Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Saturday, 07 April 2012 06:00
Video game publishers come and go. Sometimes if gamers are lucky the closing studios' franchises are acquired by other companies. If gamers are not so lucky, the company folds and their favored franchise end up disappearing. Here’s taking a look back at some well known developers who had their heyday.
Gamers have seen the rise and fall of 3DO from console developer to game developer. 3DO was best known for the Heroes of Might and Magic series. A great set of turn based strategy games that forced many a gamer to stay up later trying to scour the map for everything.
Acclaim is another developer that has ceased to exist. In 2004 they filed for bankruptcy. Acclaim was best known for great games that came out of the mid 1990s. The Turok series for the N64 was one of their better known series. Those games were a blast. Acclaim was also responsible for publishing the original Burnout and a large chunk of the WWF Wrestle mania games from the 1990s.
Sierra is yet another favored developer that has fallen to the wayside. Well, Activision owns them now, so gamers can always hope. Sierra was a pioneer of PC adventure games. Gamers will most likely remember them for games such as the very disturbing Phantasmagoria and Kings Quest. Both were great games that I felt were ahead of their time.
Midway was one of the great companies to be extremely successful in the 1990s. Back then it was as if they could do no wrong, but for some reasons they also folded due to bankruptcy. Warner Bros has most of their assets now and continues to publish their IPs such as Mortal Kombat. Midway’s popular games included NBA Jam, the Cruis’n series, NFL Blitz, Rampage, San Francisco Rush, and Primal Rage. Out of all the games mentioned, I’m sure gamers would love to see an HD remake of Rush or Primal Rage.
Two of the game studios I personally miss the most are Black Isle and 3D Realms. Black Isle met its tragic fate in 2003 due to financial hardship. Black Isle was best known for the Baldur's Gate series, Fallout 1 and 2, Planescape: Torment, and Icewind Dale. I have to say there is not a single game they released that was considered bad. I really wish someone would do an HD Fallout 2 or a sequel to Planescape. Amazon does have big box set with almost all of Black Isle's games in a large Anthology collection.
3D Realms is another great studio from the 1990s. Most gamers would associate 3D Realms with Duke Nukem Forever and Duke Nukem 3D. Even though the studio closed, and Gearbox picked up and published Duke Nukem Forever, there are still other franchises 3D Realms was known for. How about Shadow Warrior, Rise of the Triad, or the original Wolfenstein 3D? Those games were influential to modern FPS games. 3D Realms was also responsible for the original Max Payne. When 3D-Realms was first developing games in the early 1990s the company was known as Apogee in the early 90s and was best known for the Commander Keen series. I would love to see a Rise of the Triad remake or maybe someone can give the HD treatment to Commander Keen.
There you have it, a list of some of the great game studios that have folded. These studios closed for one reason or another. While some of the gaming licences have been absorbed by other companies, time will tell if gamers will see a re-release, or sequels of the once great games many of these studios were known for.