Accolade (company)

Last updated

Infogrames North America, Inc.
Accolade, Inc. (1984–1999)
Industry Video game industry
FateMerged out, "Accolade" brand name now owned by Billionsoft
FoundedNovember 12, 1984;34 years ago (1984-11-12) in Cupertino, California, U.S.
DefunctSeptember 11, 2000 (2000-09-11)
Area served
North America
Key people
Jim Barnett (CEO)
Parent Infogrames (1999–2000)
Website   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Infogrames North America, Inc. (formerly Accolade, Inc.) was an American video game developer and publisher based in San Jose, California. The company was founded as Accolade in November 1984 by Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead, who had previously co-founded Activision in October 1979.

A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.

A video game publisher is a company that publishes video games that have been developed either internally by the publisher or externally by a video game developer. As with book publishers or publishers of DVD movies, video game publishers are responsible for their product's manufacturing and marketing, including market research and all aspects of advertising.

San Jose, California City in California, United States

San Jose, officially the City of San José, is the economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,035,317, it is the third-most populous city in California and the tenth-most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.1 km2). San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San Jose is the main component of the San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area, with an estimated population of around 2 million residents in 2018. It is also the most populous city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.


In April 1999, Accolade was acquired by French video game company Infogrames Entertainment for a combined sum of US$60 million, of which US$50 million in cash and US$10 million in growth capital, and was renamed Infogrames North America, Inc. [1] [2] The company chief executive officer, Jim Barnett, was named head of Infogrames Entertainment's American distribution subsidiary. [3] In December 1999, Infogrames additionally acquired a controlling stake in GT Interactive for a total investment of US$135 million, and renamed it Infogrames, Inc. [4]

United States dollar Currency of the United States of America

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars.

Growth capital is a type of private equity investment, usually a minority investment, in relatively mature companies that are looking for capital to expand or restructure operations, enter new markets or finance a significant acquisition without a change of control of the business.

Chief executive officer Highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator

The chief executive officer (CEO) or just chief executive (CE), is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations. The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs typically aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc.

On September 11, 2000, Infogrames North America was acquired by Infogrames, Inc. for 28 million market shares transitioned to Infogrames Entertainment, effectively merging Infogrames North America into a newly founded, wholly owned subsidiary of Infogrames, Inc. [5] [6] [7]

In June 2017, Hong Kongese holding company Billionsoft announced that they had acquired the "Accolade" label, and announced Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back , in cooperation with developer Black Forest Games and publisher Tommo, to be the first game released under it.

<i>Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back</i>

Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back is a platform video game developed by Black Forest Games. The game was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 on October 31, 2017. The game is the fifth entry in the Bubsy series, and the first new entry in 21 years.

Black Forest Games German video game developer based in Offenburg, Germany

Black Forest Games is a German video game developer based in Offenburg. The company was founded in July 2012 by a team of 40 staff members, including chief executive officer Andreas Speer, previously employed by Spellbound Entertainment, which filed for insolvency earlier that year. As of August 2017, it is a subsidiary of THQ Nordic GmbH. As of July 2018, the company employs 60 people.


Tommo Inc. is an American video game publisher based in City of Industry, California. Founded in 1990, Tommo started out as a small independent distributor of imported video games. Since 2006, Tommo also operates a publishing subsidiary, UFO Interactive Games, which is best known for publishing original games, such as several titles in the Raiden series. In July 2013, Tommo acquired Humongous Entertainment and over 100 classic games from the Atari, Inc. bankruptcy proceedings. In October 2014, in conjunction with Night Dive Studios, Tommo launched its Retroism publishing label, which specializes in the re-release of classic video game titles into digital distribution channels. In 2017, it began working with a company known as Billionsoft to revive the long-defunct label Accolade and its brands, starting with the Bubsy series.


Early years

HardBall!, here seen on the Commodore 64, started a series that went on to become one of Accolade's most popular franchises. C64 Hardball.png
HardBall! , here seen on the Commodore 64, started a series that went on to become one of Accolade's most popular franchises.

Accolade's revenues grew from $1.5 million in 1985 to $5 million in 1986. It developed for most 1980s-era home computers, including the Commodore 64, Atari 400 & 800, the Amiga, Apple II and the PC. Some of their first titles include Law of the West , Psi-5 Trading Company , The Dam Busters , Mean 18 Golf , Test Drive , and HardBall! . Test Drive and HardBall! went on to become two of Accolade's longest-running franchises.

