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Acclaim Entertainment Files for Bankruptcy 118

Prof. Jonathan Ezor, Touro Law Center writes "According to this story in Long Island Business News, Acclaim Entertainment has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Eastern District of New York bankruptcy court, meaning it will liquidate its assets and shut down. The story states in part, 'Computer game maker Acclaim Entertainment (Nasdaq: AKLM) has filed for voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which would result in the liquidation of the company's assets. The company filed papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Central Islip that estimated its debts at more than $100 million and its assets at $10 million to $50 million. The filing said it had more than 200 creditors.' Game Over."
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Acclaim Entertainment Files for Bankruptcy

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  • Constructor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Talrias ( 705583 ) <chris AT starglade DOT org> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:10PM (#10133637) Homepage
    Constructor was my favourite Acclaim game, grumpy foremen, hired gangsters, people who you were supposed to thank after you moved them into a *pyramid* (surely it should be the other way around...), sending around the undesirables to mess up your opponent's city (go the clown!).

    A great game - I've never seen anything quite like it. Anyone know of anything similar to this?
  • good riddance... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by I judge you ( 796415 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:20PM (#10133703)
    ...to bad luggage.

    Among the whole field of lousy game publishers, they were very close to the bottom. Maybe outshined by crooks at Take Two? Not that Acclaim wasn't crooked...

  • Job opportunities (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MasterDirk ( 659057 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:26PM (#10133751)

    Taken from Acclaim's own pages, right now (linkage [acclaim.com]):

    Acclaim Entertainment is one of the world's leading developers and publishers of video games. We are proud of the brands we have made famous over the years - brands such as Mortal Kombat, Turok, All-Star Baseball and Dave Mirra's BMX - but we are not content to rest on our laurels. Our industry is evolving at an ever increasing speed and we must continually push the boundaries of technology to provide entertaining, exciting and challenging video games.

    To do that, we need the best and brightest stars in our game development studios and our corporate departments. We need ideas, solutions, new innovations, strong opinions and dedication. We need YOU!

    Take it to the next level - Send your resume to Acclaim!

    Don't think I'll be sending in my resume after all

  • Game publishers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RsG ( 809189 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @07:29PM (#10133770)
    Is it just me or are game publishers dying off? Sierra, Interplay and now Acclaim are all gone, or as good as dead. Moreover, IMHO we're seeing less and less new titles, and more sequels, rip-offs and shovelware.

    A long time ago I read something to the effect that we'll see the death of the game industry (computer and console) if Moore's law slows down/stops/ceases to aplly to gaming. If new technology can't improve on last years games by a significant margin, then the industry's business model is in _real_ trouble (which might explain the abundance of sequels).

    I know that, other than Doom 3 and Thief 3, it's been a long time since I bought a new release (no, I don't pirate). The last few original games I've liked had gameplay that was refined, but not really _new_ as such. Dungeon Siege, for example, was basically Diable meets Icewind Dale; it was good and well executed, but not really a new idea.

    I'm not being a nostalgic geezer here, I really think we could be in trouble. Anyone care to comment?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @08:06PM (#10133998)
    Acclaim has always been on this cycle of boom and bust. They had NBA Jam and Mortal Kombat (neither of which were original titles - they were ports). Then things started to get a bit tight around the transition time between genesis/snes and saturn/ps1 (some baaad games came out for these - some, thankfully, never saw the light of day because they were sooo bad). Then came Turok. This got them going again. Did they rest on their laurels? Nah! They just started spending money like there was no tomorrow.
    It all started to go really downhill with pretty much every product after N64. It's taken several years for them to die but they lost the momentum a *long* time ago. A string of very poor quality, dubiously marketed games got them in this position.
    Is Acclaim management all to blame? Well, frankly, yes. Not just those in Glencove but all of the management. But the studio management teams had their hands tied by Glen Cove.
    Have you noticed that the only part of the management team that has survived any appreciable period of time is Fishbach, Scorpowski and Cousins?
    All the rest were fired or jumped ship.
    They went through many CFO's, CTO's, COO's (and whatever made up job titles they came up with) within a very short period of time. The staffing turnover rate in glen cove was amazing.
    I recall a meeting once where we were told, "if we don't pull out of this, we're going to hit a mountain". Today, they hit the mountain and slid down it in a big heap.

