bankruptcy and were left with over $100 million in debt. But it doesn’t end there, Acclaim saw the light of day again. Originally known as Acclaim Entertainment, the “Acclaim” name was purchased for $100,000 on August of 2005. In 2006, Acclaim was reborn as Acclaim Games.
Unfortunately this was Acclaim by name alone, so many of the beloved IPs that they had once brought to life was in the hands of other developers. However, Acclaim Games managed to release 14 titles before Playdom acquired them in May 2010, and only three months later Acclaim Games closed their doors.
Starting in the video game industry with pinball games and arcade machines, Midway eventually found themselves working on making games for home consoles, known for working on games like Joust, Tapper, Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, Rampage and Total Carnage.
In the year 2000 (during the 6th generation of consoles), Midway was ranked the 4th largest-selling video game publisher. By the end of the 2000’s, Midway’s worth plummeted, where 87% share of the company was sold for $100,000.
By February 2009, Midway Games filed for bankruptcy, where Warner Brothers purchased most of Midways assets, including Mortal Kombat.
Starting as a toy company in the early 90’s, moved onto making video games in 1995. Having a number of their own IPs, like Saints Row, Company of Heroes, Warhammer 40,000, Red Faction and others, as well as having licensing agreements with WWE, Nickelodeon and Disney.
In August of 2010, THQ revealed the uDraw, an accessory for the Nintendo Wii that would allow users to draw on the tablet accessory and interact with their television. The uDraw accessory was eventually released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 but unfortunately for THQ it was a commercial failure, and is considered to be the main causes to why THQ declared bankruptcy in December 2012. THQ declared bankruptcy with many of the companies IPs being purchased by Sega, Koch Media, Crytek and Nordic Games.
If you had a PC or Mac in the 90’s then you should know who these guys are. Famous for their point and click adventures, such as Sam & Max Hit the Road, Full Throttle and the Monkey Island series. Most of these point and click games worked around the idea of observation, problem solving and puzzles.
It was also involved in making a number of Star Wars and Indiana Jones games, al under the Lucas umbrella. Unlike most other companies on this list, LucasArts didn’t go bankrupt, but were acquired by The Walt Disney Company in October 2012.
However, all games that LucasArts had been working on (including a number of Star Wars games) had been put on hold. In April 2013, LucasArts would cease operation as a video game developer and any future games would be developed by Disney Interactive Studios or licence through third-parties.
Shortly after, in May 2013, it was revealed that Electronic Arts would develop any futures Star Wars games, including Star Wars Battlefront.
This one hurts a little. Once a hardware manufacturer, ranging from the third generation of consoles, with the SG-1000, to the sixth generation of consoles, with the shortly lived Dreamcast.
Sega has had it’s fair share of commercial failures ranging from the Mega Drive/Genesis add-ons (32X and Mega CD/Sega CD) to the rushed launch of the Sega Saturn as well as it’s new competitor into the market, the Sony PlayStation.
Sega’s last console, the Dreamcast, was released in November 1998 in Japan, and almost a year later in western markets. Unfortunately the Dreamcast’s sales was not enough which changed Sega’s focus to make software on other platforms.
Sega has since become a third party developer, making games for both home console, PC and mobile platforms, but has since moved their focus away from physical media releases after lacklustre sales of some of their major releases from last year like Sonic Boom and Alien Isolation.
In May of this year, Sega announced they would not be attending E3 2015.
With the majority of our bigger titles launching later in 2015/2016, particularly those from our AAA studios Relic Entertainment, Sports Interactive and Creative Assembly, we are concentrating our efforts for some of these major announcements after our relocation. Instead, we will be collaborating with our various business partners for this year’s E3 show.
The good news here is it may not mean the end for Sega at E3.
Sega will have at least one game at E3, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which will be published by Nintendo.