Acclaim Entertainment was a U.S.-based video game publisher that released games over multiple gaming consoles and handhelds in the late 1980s, 1990s and the early part of the 21st century. A great deal of its output was either licensed games or ports of many of Midway's arcade games (including the Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam series).
The name "Acclaim" is dubious among gamers, due in part to the perception of the quality of its licensed output (which, in contrast to its arcade ports, generally ranges from mediocre to poor), most of which it published under its LJN Toys, Ltd. label (in the same way Konami did with "Ultra Games", due to Nintendo's strict licensing policies during the NES era). It should be noted that Acclaim/LJN developed very few of its games. Most of the games they published were actually commissioned to external developers such as Rare, Beam Software, Pack-in Studios, and even Atlus (yes, the same people that did Megami Tensei, also developed the Karate Kid game). Even then, Acclaim still bears some responsibility just for the sole fact that they published their bad games.
The company made several questionable marketing decisions during its waning years (such as the infamous decision to include nudity in what became BMX XXX; this angered Dave Mirra enough that he sued Acclaim for damages, fearing that the negative reception to the game would taint his previous association with the series). The company eventually filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September 2004, effectively shutting it down for good. Ironically, when Acclaim went under it had finished making an exceptionally good licensed game based on The Red Star, which was eventually picked up for publication by XS Games and released in 2007.
In 2006, another company acquired Acclaim's name and logo and called itself "Acclaim Games", acting as a publisher of MMORPGs such as BOTS, 9Dragons and The Chronicles of Spellborn. The new company operated for four years before ceasing operations a second time on August 26, 2010.
Games published/developed by Acclaim prior to its (first) collapse:
- Aggressive Inline
- Arch Rivals
- Burnout (first two games only)
- Dave Mirra's BMX
- BMX XXX (initially conceived as a Dave Mirra-endorsed game; released without the Mirra branding following a lawsuit)
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge (the NES version)
- Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones
- Legends of Wrestling
- Mortal Kombat (home versions)
- Mortal Kombat 2 (home versions)
- NBA Jam (home versions)
- the Turok series
- the Wizards and Warriors series (Developed by Rare)
- a division of Zenimax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks