The 3DO Company

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The 3DO Company
Public
Industry Video games
Fate Dissloved into GoAnimate 3D Softwares
Founded 1991
Defunct May 2003
Headquarters Redwood City, California, U.S.
Key people
Trip Hawkins, RJ Mical
Subsidiaries New World Computing
Slogan We're here to play.

The 3DO Company (formerly THDO on the NASDAQ stock exchange), also known as 3DO (short for three-dimensional operating system), was an American video game company. It was founded in 1991 under the name SMSG, Inc. (for San Mateo Software Group) by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, in a partnership with seven companies including LG, Matsushita (now Panasonic), AT&T Corporation, MCA, Time Warner, and Electronic Arts itself. After 3DO's flagship video game console, the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, failed in the marketplace, the company exited the hardware business and became a third-party video game developer. It went bankrupt in 2003 due to poor sales of its games. Its headquarters were in Redwood City, California in the San Francisco Bay Area.[1]

History[edit]

Console developer[edit]

Panasonic 3DO console

When the company was first founded, its original objective was to create a next-generation CD-based video game system called the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, which would be manufactured by various partners and licensees; 3DO would collect a royalty on each console sold and on each game manufactured. For game publishers, 3DO's $3 royalty per sold game was very low compared to the royalties Nintendo and Sega collected from game sales on their consoles. The launch of the console in October 1993 was well-promoted, with a great deal of attention in the mass media as part of the "multimedia wave" in the computer world.

The 3DO console launched in October 1993 at the price of $699.[2] Poor console and game sales trumped the enticingly low royalty rate and proved a fatal flaw. While 3DO's business model attracted game publishers with its low royalty rates, it resulted in the console selling for a price higher than the SNES and Sega Genesis combined, hampering sales. While companies that manufactured and sold their own consoles could sell them, at a loss, for a competitive price, making up for lost profit through royalties collected from game publishers, the 3DO's manufacturers, not collecting any money from game publishers, and owing royalties to the 3DO Company, had to sell the console for a profit, resulting in high prices.[3] As the console failed to compete with its cheaper competitors, game developers and publishers, while initially attracted by low royalties, dropped support for the console as its games failed to sell. Stock in the 3DO Company dropped from over $37 per share in November 1993 to $23 per share in late December.[4] Though the company's financial figures dramatically improved in the fiscal year ending March 1995, with revenues nearly triple that of the previous fiscal year, they were still operating at a loss.[5] In January 1996, The 3DO Company sold its next generation console, M2, to Matsushita. Thanks in part to revenues from the sale of M2 technology to Matsushita and other licensees, in the first quarter of 1996 the 3DO Company turned a profit for the first time since it was founded, with a net income of $1.2 million.[6] In early 1996, the company changed its business to develop and publish games for other game consoles and PC.

Third-party developer[edit]

After abandoning the 3DO console, the company acquired Cyclone Studios, Archetype Interactive and New World Computing. The company's biggest hit was its series of Army Men games, featuring generic green plastic soldier toys. Its Might and Magic and especially Heroes of Might and Magic series from subsidiary New World Computing were perhaps the most popular among their games at the time of release. During the late 1990s, the company published one of the first 3D MMORPGs: Meridian 59, which survives to this day in the hands of some of the game's original developers.

After struggling for several years, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2003.[7] Employees were laid off without pay, and the company's game brands and other intellectual properties were sold to rivals like Microsoft, Namco, Crave and Ubisoft, and also to founder Trip Hawkins, who paid $405,000 for rights to some old brands and the company's "Internet patent portfolio". Hawkins went on to found Digital Chocolate, a mobile-based gaming company.

List of The 3DO Company games[edit]

Developed[edit]

Title A.k.a title Notes
3DO Games: Decathlon
Army Men PC version.
Army Men: Air Attack Army Men: Air Combat (on N64) PC, Nintendo 64, and PlayStation version.
Army Men: Air Attack 2 Army Men: Air Attack - Blade's Revenge (in EU)
Army Men: Air Combat - The Elite Missions
Army Men: Air Tactics
Army Men: Green Rogue Army Men: Omega Soldier (in EU)
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 version.
Army Men: Toys in Space Army Men in Space (in EU)
Army Men: World War
Army Men: World War - Final Front Army Men: Lock 'n' Load (in EU)
Army Men: World War - Land, Sea, Air
Army Men: World War - Team Assault
Army Men 3D
Army Men II PC version.
BattleTanx Nintendo 64 version.
BattleTanx: Global Assault
Crusaders of Might and Magic
Dragon Rage
Family Game Pack Royale Family Game Pack (on PS)
Godai Elemental Force
Groovy Bunch of Games
Gulf War: Operation Desert Hammer
High Heat Major League Baseball 2002 PC, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 version.
High Heat Major League Baseball 2003 PC and PlayStation 2 version.
High Heat Major League Baseball 2004
Jonny Moseley Mad Trix PlayStation 2 version.
Meridian 59: Vale of Sorrow
Portal Runner PlayStation 2 version.
Sammy Sosa High Heat Basebal 2001
Sammy Sosa Softball Slam
Shifters Shifters of Might and Magic
Vegas Games 2000 Midnight in Vegas (in EU) PlayStation version.
Warriors of Might and Magic PC, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 version.
WarJetz World Destruction League: WarJetz
World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks PlayStation and PlayStation 2 version.

