UPDATED: Breaking News: Acclaim Sees Massive Redundancies As End Draws Near

Phones off, studio walk-outs and more...

Posted by Staff
UPDATED: Breaking News: Acclaim Sees Massive Redundancies As End Draws Near
We are getting reports that Acclaim is seeing massive redundancies across its entire operation, with one source close to the ailing publisher claiming “This is now the end.”

We began taking calls on the subject this morning, with various credible sources calling to make claims that the once-mighty publisher had delivered news of almost total shutdown to its staff.

Calling Acclaim this morning sees the phones at head office switched to out-of-hours mode, hinting that this is indeed the end.

Stay tuned for updates on this story as the day unfolds.

UPDATE:

We have received further unconfirmed reports that around 130 staff from Acclaim’s Manchester studio have been made redundant, with suggestions that these unfortunate staff members have not been paid for what was described as a ‘considerable amount of time.’ Reports that the rent for the office is outstanding have also reached us.

However, one Acclaim staffer has contacted us to say that until further notice, everyone is still employed by Acclaim, returning to work on Tuesday.

Acclaim’s Texas office was closed yesterday, with the loss of almost all employees there.

However, Acclaim is keeping its New York head office open and operational at this time.

We’ll bring you more as we get it.

UPDATE:

We can reveal at this juncture that Acclaim will be filing for bankruptcy on Monday 30th August 2004 under Chapter 11. This news derives from the most credible of sources and will be officially announced in New York on the above stated morning.

And that, as they say, is that. We’ll promise no more updates: as this would appear to be the conclusion of Acclaim’s sorry decadency from publishing giant to ruined failure.

The dissection of exactly how the firm fell from grace so conclusively will have to wait for another day.

SPOnG would like to wish everyone at Acclaim whose lives were so adversely effected by the decision-making processes of their superiors the very best of luck in finding future employment.

Companies:

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Comments

Showing the 20 most recent comments. Read all 23.
brainofedsan 27 Aug 2004 14:31
4/23
Games are corporate.

Do you worry when McDonalds staff loose their jobs no???

Seems that Juiced will pay off all the management.

I was gonna suggest raising a glass, this Friday eve, but all the good staff have gone..hence the mess.
redrobe500 27 Aug 2004 14:33
5/23
Actually. This is not quite true about the Manchester Office being shut down, true they have been told to go home and have not been paid their last months wages (payday was supposed to be today) but they are not officially redundant. This has not yet occurred, technically they are still employed by acclaim..until they are notified otherwise.
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TigerUppercut 27 Aug 2004 14:59
6/23
redrobe500 wrote:

>Actually. This is not quite true about the
>Manchester Office being shut down, true they have
>been told to go home and have not been paid their
>last months wages (payday was supposed to be
>today) but they are not officially redundant.
>This has not yet occurred, technically they are
>still employed by acclaim..until they are
>notified otherwise.

SPOnG London took a call from an unnamed AEM employee who said exactly this. Piece edited accordingly.
Ditto 27 Aug 2004 15:15
7/23
The beginning of the end for videogame publishing diversity.

The start of a painful and stinging convergence that will surely cause oligopolisation of the market by several large companies, those only aim is profit.

And a warning to everyone else to watch their back. The good days are over.
Metal Slug 27 Aug 2004 15:19
8/23
Turok 2 was truly a superb game, but as the 'flagship' franchise for Acclaim, perhaps they should have worried more about delivering subsequent sequels of a similar high quality, rather than over-hyped, poor quality, cash-ins?
As someone who was actually looking forward to the last Turok (I was stupid enough to shell out my £40 on the day of release) I was appalled by the singular lack of any kind of quality in this 'next gen' instalment of my favourite N64 classic!
When I took a very brief look at the 'making of' DVD and realised that they'd actually based the animal violence upon the filming of actual hunting/slaughter I felt doubly sickened!
Don't feel bad for Acclaim, feel glad that we wont be duped into buying any more rubbish that funds certain programmers love of sickening blood-sports!
Exarkun 27 Aug 2004 16:41
9/23
That's a nice stance to take about the company.

However have you taken the time to think about the people who have not been paid this month, who have an uncertain future, especially those with families.

