Acclaim Studios Austin
|Industry||Computer and video game industry|
|Founded||August 14, 1991|
|Founder(s)||Jeff Spangenberg (CEO & President)
Beth Spangenberg (CFO)
Darrin Stubbington (VP)
Matt Stubbington (Art Director)
J. Moon (Business Development Manager)
|Headquarters||Austin, Texas, United States|
|Products||Video games for Nintendo, Sega, Sony video game consoles|
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.
- 1 Company historyright
- 2 Systems targeted
- 3 Games developed
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
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.
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
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.
Move to Texas
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.
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.
Also following the Iguana-Acclaim merger, several Iguana Entertainment employees founded their own Austin-area companies:
- President Jeff Spangenberg founded Retro Studios (now part of Nintendo) in 1998.
- Directors Russell Byrd, Cyrus Lum and Craig Galley formed Inevitable Entertainment, which became part of Midway Games but eventually closed.
- Turok lead programmer Rob Cohen founded Edge of Reality.
- Animator Mike Daubert founded The Animation Farm.
- Art director Matt Stubbington founded Big Sesh Studios and co-founded the Gemini School of Visual Arts and Communication in 2003.
- Tools engineer John Carlsen founded Syncopated Systems in 2004.
- Software engineer John Nagle founded Nagle Research, Inc. in June 2003. In 2007, fellow Iguana programmer Andy Thyssen became a full partner in the business.
Closure of Iguana UK
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
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.
Iguana Entertainment developed games for:
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and Nintendo 64 (N64)
- Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, Sega Titan (ST-V)
- PlayStation (PS1)
In addition, Iguana Entertainment created its own proprietary software and hardware tools for:
- Atari Jaguar
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
- Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, Sega Titan
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
As Acclaim Studios Austin
|1999||South Park: Chef's Luv Shack||Dreamcast, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation|
|Turok: Rage Wars||Nintendo 64|
|2000||Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion|
|2001||All-Star Baseball 2002||GameCube, PlayStation 2|
|2002||Turok: Evolution||GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox|
|All-Star Baseball 2003||GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox|
|All-Star Baseball 2004|
|2004||Showdown: Legends of Wrestling||PlayStation 2, Xbox|
|All-Star Baseball 2005|
- "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)
- MobyGames article on Iguana Entertainment
- Acclaim Entertainment Inc · S-3 · On 6/2/95 (on SEC Info.com)
- Iguana Entertainment Limited
- The Animation Farm
- Big Sesh Studios
- Gemini School of Visual Arts and Communication
- Midway (Austin studio formerly Inevitable Entertainment)
- Retro Studios
- Syncopated Software (oddgods.com)
- Nagle Research, Inc.
Acclaim Studios Austin