Published[edit]

Title Developer(s) NA EU Notes
Action Man: Destruction X Blitz Games Yes PS only
Alex Ferguson's Player Manager 2001 ANCO No Yes
Army Men Digital Eclipse Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Army Men: Air Combat Fluid Studios Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Army Men: Operation Green Pocket Studios Yes Yes
Army Men: RTS Pandemic Yes PC & PS2 The GameCube version was co-produced with Coyote Developments Ltd..
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 GameBrains/3d6 Games Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Army Men: Turf Wars Mobius Entertainment Yes No
Army Men 2 Digital Eclipse Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Army Men Advance DC Studios Yes Yes
Aqua Aqua Zed Two Yes No
Arcomage New World Computing Yes No
BattleTanx Lucky Chicken Games Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Chaos Overlords Stick Man Games Yes Yes
Cubix: Robots for Everyone - Clash 'n Bash Human Soft Yes No
Cubix: Robots for Everyone - Race 'n Robots Blitz Games Yes PS only
Cubix: Robots for Everyone - Showdown Blitz Games Yes No
Gobs of Games 2n Productions Yes Yes Also known as Games Frenzy in Europe.
Heroes Chronicles series New World Computing Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic (Game Boy Color) KnowWonder Digital
Mediaworks
Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragon
Bone Staff
New World Computing Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars New World Computing Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Price of Loyalty Cyberlore Studios Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic III New World Computing Yes Yes Also known as Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia.
Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade New World Computing Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death New World Computing Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic IV New World Computing Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering Storm New World Computing Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War New World Computing Yes No
High Heat Baseball 1999 Team .366 Yes No
High Heat Baseball 2000 Team .366 Yes No
High Heat Major League Baseball 2002 Mobius Entertainment Yes Yes Game Boy Advance version.
High Heat Major League Baseball 2003 Mobius Entertainment Yes Yes Game Boy Advance version.
Jonny Moseley Mad Trix GFX Construction/RTG
Studios
Yes Yes Game Boy Advance version.
Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative NetDevil Yes No
Legends of Might and Magic New World Computing Yes Yes
Meridian 59 Archetype Interactive Yes No First edition of the game (1995).
Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven New World Computing Yes No
Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor New World Computing Yes Yes
Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer New World Computing Yes Yes
Might and Magic IX New World Computing Yes Yes
Player Manager 2000 ANCO No Yes
Portal Runner Handheld Games Yes No Game Boy Color version.
Requiem: Avenging Angel Cyclone Studios Yes No
Spaceward Ho! IV GhostNose Software
(Delta Tao licensed)
Yes No
Sven-Göran Eriksson's World Cup Challenge ANCO No Yes PlayStation and PlayStation 2 version.
Sven-Göran Eriksson's World Cup Manager ANCO No Yes PlayStation and PlayStation 2 version.
TOCA Championship Racing Codemasters Yes No
Uprising: Join or Die Cyclone Studios Yes No
Uprising 2: Lead and Destroy Cyclone Studios Yes No
Uprising X Cyclone Studios Yes No
Vegas Games Digital Eclipse Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Vegas Games 2000 New World Computing Yes No PC version. Also known as Vegas Games: Midnight Madness.
Warriors of Might and Magic Climax Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks Sunset Entertainment Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.

Cancelled[edit]

Distributed (U.S. only)[edit]

3DO Rating System[edit]

The 3DO Rating System was a rating system created by The 3DO Company and used on games released for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. The rating system, which went into use in March 1994, uses the following four categories:[8]

  • E - Everyone
  • 12 - Guidance for age 12 & under
  • 17 - Guidance for age 17 & under
  • AO - Adults Only

These ratings would appear on the lower front and back of the packaging, while the back of the packaging also specified what content was present in the game. In late 1994, the majority of 3DO's competitors signed on with a new rating system from the Entertainment Software Rating Board; despite this, the 3DO Company opted to continue providing their own rating system, leaving publishers of 3DO games to decide whether to use the 3DO Rating System or the new ESRB ratings.[9] The 3DO rating for each game was designated voluntarily by the game's publisher,[8] in contrast to the ESRB ratings, which were determined independently by the ESRB.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Legal notices." 3DO Company. March 31, 2001. Retrieved on November 3, 2012. "The 3DO Company, 100 Cardinal Way, Redwood City, CA 94063."
  2. ^ Ramsay, M. (2012). Trip Hawkins. Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play (pp. 1-15). New York: Apress.
  3. ^ Matthews, Will (December2013). "Ahead of its Time: A 3DO Retrospective". Retro Gamer (Imagine Publishing) (122): 18–29.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "3DO Sales Slow, Stock Suffers". GamePro (IDG) (66): 186. March 1994. 
  5. ^ "Tough Year for 3DO". GamePro (IDG) (84): 138–140. September 1995. 
  6. ^ "Tidbits". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (84): 15. July 1996. 
  7. ^ Becker, David (May 29, 2003). "3DO files for bankruptcy". CNET. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  8. ^ a b "Rated E". GamePro (57) (IDG). April 1994. p. 174. 
  9. ^ "Hey, How Do You Rate?". GamePro (68) (IDG). March 1995. p. 10. 

External links[edit]