Acclaim Studios Manchester

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Acclaim Studios Manchester
Formerly
Software Creations (1985–2002)
Subsidiary
IndustryVideo games
FateDissolved
Founded1985; 35 years ago (1985)
FounderRichard Kay
Defunct27 August 2004; 16 years ago (2004-08-27)
Headquarters,
England
ParentAcclaim Entertainment (2002–2004)

Acclaim Studios Manchester (formerly Software Creations) was a British video game developer based in Manchester, England. The company was established in 1985 by Richard Kay. They were primarily known for their video games based on movie and comic licences like Marvel Comics, Cutthroat Island, Disney's Beauty and the Beast and the original titles Plok, Solstice, and its sequel Equinox.

History[edit]

According to Richard Kay, Software Creations began in 1986 when Steve Ruddy responded to an advertisement he had placed in the Manchester Evening News:

Steve and I hit it off right away. He worked from home, and he did a boxing game called The Big KO. We worked very closely with each other for about 12 months. I hired Mike Ager and Andrew Threlfall, and we were the first four at Software Creations. I got an office on Oxford Road and it was above a computer shop directly opposite the BBC. We did a lot of games for Firebird - they were all for about three or four hundred pounds.[1]

— Richard Kay, Retro Gamer

Most of these early games were ports of budget titles to other platforms such as the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Atari ST, NES and the Game Boy. The company's breakthrough game was the Commodore 64 version of the arcade hit Bubble Bobble, a conversion which won critical acclaim and commercial success, and led to Software Creations being asked to do many more ports of popular arcade games.[1] By this time the company had grown to include brothers Mike, Tim, and Geoff Follin, and artist Mark Wilson.[1]

An early demo of Solstice won Software Creations a contract with Nintendo, leading to some high-profile NES and Super NES games.[1]

During the early 1990s, Software Creations was responsible for the development of sound tools used in the creation of music for the Nintendo 64 and its development systems.[2]

On 1 May 2002 Acclaim announced that they had acquired Software Creations, which was renamed Acclaim Studios Manchester.[3][4] At the time, Software Creations had approximately 70 employees.[5] Acclaim Studios Manchester was closed as part of Acclaim Studios and all of its development facilities on 27 August 2004.[6] Rod Cousens and Barry Jafrato, who served as chief executive officer and head of publishing, respectively, for Acclaim, announced in September 2004 that they were planning to create as new video game publisher, Exclaim, with the help of Europlay Capital Advisers.[7] Exclaim was set to acquire and reinstantiate Acclaim's two UK studios, namely Manchester and Cheltenham, and re-employ their roughly 160.[8] Exclaim's opening was expected on 11 October,[9] however, Cousen's ownership over the two studios was challenged by Acclaim's liquidator, Allan Mendelsohn, leaving the UK staff in a state of limbo.[10] A successor to Acclaim Studios Manchester, SilverBack Studios, was founded by Jon Oldham in April 2005 and employed 15 former Acclaim Studios Manchester staff.[11][12]

Notable games[edit]

As Software Creations
Title Year Platforms
1988 Aigina's Prophecy Commodore 64
Bionic Commando Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum
1989 Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Plotting Amiga, Atari ST
World Games NES
Sky Shark
1990 Magic Johnson's Fast Break
Target: Renegade
Solstice
Pictionary
Silver Surfer
1991 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Kiwi Kraze
Wolverine
Tom and Jerry (and Tuffy)
Altered Space Game Boy
Gauntlet III: The Final Quest Amiga, Atari ST[13]
Treasure Master NES
1992 Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge Super NES, Genesis, Game Gear
Double Dragon 3: The Arcade Game Genesis
1993 Blaster Master 2
Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Quest
Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Roar of the Beast
Plok NES (cancelled), Super NES
The Incredible Crash Dummies NES, Super NES, Game Boy, Genesis
Equinox (Solstice 2) Super NES
1994 Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage Genesis, Super NES
The Tick
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball Super NES
The Simpsons: Bart and the Beanstalk Game Boy
Tin Star Super NES
1995 Spider-Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety Genesis, Super NES
Foreman for Real Super NES
1996 Cutthroat Island Super NES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear
1997 Hexen: Beyond Heretic Nintendo 64
Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98 Nintendo 64, PlayStation
1998 The Rugrats Movie Game Boy, Game Boy Color
1999 Carmageddon 64 Nintendo 64
NASCAR 2000 Game Boy Color
Boarder Zone
Rugrats: Time Travelers
Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest
2000 Nicktoons Racing Windows, PlayStation, Arcade
NASCAR Racers Windows
Rugrats in Paris: The Movie Game Boy Color
2001 The Simpsons: Night of the Living Treehouse of Horror
Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase Game Boy Advance
Rugrats: Castle Capers
As Creations
Title Year Platforms
2002 The Ripping Friends Game Boy Advance
All-Star Baseball 2003
2002 FIFA World Cup Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox
Stuart Little 2 Game Boy Advance
As Acclaim Studios Manchester
Title Year Platforms
2003 Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox
All-Star Baseball 2004 Game Boy Advance
Cancelled Interview with a Made Man PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox
ATV Quad Power Racing 3 PlayStation 2, Xbox

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bevan, Mike (13 December 2013). "Bubbles, Baseball and Buzz Saws...". Retro Gamer. No. 122. Imagine Publishing. pp. 74–79.
  2. ^ Gaming Gossip. Electronic Gaming Monthly. Issue 69. Pg.52. April 1995.
  3. ^ Staff, I. G. N. (1 May 2002). "Acclaim Acquires New Studio". ign.com. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Acclaim Studios Manchester formed". eurogamer.net. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Acclaim Launches New Studio In Manchester, UK". gamasutra.com. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  6. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (27 August 2004). "Acclaim Closes Offices". ign.com. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  7. ^ Jenkins, David. "Gamasutra - The Art & Business of Making Games". www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Former Acclaim boss in rescue bid for UK studios". eurogamer.net. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Acclaim CEO's new company plans to launch next week". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Acclaim UK studios' future unclear as Exclaim deal stalls". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Former Acclaim title returns". eurogamer.net. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  12. ^ "SilverBack Studios launches from the ashes of Acclaim UK". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  13. ^ Hamza, Kati (January 1991). "Running the Gauntlet". The One. No. 28. emap Images. pp. 37–38.