It's okay to joke about the companies future or lack of it, but before you start taking the piss think about those people.

Would you find it funny if people started bad mouthing you and laughing at you when you were in this Situation. I would be supprised if you did.

Everything that's being said is speculation by people who don't know whats happening. I was made redundant from infogrames 2 and a half years ago so i know what there going through, and i hope it gets sorted soon.
Metal Slug 27 Aug 2004 18:11
10/23
Turok 2 was truly a superb game, but as the 'flagship' franchise for Acclaim, perhaps they should have worried more about delivering subsequent sequels of a similar high quality, rather than over-hyped, poor quality, cash-ins?
As someone who was actually looking forward to the last Turok (I was stupid enough to shell out my £40 on the day of release) I was appalled by the singular lack of any kind of quality in this 'next gen' instalment of my favourite N64 classic!
When I took a very brief look at the 'making of' DVD and realised that they'd actually based the animal violence upon the filming of actual hunting/slaughter I felt doubly sickened!
Don't feel bad for Acclaim, feel glad that we wont be duped into buying any more rubbish that funds certain programmers love of sickening blood-sports!

NOTE: Reply to 'Exarkun'
The above message isn't 'taking the piss' and I dont see why I should feel sorry for a company whose demise is simply due to the fact that they stopped producing commercially viable products?
I'm sure I'm not the only buyer of 'Turok Evolution' who was left feeling 'ripped off' after a few seconds play?
And with the amount of negative publicity that 'fake' violence in Video Games generates, I think that to use development money to fund 'actual' violence against innocent animals to make the make the game 'more real' is absolutely sickening and completely outrageous.
FACT: Turok Evolution's total lack of quality certainly contributed to this situation, and had they produced a game of the quality of TUROK 2-Seeds of Evil, we almost certainly would not be having this discussion. It would certainly have provided some respite.
As for the question of 'Is it acceptable to commit real acts of violence to make a video game'?
I think anyone with any kind of decency would have to conclude NO NOT EVER!
So, do I feel sorry for a company that took my money and sold me a lousy product?
What do you think?
Do I feel sorry for the general 'staff' who lost their jobs because of the defective reasoning of their managment?
Yes, of course.
I hope the industry learns not to release poor quality rushed sequels with debatable morality underlying their development.
vagus 27 Aug 2004 18:16
11/23
Being a Journalist myself, I'm appauled by your lack of judgment on this story.

Obviously you don't understand what Chatper 11 Bankrupcy means, or you wouldn't be going on about :
.

"The dissection of exactly how the firm fell from grace so conclusively will have to wait for another day."

Grow up children. First to post doesn't mean ignore the facts.
FX_Munkee 27 Aug 2004 19:21
12/23
I could rant all day about the management at Acclaim but I won't. I'm more concerned with what's happening to the staff right now, most of the people at Manchester came from the old Creations which went pop 2.5 years ago when we were flung out the door with no pay, which isn't very funny when people have mortgages and kids.
As much as I dislike the company I sincerely hope that they manage to struggle on just for the sake of the guys there, who really don't deserve this Sh*t again.
Hope everybody has their escape route planned (I could do with a plumber, you know who you are...)

PS we were going to make make the new Turok at Manchester but the marketing dep canned it as they thought the image was too badly tarnished after Evolution. Shame really we thought we might have had quite a good go at that.
Medusa 27 Aug 2004 20:41
13/23
Well said. I do wonder if the Manchester studio was the only one to go without pay...and of course, if the fat-cat management, who brought all this on in the first place, also lost out.
Interesting that head office should remain operational. Evidence again of the life-blood of development getting sucked out by corporate vampires, especially when Manchester studio's staff were kept completely in the dark about this right up to kicking them out.
EXAEM 27 Aug 2004 22:08
14/23
Ex Acclaim Manchester people dont bother going in on tuesday ive just heard through the grapevine that Baliffs have been in and closed the place down. Atari shutting the building down due to non rent being paid.
jankees77 28 Aug 2004 11:49
15/23
anybody have an idea what is happening to the Cheltenham studio? According to acclaims job website they have been hiring for the last month or so.