    My thoughts go out to the employees who found out they were laid off when they couldn't get in to their offices. The management team never even had the decency to tell them they were no longer employed.
  • Re:Game publishers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pommiekiwifruit ( 570416 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @08:28PM (#10134119)
    Well, about 30 games developers have gone bust in the UK alone in the last 18 months...
  • Re:Creditor info... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colazar ( 707548 ) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @08:34PM (#10134174)
    I work at a collection agency, and I've seen some co-creditors get most of "what's left" and others get none at all. I'm not sure exactly how that works (I'm not explicity involved in these sorts of things), and who chooses who gets what.

    The order that creditors get paid in is spelled out in the bankruptcy laws, and the bankruptcy court essentially settles any ties. It's not completely set in stone (if all the creditors get together and agree to a particular division, it should be approved), but there is a broad outline. IIRC, the rough order (in my state, at least) is:

    #1 Bankruptcy Court costs

    #2 Payroll Taxes

    #3 Employees back pay

    #4 Secured creditors (ie, they got collateral for their loans)

    #5 Unsecured creditors

    And of course, if more than one lender has the same collateral, the order that the liens were issued in makes a difference. I could be wrong about Employees being so favorably treated, too. Heck, I could be wrong about all of that, but I think it's fairly close.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @09:47PM (#10134732)
    Quality was definitely the issue. I have the Blockbuster GAME pass, unlimited video game rentals for a month, and I'm letting that thing expire after the first thirty days ends. Why? I have all three systems, and I notice the shelves at BBV groan under the weight of mostly Acclaim/Midway/Atari bombs. Sports (excepting the excellent Sega and EA offerings), fps, boooooring adventure task quests, EXTREME this and that. Blah. I can have any game I want and I hardly want any of them. I already own the keepers like DDR, Metroid Prime, Halo, etc. None of those is by Acclaim, I notice. I content myself with the occasional "pleasant surprise" game that looked iffy and turned out to be fun, like Blood Wake, Riddick, Pikmin, etc.
  • by TyrionEagle ( 458561 ) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @04:11AM (#10136518) Homepage
    I submitted this story to Slashdot on Friday and on Tuesday, first just with the SPOnG.com [spong.com] story [spong.com], then again on Tuesday with other sources.

    The SPOnG story has feedback directly from Acclaim employees in the UK. Their forum on the story has a comment from an Acclaim employee that their pension contributions have not been payed since April!

    Honestly, do the editors actually RTFA, or do they just see SPOnG and bin it? This is the 5th time I've submitted stories from SPOnG, just to have them appear on Slashdot days later, attributed to someone else, usually GamesIndustry.biz, who re-write SPOnG stories for their own front page.

    What is up with this?
  • by xtermin8 ( 719661 ) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @09:46AM (#10138084)
    I remember playing the Bard's Tale series on my Apple IIe! After playing AD&D as a teenager, I grew tired of games that depended on stroking the Dungeon Masters' ego. I thought "Wouldn't it be great if a computer could take over the duties of running games" The Bard's Tale was the answer, with much better graphics and audio than "Ultima." After that reality intruded, however and I never felt I had the time for RPGs.
  • Sayonara Acclaim (Score:2, Interesting)

    by r_benchley ( 658776 ) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @08:18PM (#10144885)
    It'll be kind of sad to see Acclaim go. Granted, most of their games were complete shit, but they had some pretty decent ones as well. I used to love playing Wizards & Warriors on my NES back in the day (almost 20 years ago!). They were a major player in the video game world, and now they're gone. I hope the talented employees are able to find work quickly, and I hope that Acclaim's good franchises find homes with publishers that will do them justice. For those curious about Acclaim's library throughout the years: http://gamefaqs.com/features/company/215.html [gamefaqs.com] The list is not quite complete, but gives a pretty good overview.
  • Re:Not All Bad (Score:2, Interesting)

    by uodeltasig ( 759920 ) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @08:20PM (#10144894) Homepage
    Burnout 2: Developer's Cut [ign.com] was a great game... however, the game didn't get a lot of press and the real anticipation was/is for Burnout 3 [eagames.com] which EA Games has. The problem is that Acclaim always had great idea's, like Turok, South Park and Cruisin USA... but they where easily duplicated and someone else usually did it better.
    P.s - Sorry to link to a competitors website

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