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Acclaim Shuts Down Games After Playdom Transition
Acclaim Shuts Down Games After Playdom Transition
August 27, 2010 | By Kris Graft

August 27, 2010 | By Kris Graft
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    13 comments
More: Console/PC



Acclaim, the shuttered classic game maker reborn in 2005 as an online game company, shut down the vast majority of its online games Thursday, according to the company's website.

All Acclaim's client-based online games switched off on August 26. The company is offering reimbursement of Acclaim's virtual currency Acclaim Coins, and specifically for players of the game 9Dragons, refunds on purchases made in the last 30 days.

However, the company's Flash-based MMO Kogamu, which was in development prior to the company's acquisition, continues to live on on Facebook under the Playdom name, and music game RockFREE also continues.

The shift at Acclaim comes after social gaming company Playdom acquired Acclaim in May this year. Only about two months after that buy, Disney bought Playdom in a $763 million deal, including $200 million in target-based earnouts.

Playdom's CFO was unavailable for comment, while a PR rep for Disney Interactive Studios did not have a comment immediately available. Aside from 9Dragons, Acclaim also ran the online games Spellborn, 2Moons and Bots, among others.

Acclaim was founded in 1987, and published some of the most popular titles in gaming, including the first and second Burnout games, Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II and NBA Jam.

But a long string of subpar games led the publisher to be associated with low-quality product, and sales showed it. The company closed its doors in 2004.

The following year, former Activision executive Howard Marks bought the name for a reported $100,000, and relaunched the brand as a publisher of translated Asian MMOs in the West. Industry veteran David Perry partnered with Marks and was chief creative officer for Acclaim, before he moved on to co-found the cloud-based gaming company Gaikai.


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Comments


Samuel Browning
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Looks like acclaim.com is down as well... *pours out a 40*

David Rodriguez
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Indeed...

*pours out some coffee*

Brandon Sheffield
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it's so weird... why do people keep buying companies only to shut them down? I know circumstances are different each time, but still, it is a bit wacky.

Felipe Pacheco
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Yeah, it's weird to me too. But who can understand the mind of those guys? haha

Simon Carless
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Brandon, we just updated the story but there was a former Acclaim game, Kogamu, which is still running on Facebook under the Playdom name - so I presume they were picked up for that and the tech/expertise.

Brandon Sheffield
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aha, I see! must've been a cheap get, then.

DanielThomas MacInnes
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Wait, I wasn't even aware Acclaim was even alive. Sigh, there goes a whole pile of kick-ass Virtual Console games, unless someone buys up their library.

Ben Hopper
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I don't know about "kick-ass." They were responsible for some of the worst Sega Genesis games ever.

DanielThomas MacInnes
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I was thinking of Double Dragon 2 and Ironsword* on NES, Mortal Kombat, Smash TV, and Super Off-Road on Super NES, and Turok on N64. There are a few other good titles, but Acclaim made so many clunkers that it's tough to remember sometimes.



*Ironsword, unfortunately, is a Rare game, so that's out. They're not speaking to Nintendo over GoldenEye (which Iwata wanted on Wii), which is too bad.

Amir Sharar
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Actually Rare wanted it on the Wii as well, and they offered with MS's consent in exchange for releasing an HD version on the 360 (which was completed, there are numerous pics of it on the web and it looked FANTASTIC).



It was Iwata that caught wind of this and shut the whole thing down by threatening Activision.



So yeah, it was Iwata's stubborness that cost us gamers a great game.

Jeremy Reaban
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They weren't.



When they went bankrupt years ago, they auctioned off all their assets, including their name. Which this company bought for some bizarre reason to use for their new startup online business. Guess it worked, they were profitable enough to get bought out. But that's all they had, the name, the other IP was sold off to various companies

DanielThomas MacInnes
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@Amir: We have to remember that this is a cutthroat business. Iwata's job is not to play nice with Microsoft. Iwata's job is to destroy Microsoft.



I've heard the story of GoldenEye on 360, and that Rare offered their entire library for release on Virtual Console. That's a pretty strong list of games, and that could provide a shot in the arm that VC needs right now.



Evidently, GoldenEye was more important to Iwata's plans for Nintendo. Remember that disruption theory holds that you begin at the low end of the market, and then move upstream. The "upstream" of today's video game market would be FPS games. If Nintendo can successfully make headway into that arena, Microsoft and Sony would be gored.



There has yet to be a breakout FPS game on the Wii; despite a couple good attempts, the genre has been given short shrift on the console, as developers focus on the HD Twins for their shooter fix. But Nintendo means to chip away, and establish motion controls as the successor to the joypad for shooters.



One breakout hit is all that is needed. If Nintendo could engineer a top-quality FPS game that appealed to the core gamers (and the lapsed classic gamers), one that stayed on the charts forever (think Just Dance), that would change the game. And, as we now know, Nintendo has been directly involved with Eurocom on GoldenEye Wii. They've even offered a golden Classic Controller for the core gamers (familiar controls + cool collector's item = win).



Anyway, that's my take on the matter. To be completely frank, Nintendo should have been doing this one or two years ago, before Microsoft and Sony could counter with motion controllers of their own. Sony may be able to wiggle loose if they lock in core gamers with Move-enabled FPS titles. Instead, Nintendo has wasted precious time on UGC, and vanity projects like Wii Music and Other M and Galaxy 2 and possibly the next Zelda.

Robert Smiley
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It seems lots of players are freaked out about the future of Acclaim's free mmorpg 9 Dragons, whether the accounts will be transferred or get wiped. I experienced this on Aeria's 12Sky (first one) when they had to shut it down for being buggy and hacked beyond repair -- essentially not fun at all. In this case it's different because of a corporate decision, the games are being halted with such short notice. Big companies don't know how to respect gamers and they figure throwing some virtual currency (refunded as it should be) will help even out the balance sheet and keep the P&L from getting all mucked up.Thankfully a sequel to 12sky, "12Sky2" was already available when the shut down occurred, so players had a little bit of a head start after getting their refund. Not in this case. If they can't transfer the accounts correctly, I wouldn't be surprised if people went to other games, despite 9D being one of the best martial arts free mmos out there... we'll know soon enough...


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