You can also send me a mail if you know what is happening at [email protected]
Darkpsyde 28 Aug 2004 12:49
16/23
Im sorry to say that any company inherrently producing year on year "bad" games such as Turok variants on N64 deserves to go down..

Trickstyle tho looking nice was pants to play..

acclaims good days were on snes and after that it was producing games that although looked great played rubbish..

GOOD publishers look for good gameplay.. simple.. gameplay means games sell and then sell more off thier back ..

nuff said..

Respect to all the people who lost thier jobs tho.. sorry guys good luck for the future !

its a hard life...
config 30 Aug 2004 00:43
17/23
vagus wrote:

>Being a Journalist myself, I'm appauled by your
>lack of judgment on this story.
>Obviously you don't understand what Chatper 11
>Bankrupcy means, or you wouldn't be going on
>about :
>"The dissection of exactly how the firm fell from
>grace so conclusively will have to wait for
>another day."
>
>Grow up children. First to post doesn't mean
>ignore the facts.

You've got a nerve! LOL

You think filing for Chapter 11, sending staff home without pay, failing to pay llicence fees and losing key brands to the competition doesn't constitute a "fall from grace"?

Really?

Sure, Acclaim could have a guardian angel appear in a shower of glitter, but let's face it - at this stage that ain't gonna happen. At best it'll (continue to) cut the fat (if there is any more to cut) and manage to pull itself up by its bootstraps. I doubt this would happen. It's likely that it'll be bought wholesale at a bargain basement price by EA, Infogrames, Ubisoft or blah. Just as liikely it'll be scattered to the winds. Either of the latter would very likely result in the demise of the Acclaim name. After all it's clear to see that it no longer holds any cachet.

S**t dude. If you're gonna be appauled at anything, be appauled by the shocking mismanagement, the loss of jobs, the way the fat cats at the top might make off like robbers while staff get to default on their mortgages.
bonsai 31 Aug 2004 08:41
18/23
UK Pensions:

> the way the fat cats at the top might make off like robbers
> while staff get to default on their mortgages.

It may be a bit worse than that for UK staff, it looks like we have had our pensions stolen for the last 6 months too, its not totally clear what the situation is yet, but it is possible our employee contributions (the amount we pay, deducted from our paycheck) has been taken by Acclaim, and not paid to our pension company. Acclaims part of the payment (employer contributions) have definately not been paid since April. The pension comany we use is also in potential trouble for not notifying us until the day after it all went pear shaped, they should have told us in June at the latest.

In short, they have been taking our pension contributions since April and just keeping them.

At the Cheltenham (UK) studio, mass confusion reigned, we might find out what is going on in due time. In the mean time, anyone need a PS2 coder ? ;-)

bonsai.
Plumbjob 31 Aug 2004 08:42
19/23
Its true the infrogrames bailifs have locked down the manchester studio, there is not much point everyone turning up this morning.

But i will be going non the same.

There is but a glimmer of hope for the Manchester staff, i believe upper management are looking to put together rescue packages. I've no details of what this entails though or how real it is.

On a more serious front, there is the unpaid pension issue... i.e. shortfalls since April.
I'll be ringing OPRA today to find out what if anything can be done, I advise other Ex-Acclaim staff to do the same...then I'll be putting on my boiler suit.

jankees77 31 Aug 2004 14:17
20/23
Bonsai,

are you from the Cheltenham studio?
Plumbjob 31 Aug 2004 22:57
21/23
UPDATE: Re:Manchester Studios

For those that are unaware and were at the Manchester Offices, there is a meeting at 11.30am, Wed at Dukes92.



config 1 Sep 2004 10:38
22/23
Plumbjob wrote:

>UPDATE: Re:Manchester Studios
>
>For those that are unaware and were at the
>Manchester Offices, there is a meeting at
>11.30am, Wed at Dukes92.

If its not inappropriate, I'm sure we'd all b e interested to know how the metting goes for you guys.

Good luck.

Plumbjob 2 Sep 2004 09:56
23/23
No real news from the meeting yesterday, but it is likely Acclaim are filing Chapter 7.

Talks are underway with 2 interested parties but no details for obvious reasons.

All are advised to dust off their CV's.
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