High Voltage Software

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High Voltage Software, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
FoundedApril 1993; 28 years ago (1993-04)
FounderKerry J. Ganofsky
Headquarters,
US
Key people
  • Kerry J. Ganofsky (CEO)
  • Eric Nofsinger (CCO)
  • Jake Fitch (CFO)
  • Anthony Glueck (CTO)
Products
Number of employees
160 (2006)
ParentKeywords Studios (2020–present)
Websitehigh-voltage.com

High Voltage Software, Inc. (HVS) is an American video game developer based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Founded in April 1993 by Kerry J. Ganofsky, the company is best known for developing Lego Racers (1999), Hunter: The Reckoning (2002) and The Conduit (2009).

History[edit]

High Voltage Software was founded by Kerry J. Ganofsky in April 1993,[1] following his graduation from college.[2] Out of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, the company started out with four employees and used old doors set on top of sawhorses as desks.[2] In June 2006, the company had 160 employees.[3]

In 2008 interviews, High Voltage leadership expressed interest in improving the quality of contemporary third-party Wii games. The company developed Quantum3, a game engine that specifically targets Wii deployment. The engine itself had been used in several previous titles made by the developer, but was heavily upgraded for higher performance on Wii.[4][5]

In December 2014, Ganofsky announced that High Voltage would be opening a satellite studio for the company in Place St. Charles in New Orleans.[2] The opening, scheduled for early 2015, would provide 80 new job opportunities in the area, with initial staff transferred from the company's Hoffman Estates headquarters.[2][6] Through the opening, High Voltage was able to take advantage of local financial incentives, including a US$150,000 performance-based grant to cover relocation costs, workforce training programs and a digital media incentive.[2][7] Prior to the announcement, Ganofsky also considered opening the studio in Georgia or Florida, but found New Orleans to be a better cultural fit for High Voltage.[2] As a result, talks between economic development leaders in the area and Ganofsky began in October 2013.[2]

In December 2020, High Voltage Software was acquired by Keywords Studios for an initial consideration of US$23.75 million in cash and $9.75 million in shares, as well as additional US$16.5 million for performance targets to be met by December 31, 2021.[8]

Unreleased Projects[edit]

The Grinder[edit]

In the late 2000s, High Voltage began developing a horror-themed shooter called The Grinder. The game initially began production exclusively for the Wii, the developers, as well as potential publishers for The Grinder, became less confident that the game would be a success on that system, as there were multiple instances of similar hardcore and/or graphically violent games designed for the Wii, such as MadWorld, House of the Dead: Overkill and Red Steel 2 that failed to sell many copies. Development for the Wii version eventually began to wind down quietly by 2010, although High Voltage Software refused to state whether that version was officially cancelled.[9] The developers also designed PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game,[10] which were initially going to play as first-person shooters like the Wii version, but plans for this ultimately fell through when it failed to appeal to candidate publishers and the developers realized that there was an ongoing oversatuation of the first-person shooter video game market.[9] After careful consideration, they decided to not only redesign the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC versions as a top-down shooter,[11] but also change the game's setting, plot and character designs to a substantial degree.[9] Even so, candidate publishers were still uninterested in the top-down version as well, and the developers then covertly abandoned development and began shifting their efforts towards developing a sequel to The Conduit.

