It’s sad to see a video game company die. The tragedy of companies such as Lucasarts and THQ being killed off is still talked about to this day, and their back catalogue of historical titles are still making a lot of money on the retro games market.
Poor monetary decisions, pressure from a horribly demanding industry or downright sabotage from parent companies can kill a company outright if they fail to keep up, and this is what commonly happens with video game companies.
However, sometimes a company dies an undignified death thanks to a single bad decision, and the game that caused their death lives on in infamy. It’s a rare occurrence, but it highlights the tightrope that companies have to walk in order to stay successful in such a demanding business.
These ten examples are some of the most interesting and insane. They mark the deaths of some of the most beloved companies with the one mistake that put them under, never to return to the industry they helped define.
10. BMX XXX - Acclaim
Acclaim wasn’t a company that was ‘acclaimed’ in any way form or manner.
Beginning in 1987 with the release of Tiger-Heli for the NES, Acclaim kept themselves just above water by releasing games that were just above acceptable.
Later in their life, however, Acclaim seemed to go mad with trying to stay in business. Their marketing became more and more ridiculous, to the point where it started to have a detrimental effect on the company.
This self-destruction reached fever pitch with the release of BMX XXX in 2002.
Dave Mirra’s Freestyle BMX was a series that was fairly popular, but when they pitched Mirra this softcore porn title he walked, leaving Acclaim to market it themselves. Nonetheless, Acclaim staked a lot on BMX XXX with a hefty marketing campaign, yet it was a huge flop mainly due to its adult themes and strip club footage that was far too extreme for a series that used to be family friendly.
Proving that sometimes sex doesn’t sell, it forced Acclaim into a downward spiral that they just couldn’t recover from, and they shut their doors in 2004 never to open again.