Acclaim Studios Manchester

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Acclaim Studios Manchester
Formerly
Software Creations (1985–2002)
Subsidiary
IndustryVideo game industry
FateDissolved
Founded1985; 34 years ago (1985)
FounderRichard Kay
Defunct27 August 2004 (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]

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