|Industry||Video game industry|
Ascaron Entertainment was a video game developer based in Germany. Founded as Ascon and later renamed in October 1996 due to the possible confusion with the Swiss company Ascom AG, the company produced titles primarily for the PC until it became insolvent in 2009.
Background and history
Ascaron had a particular focus on strategy and management games. Among its early successes were the Patrician series (a trading simulation) and the On the Ball series (a soccer team management simulation). More recently, the company had developed games such as Port Royale (a pirate/trading simulation game), Sacred (an RPG) and Darkstar One (a space combat simulation).
Ascaron was also known for publishing or distributing many games from smaller developers and publishers. Examples of games distributed by Ascaron in the UK include King's Bounty: The Legend, Audiosurf and several games in the TrackMania-series. The company distributed games from other European publishers, such as Nobilis and Focus Home Interactive.
In April 2009, the company was unable to pay its debts and went into administration citing the extended development time of Sacred 2: Fallen Angel as the reason. The company continued trading in the hope that a solution could be found, but the company was ultimately dissolved in July 2009, with Kalypso Media purchasing many of the licenses and assets from Ascaron Entertainment, with the notable exception of the licence for Sacred, which was acquired by Deep Silver (Germany). Gaming Minds Studios was then launched by Kalypso and former Ascaron employees. 15 former Ascaron developers joined the Gaming Minds Studios.
- The Patrician (1992)
- On the Ball (video game) (Original title: Anstoss) (1993)
- Hanse - Die Expedition (1994)
- Elisabeth I (1995)
- Pole Position (1996)
- On the Ball 2 (1997)
- Extreme 500 (1998)
- On the Ball 3 (2000)
- Patrician II (2000)
- On the Ball Action (2001)
- Ballerburg (2001)
- Big Scale Racing (2002)
- Patrician III: Rise of the Hanse (2002)
- Port Royale: Gold, Power and Pirates (2002)
- Sacred (2004)
- Arena Wars (2004)
- Port Royale 2 (2004)
- Tortuga (US republish title: Pirate Hunter) (2004)
- The Great Art Race (Original title: Vermeer 2)(2004)
- Sacred Underworld (2005)
- Darkstar One (2006)
- Sacred 2: Fallen Angel (2008)
- World War One (2008)
- Hyper Rails (2003)
- Sacred Developer Ascaron Files for Bankruptcy, Currently in Takeover Talks shacknews.com
- Alexander, Leigh (June 18, 2009). "German Developer Gaming Minds Formed". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- Swindells, Roger (2010-03-18). "Mount & Blade: Warband discussion". Retrieved 2010-04-17.