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The 3DO Company

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The 3DO Company
Company typePublic
Nasdaq: THDO
IndustryVideo games
FoundedSeptember 12, 1991; 32 years ago (1991-09-12)[1]
DefunctMay 28, 2003; 21 years ago (2003-05-28)
FateChapter 11 bankruptcy
HeadquartersRedwood City, California, U.S.
Key people
Trip Hawkins, RJ Mical, Dave Needle
SubsidiariesNew World Computing

The 3DO Company, also known as 3DO, was an American video game company. It was founded in 1991 by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, in a partnership with seven other companies. 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 and published well-known games series like Army Men, Battletanx, High Heat Major League Baseball and Might and Magic but 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.[2]



Console developer

Panasonic 3DO console

Trip Hawkins wanted to get into the hardware market after the software market exploded with interest thanks to his involvement at Electronic Arts. 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 US$699 (equivalent to $1,500 in 2023).[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] The console's prospects continued to improve through the first half of 1995 with a number of critical success, including winning the 1995 European Computer Trade Show award for best hardware.[7]

In January 1996, The 3DO Company sold exclusive rights to its next generation console, M2, to Matsushita for $100 million.[8] 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.[9] Over the second half of 1996, the company restructured to focus on software development and online gaming, in the process cutting its staff from 450 to 300 employees.[10] President Hugh Martin was given full operating control, while Hawkins remained with the company as chairman, CEO, and creative director.[11]

I no longer own any 3DO IP, don't keep track of it and don't personally know any owners. Finding it would be like discovering the Ark of the Covenant! Nearly 30 years ago Matsushita and Samsung bought the system and hardware IP and the people involved then have retired. 3DO game software IP was auctioned off in 2003. Microsoft bought High Heat Baseball, Ubisoft bought Might and Magic. I believe Army Men is now owned by Take Two. Mystery solved?
— Trip Hawkins, Founder EA & 3DO[12]

Third-party developer


After selling the M2 technology to Matsushita, the company acquired Cyclone Studios,[13] New World Computing,[14] and Archetype Interactive. 3DO established a new office in Redmond, Washington devoted to PC games development, with Tony Garcia as its head.[15] In mid-1997 it sold off its hardware business to Samsung for $20 million, making a final break from its origins as a console developer.[16]

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.[17] Employees were laid off without pay.

The company's game brands and other intellectual properties were sold to rivals like Microsoft (High Heat Baseball), Namco (Street Racing Syndicate), Take-Two Interactive (Army Men) and Ubisoft (Might and Magic, Heroes of Might and Magic).[18] Founder Trip Hawkins paid $405,000 for rights to some old brands and the company's "Internet patent portfolio".[citation needed]

In April 2020, over 30 of the company's titles were purchased from Prism Entertainment by Ziggurat Interactive.[19]

List of games



Title Alternative title Notes
3DO Games: Decathlon
Army Men PC version.
Army Men: Air Attack Army Men: Air Combat (on Nintendo 64) 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
Blade Force
Captain Quazar
Crusaders of Might and Magic
Club 3DO: Station Invasion
Dragon Rage
Escape from Monster Manor
Family Game Pack Royale Family Game Pack (on PS)
Game Guru (3DO)
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.
Jurassic Park Interactive
Killing Time 3DO version by Studio3DO; Win95 and Mac port completed by Logicware, Inc.
Meridian 59: Vale of Sorrow
Portal Runner PlayStation 2 version.
Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball 2001
Sammy Sosa Softball Slam
Tozasarata Tachi
Twisted: The Game Show
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.
Zhadnost: The People's Party


