Acclaim Studios Austin

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Acclaim Studios Austin
Industry Computer and video game industry
Founded August 14, 1991
Founders Jeff Spangenberg (CEO & President)
Beth Spangenberg (CFO)
Darrin Stubbington (VP)
Matt Stubbington (Art Director)
J. Moon (Business Development Manager)
Defunct September 2004
Headquarters Austin, Texas, United States
Products Video games for Nintendo, Sega, Sony video game consoles
Parent Independent (1991-1995)
Acclaim Entertainment (1995-2004)

Acclaim Studios Austin (originally Iguana Entertainment) was a video game developer operating from 1991 to 2004 in Santa Clara, California, Sunnyvale, California, and Austin, Texas in the USA, and Teesside, England. They were best known for developing the Turok, Aero the Acro-Bat 2, NBA Jam, NFL Quarterback Club, Side Pocket and South Park video games.

Company historyright[edit]

Iguana Entertainment logo from 1991 to 1999

Acclaim Studios Austin was first incorporated in Sunnyvale, California on August 14, 1991 by Jeff Spangenberg called Iguana Entertainment. Other founders include Mary Beth Campbell (later Mrs. Beth Spangenberg), John Carlsen, James Moon (known to most as J. Moon), and brothers Darrin Stubbington and Matt Stubbington.

"Punk" roots[edit]

Prior to incorporating Iguana Entertainment, Mr. Spangenberg had run Punk Development. Based in Sunnyvale, Punk Development was the product development arm of RazorSoft, Inc., an Oklahoma-based video game distributor. All of the founders named above (with the possible exception of Ms. Campbell) and many early employees worked for Punk Development.

Punk Development was originally called Team Design until a conflict arose with another local firm having the same name. According to rumor, the other Team Design had complained of young "punks" hijacking its name.

Origins of the "Killer" Iguana brand[edit]

President Jeff Spangenberg kept his pet iguanas, Killer (the oldest), Spike and Squirt (the baby) in a large tank in the lobbies of the Punk and Iguana offices. When RazorSoft closed the Punk Development office, the Iguana name was selected, and Matt Stubbington painted on canvas the original company logotype, which included a portrait of the original Killer.

Clients[edit]

Iguana Entertainment's major clients included Acclaim Entertainment and Sunsoft.

Move to Texas[edit]

In September 1993, Iguana Entertainment moved to Austin, Texas, becoming Austin's second-largest developer of computer games, smaller only than Origin Systems, which was already part of Electronic Arts. Iguana Entertainment became a Texas corporation on December 10, 1993.

The original pet iguanas could not be easily moved between states and were given away. Once in Texas, a new tank and iguanas were added to the lobby. Cyrus Lum created an updated company logotype (featuring a portrait of the new iguana named Killer) and animation that appears in many Iguana games.

Mergers[edit]

Also in 1993, the company acquired Optimus Software Ltd of Teesside, England which became Iguana UK. Iguana UK proved a valuable resource, both for "porting" arcade games including NBA Jam to home video game consoles and for recruiting and preparing employees for transfer to the US office.

In 1995, owners Jeff and Beth Spangenberg sold Iguana Entertainment to its largest customer, Acclaim Entertainment for $25MM ($13MM cash, the balance in Acclaim Entertainment stock) and the stipulation that Iguana Entertainment would retain its own independence; in the following years, the two Iguana studios became Acclaim Studios Austin and Acclaim Studios Teesside.

Spin-off companies[edit]

Also following the Iguana-Acclaim merger, several Iguana Entertainment employees founded their own Austin-area companies:

Closure of Iguana UK[edit]

In 2000, Jason and Darren Falcus left to form Atomic Planet Entertainment Ltd., Acclaim Entertainment made a sharp cut in the number of employees at Acclaim Studios Teesside, which was finally closed in 2002, with many staff being relocated to Acclaim Cheltenham.

Bankruptcy and liquidation[edit]

When parent company Acclaim Entertainment went bankrupt in September 2004, most employees of Acclaim Studios Austin found out when they showed up for work but the building's manager had locked them out of their offices. Acclaim Studios Austin was closed and subsequently liquidated.

Systems targeted[edit]

Iguana Entertainment developed games for:

In addition, Iguana Entertainment created its own proprietary software and hardware tools for:

Games developed[edit]

During its 13-year history, Iguana Entertainment developed many games under both the Iguana Entertainment name (for both US and UK studios) and the Acclaim Studios Austin name.

As Iguana Entertainment[edit]

Year Game Platform(s)
1992 Super High Impact Sega Genesis
1993 Aero the Acro-Bat Sega Genesis, SNES
1994 Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel
Aero the Acro-Bat 2
The Pirates of Dark Water Sega Genesis
NBA Jam Sega CD, Sega Game Gear, Sega Genesis, SNES
Side Pocket SNES
1995 Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra
NBA Jam Tournament Edition PlayStation, Sega 32X, Sega Genesis, SNES
NFL Quarterback Club Sega 32X, Sega Genesis, SNES
Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, SNES
NFL Quarterback Club 96 Microsoft Windows, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, SNES
1996 College Slam Game Boy, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, SNES
NFL Quarterback Club 97 PlayStation, Sega Saturn
Batman Forever: The Arcade Game
1997 All-Star Baseball
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Nintendo 64
NFL Quarterback Club 98
1998 NHL Breakaway 98
All-Star Baseball 99
Forsaken 64
Iggy's Reckin' Balls
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
NFL Quarterback Club 99
NHL Breakaway 99
NBA Jam 99
South Park Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64
1999 All-Star Baseball 2000 Nintendo 64
WWF Attitude

As Acclaim Studios Austin[edit]

Year Game Platform(s)
1999 South Park: Chef's Luv Shack Nintendo 64
Turok: Rage Wars
2000 Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion
2001 All-Star Baseball 2002 GameCube, PlayStation 2
2002 All-Star Baseball 2003 Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2
Turok: Evolution
2003 Vexx
All-Star Baseball 2004
2004 All-Star Baseball 2005 Xbox, PlayStation 2
Showdown: Legends of Wrestling

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Minutes of Organizational Meeting of Iguana Entertainment Incorporated -- A California Corporation" (August 14, 1991)
  • "Articles of Merger of Domestic and Foreign Corporations" (December 10, 1993)

External links[edit]

Spin-offs[edit]

Preceded by
none
Iguana Entertainment
1991–1995
Succeeded by
Acclaim Studios Austin