In 2013, High Voltage Software, in an interview, implied that one significant reason why it was difficult to release The Grinder was because it was being developed during a time when the video game industry was more interested in well-established intellectual properties, rather than newly introduced ones like that of The Grinder. The company then expressed hope that they can be in better position to launch new intellectual properties like The Grinder when a new generation of video games began.[12] However, having lost substantial money and jobs from the troubled development of The Grinder, as well as poor sales of Conduit 2, the company decided not to revisit The Grinder.[9]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher(s)
1995 White Men Can't Jump Atari Jaguar Atari Corporation
Ruiner Pinball Atari Jaguar
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy – Starship Bridge Simulator Sega 32X Interplay Entertainment
Vid Grid Atari Jaguar CD Atari Corporation
1996 NHL Open Ice Microsoft Windows Midway Games
NBA Jam: Tournament Edition Atari Jaguar
Fight For Life Atari Jaguar Atari Corporation
NBA Hangtime Microsoft Windows Midway Games
Tempest 2000 Classic Mac OS, Sega Saturn Interplay Entertainment
Tempest X3 PlayStation
1997 World League Basketball Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Mindscape
NCAA Final Four '97 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
1999 Paperboy Nintendo 64 Midway Games
Lego Racers Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation Lego Media
NBA Inside Drive 2000 Microsoft Windows Microsoft
2000 Ground Control: Dark Conspiracy Microsoft Windows Sierra Studios
All-Star Baseball 2001 Nintendo 64 Acclaim Entertainment
NFL Quarterback Club 2001 Dreamcast, Nintendo 64
2002 Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance GameCube Interplay Entertainment
Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction Microsoft Windows Ubi Soft
NBA Inside Drive 2002 Xbox Microsoft
Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 PlayStation 2 Disney Interactive
NBA Inside Drive 2003 Xbox Microsoft Game Studios
Hunter: The Reckoning GameCube, Xbox Interplay Entertainment
2003 Hunter: The Reckoning – Wayward PlayStation 2 Vivendi Universal Games
Hunter: The Reckoning – Redeemer Xbox
NBA Inside Drive 2004 Xbox Microsoft Game Studios
Disney's The Haunted Mansion GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox TDK Mediactive
2004 Duel Masters PlayStation 2 Atari, Inc.
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox Sierra Entertainment
2005 Zathura PlayStation 2, Xbox 2K Games
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory GameCube, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox Global Star Software
50 Cent: Bulletproof G Unit Edition PlayStation Portable Vivendi Games
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One GameCube Activision
Codename: Kids Next Door – Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox Global Star Software
2006 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy PlayStation 2, Gamecube, Wii Midway Games
Blitz: Overtime PlayStation Portable
Family Guy Video Game! PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 2K Games, Fox Interactive
2007 Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii Capcom
Ben 10: Protector of Earth PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii D3 Publisher
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 PlayStation Portable Ubisoft
America's Army: True Soldiers Xbox 360
2008 Go, Diego, Go!: Safari Rescue PlayStation 2, Wii 2K Play
V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack Wii High Voltage Software
Gyrostarr Wii
Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Snow Princess PlayStation 2, Wii 2K Play
Go, Diego, Go!: Great Dinosaur Rescue PlayStation 2, Wii
2009 The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii D3 Publisher
High Voltage Hot Rod Show Wii High Voltage Software
Astro Boy: The Video Game PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii D3 Publisher
Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Super Game Day PlayStation 2, Wii 2K Play
Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom PlayStation 2, Wii
Evasive Space Wii Akinai Games
The Conduit Wii Sega
2010 Iron Man 2 Wii, PlayStation Portable
Tournament of Legends Wii
Dora's Big Birthday Adventure PlayStation 2, Wii 2K Play
Pheasants Forever Wingshooter Wii GameMill Entertainment
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Wii, Nintendo DS Red Wagon Games
2011 Conduit 2 Wii Sega
Captain America: Super Soldier Wii, Nintendo 3DS
Nicktoons MLB Wii, Xbox 360 2K Play
Nickelodeon Fit Wii
Nickelodeon Dance Wii, Xbox 360
Victorious: Time to Shine Xbox 360 D3 Publisher
Country Dance Wii GameMill Entertainment
Country Dance 2 Wii
2012 Country Dance All-Stars Xbox 360
Kinect Star Wars Xbox 360 LucasArts, Microsoft Studios
Zone of the Enders HD Collection PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Konami
Toy Story Mania! PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Disney Interactive Studios
Nickelodeon Dance 2 Wii, Xbox 360 2K Play
Avengers Initiative Android, iOS Disney Interactive
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown Android, iOS Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Victorious: Taking the Lead Wii D3 Publisher
2013 Le Vamp iOS High Voltage Software
Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte iOS
The Conduit HD Android
Mortal Kombat Microsoft Windows Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Enter the Dominatrix PlayStation 4, Xbox One Deep Silver
Injustice: Gods Among Us PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Ben 10: Omniverse 2 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U D3 Publisher
2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Nintendo 3DS Activision
2015 Saints Row IV: Re-Elected PlayStation 4, Xbox One Deep Silver
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Mortal Kombat X Microsoft Windows Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
2016 Damaged Core Microsoft Windows Oculus Studios
Dragon Front Microsoft Windows
2017 They Live to Destroy Microsoft Windows
2018 Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Funcom
Fortnite: Save the World Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Epic Games
2019 Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One GameMill Entertainment, Maximum Games
Ballista Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift Oculus Studios

Canceled[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Androvich, Mark (April 23, 2008). "High Voltage Software turns 15". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Larino, Jennifer (December 18, 2014). "Illinois video game developer to open New Orleans studio, hailed as economic development win". NOLA.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  3. ^ Van Zelfden, N. Evan (June 16, 2006). "Tour of Chicago – Pt. 1: High Voltage Software". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  4. ^ Casamassina, Matt (April 18, 2008). "Exclusive First Look: The Conduit". IGN. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  5. ^ "Q&A: Eric Nofsinger channels The Conduit". GameSpot. July 7, 2008. Archived from the original on December 15, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Weber, Rachel (December 18, 2014). "High Voltage to open New Orleans studio". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  7. ^ Wawro, Alex (December 19, 2014). "Chicago's High Voltage plans New Orleans expansion". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  8. ^ Dealessandri, Marie (December 15, 2020). "Keywords acquires High Voltage Software for $50m". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d Reseigh-Lincoln, Dom (April 16, 2018). "Video: Here's What Happened To The Grinder, A Wii Horror Shooter Lost To Development Hell". Nintendo Life. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "The Grinder no longer Wii-exclusive, new trailer, due out Halloween 2011, HVS talks The Conduit sales, Go Nintendo". Archived from the original on February 7, 2010.
  11. ^ Michele (February 15, 2010). "Screenshot of HD version of The Grinder". Gamesblog.it. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
  12. ^ Bargas, G. (April 10, 2013). "Interview: High Voltage Software Says 'The Grinder' Still Possible". GamingTruth. Retrieved May 22, 2018.

External links[edit]