Title Developer(s) NA EU Notes
3DO Buffet Interplay Yes No
Action Man: Destruction X Blitz Games No Yes Licensed from Hasbro Interactive.
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
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 Möbius 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
BattleSport Cyclone Studios Yes Yes Other releases than the 3DO published by Acclaim
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 Yes No
Gobs of Games 2n Productions Yes Yes Also known as Games Frenzy in Europe.
Gridders Tetragon Yes Yes
Heroes Chronicles series New World Computing Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic (Game Boy Color) KnowWonder Digital
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 Yes Yes
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 Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic IV Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering Storm Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War Yes Yes
High Heat Baseball 1999 Team .366 Yes No
High Heat Baseball 2000 Yes No
High Heat Major League Baseball 2002 Möbius Entertainment Yes Yes Game Boy Advance version.
High Heat Major League Baseball 2003 Yes Yes
The Horde (video game) Crystal Dynamics Yes Yes MS-DOS, Sega Saturn and FM Towns
Jonny Moseley Mad Trix GFX Construction/RTG
Yes Yes Game Boy Advance version.
Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative NetDevil Yes No
Killing Time Studio3DO Yes No 3DO version - 1995
Logicware Yes No PC & Mac ported version for Mac & PC/Win95; small print release on Mac and an even smaller print-run on PC/Win95
Legends of Might and Magic New World Computing Yes Yes
Mathemagics L3 Interactive Yes No
Meridian 59 Archetype Interactive Yes No First edition of the game (1996).
Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven New World Computing Yes No
Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor Yes Yes
Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer Yes Yes
Might and Magic IX Yes Yes
Player Manager 2000 ANCO No Yes
Phoenix 3 Gray Matter Studios Yes No
Portal Runner Handheld Games Yes No Game Boy Color version.
Requiem: Avenging Angel Cyclone Studios Yes No
Snow Job Ix Entertainment Yes Yes
Soccer Kid Team17 Yes No 3DO version only - 1994. Original game made by Krisalis.
Spaceward Ho! IV GhostNose Software
(Delta Tao licensed)
Yes No
Star Fighter Krisalis Yes No 3DO version only developed by Tim Parry and Andrew Hutchings, and original game developed by Fednet Software. Ports developed and published by Acclaim Entertainment and in Europe by Telstar. Also known as Star Fighter 3000.
Sven-Göran Eriksson's World Cup Challenge ANCO No Yes PlayStation and PlayStation 2 version.
Sven-Göran Eriksson's World Cup Manager No Yes
The Need for Speed Electronic Arts Yes Yes
TOCA Championship Racing Codemasters Yes No
Uprising: Join or Die Cyclone Studios Yes No
Uprising 2: Lead and Destroy Yes No
Uprising X 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



Distributed (U.S. only)


3DO Rating System


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:[20]

  • E - Everyone
  • 12 - Guidance for age 12 & under
  • 16 - Guidance for age 16 & under(Japan Only)
  • 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.[21] The 3DO rating for each game was designated voluntarily by the game's publisher,[20] in contrast to the ESRB ratings, which were determined independently by the ESRB.


  1. ^ "Business Search - Business Entities - Business Programs | California Secretary of State". businesssearch.sos.ca.gov. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Legal notices." 3DO Company. March 31, 2001. Retrieved on November 3, 2012. "The 3DO Company, 100 Cardinal Way, Redwood City, CA 94063."
  3. ^ Ramsay, M. (2012). Trip Hawkins. Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play (pp. 1-15). New York: Apress.
  4. ^ Matthews, Will (December 2013). "Ahead of its Time: A 3DO Retrospective". Retro Gamer (122). Imagine Publishing: 18–29.
  5. ^ "3DO Sales Slow, Stock Suffers". GamePro. No. 66. IDG. March 1994. p. 186.
  6. ^ "Tough Year for 3DO". GamePro. No. 84. IDG. September 1995. pp. 138–140.
  7. ^ "PlayStation Dominates European Show". Next Generation. No. 6. Imagine Media. June 1995. p. 14.
  8. ^ "Deal Propels M2 into System Wars". GamePro. No. 89. IDG. February 1996. pp. 16–17.
  9. ^ "Tidbits". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 84. Ziff Davis. July 1996. p. 15.
  10. ^ "Tidbits". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 88. Ziff Davis. November 1996. p. 21.
  11. ^ "3DO Company Restructures to Focus on Internet Games". GamePro. No. 99. IDG. December 1996. p. 32.
  12. ^ "Where Did 3DO Go?". May 4, 2020. Archived from the original on October 1, 2021. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  13. ^ Sherman, Christopher (February 1996). "Movers & Shakers". Next Generation. No. 14. Imagine Media. p. 25. It wasn't by mistake that 3DO's first acquisition since its sale of its M2 technology to Matsushita is designed to pump up Studio 3DO, the company's software arm. The move continues the diversification of The 3DO Company, the once-only licensor of gaming technology, into a software development house.
  14. ^ "The World According to Trip". Next Generation. No. 22. Imagine Media. October 1996. p. 159.
  15. ^ Svenson, Christian (October 1996). "3DO Renaissance Continues". Next Generation. No. 22. Imagine Media. p. 26.
  16. ^ "News Bits". GamePro. No. 108. IDG. September 1997. p. 22.
  17. ^ Becker, David (May 29, 2003). "3DO files for bankruptcy". CNET. Archived from the original on October 1, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  18. ^ "Namco, Ubisoft and MS carve up 3DO assets". August 18, 2003.
  19. ^ Taylor, Haydn (April 27, 2020). "Ziggurat Interactive acquires 3DO Game Company portfolio". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on October 1, 2021. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Rated E". GamePro. No. 67. IDG. April 1994. p. 174.
  21. ^ "Hey, How Do You Rate?". GamePro. No. 78. IDG. March 1995. p. 10.