Cover photo of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
Profile picture of Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.
Acclaim Entertainment, Inc.

Acclaim Entertainment was a New York-based company who began publishing games on the NES and went out of business in 2004. The company's collapse was one of the largest implosions of a game publisher in industry history.

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OverviewAcclaim Entertainment was founded in 1987 and went out of business in 2004. The company also published games under the labels LJN and Arena. While Acclaim did publish numerous games that were developed in-house, the company also had a long-standing relationship with Midway, which resulted in home versions of several Midway arcade games, including Mortal Kombat and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Aside from software development and publishing, Acclaim also published some strategy guides. In 1994, Acclaim bought Valiant Comics (later renamed to Acclaim Comics). The company eventually adapted several of the former Valiant's intellectual properties into video game form, including Turok and Shadowman.

Acclaim's fortunes dimmed in later years due to diminishing sales combined with a string of bad publicity. The company had a licensing agreement with Dave Mirra to create BMX titles, but when they attempted to tie Mirra's name to the horrendously juvenille BMX XXX, Mirra filed suit against Acclaim for misuse of his likeness. The Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, also sued Acclaim at one point, claiming that the company wasn't doing enough to support their license by releasing a series of substandard titles. Eventually, Acclaim's financial woes grew too severe to sustain operation and the company was forced to declare bankruptcy. All of Acclaim's assets, including its full library of releases and the name of the company itself were sold at auction to finance the company's liquidation. The Acclaim name was scooped up for a reported $100,000 by former Activision employee Howard Marks, who founded Acclaim Games as a publisher of smaller-scale free-to-play online games.

Marketing StuntsAcclaim was notorious for promoting some of their games with peculiar publicity stunts. One example was an attempt to pay people to place advertisements for the game Shadowman on the tombstones of deceased relatives. Similarly, Acclaim also offered compensation for new parents that named their baby Turok in honor of Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter.

Development StudiosThe following Studios were part of Acclaim Entertainment Inc. :

Acclaim Studios Austin (former Iguana Entertainment )

Acclaim Studios Cheltenham

Acclaim Studios London (former Probe Entertainment)

Acclaim Studios Manchester

Acclaim Studios Salt Lake City (former Sculptured Software)

Acclaim Studios Teesside


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