Home computer class of microcomputers

Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977, that started with what Byte Magazine called the "trinity of 1977", and which became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single nontechnical user. These computers were a distinct market segment that typically cost much less than business, scientific or engineering-oriented computers of the time such as the IBM PC, and were generally less powerful in terms of memory and expandability. However, a home computer often had better graphics and sound than contemporary business computers. Their most common uses were playing video games, but they were also regularly used for word processing, doing homework, and programming.

Commodore 64 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982

The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes(65,536 bytes) of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware.

Atari 8-bit family series of 8-bit home computers

The Atari 8-bit family is a series of 8-bit home computers introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1979 and manufactured until 1992. All of the machines in the family are technically similar and differ primarily in packaging. They are based on the MOS Technology 6502 CPU running at 1.79 MHz, and were the first home computers designed with custom co-processor chips. This architecture enabled graphics and sound capabilities that were more advanced than contemporary machines at the time of release, and gaming on the platform was a major draw. Star Raiders is considered the platform's killer app.

As the popularity of other systems waned, Accolade focused on PC and console development, including the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, Super NES and PlayStation.

A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.

Nintendo Entertainment System 8-bit third-generation home video game console developed and released by Nintendo in 1985

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is an 8-bit third-generation home video game console produced, released and marketed by Nintendo. It is a remodeled export version of the company's Family Computer (FC) platform in Japan, commonly known as the Famicom, which was launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched in the test markets of New York City and Los Angeles in 1985, with a full launch in the rest of North America and parts of Europe in 1986, followed by Australia and other European countries in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. In South Korea, it was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by Hyundai Electronics which is now SK Hynix; the Comboy was released in 1989.

Sega Genesis Fourth-generation home video game console and fourth developed by Sega

The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive in regions outside of North America, is a 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis is Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega released it as the Mega Drive in Japan in 1988, followed by North America as the Genesis in 1989. In 1990, it was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, and Tectoy in Brazil. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy.

All of Accolade's initial titles were developed in-house. But being a publisher as well as a developer, Accolade began to publish titles produced by other developers as well. By the mid-1990s, most of Accolade's game development was done by third-party developers.

In October 1991, Accolade was served with a lawsuit regarding copyright infringement, that eventually led to the concept of reverse engineering for interoperability purposes. Sega wanted to keep a hold on their consoles, and wanted all its games exclusive to Sega. Unwilling to conform to single platform games, Accolade engineers reverse engineered the Genesis console and created their own development systems; until then, game developers had to obtain the systems from Sega in order to develop games for the platform. Sega sued Accolade over the practice and won an initial injunction, forcing Accolade to remove all Genesis product from store shelves. Accolade, however, won on appeal and reached an out of court settlement with Sega that allowed Accolade to continue building their own Genesis cartridges, but as an official licensee.


The company had marginal successes during the early 1990s. Bubsy for the Genesis and Super NES sold well and was the company's best-selling game until Test Drive 4 came out in 1997. Star Control 2 for the PC (1992, MS-DOS) is still very well regarded and was one of the highest rated games of its time.

During a conference of management and producers, Accolade decided to focus only on sports and action games. Accolade already had several franchises based in these categories. Franchises in the sports genre included HardBall!, Unnecessary Roughness and Jack Nicklaus . In the broad "action" category they had the long-running franchise Test Drive.

Bob Whitehead left Accolade shortly after its founding; Alan Miller left in 1995. Before Miller left, the position of CEO was taken over by Peter Harris, who was placed there by Prudential Investments (Prudential had made a US$10 million investment in the company). Harris was on the board of directors and was formerly the CEO of FAO Schwarz and after Accolade, became the president of the San Francisco 49ers. Harris left the fate of the company in the hands of game industry neophyte, Jim Barnett. Under Barnett's direction, Accolade was rebuilt around action games and published Test Drive 4, 5 and 6 as well as Test Drive Offroad, all of which sold millions of units and become part of Sony's greatest hits program.

In 1997 Electronic Arts took over the distribution of all of Accolade's games. [8] Accolade was purchased by French publisher Infogrames in 1999, right after publishing their last game Redline . Accolade was the entry point for Infogrames' North America expansion and was merged with Infogrames' other operations and moved to Los Angeles. In 2013 Accolade's assets were purchased by Tommo [9] except for the Test Drive franchise, which is currently owned by Bigben Interactive.

Brand revival

In June 2017, Hong Kong-based holding company Billionsoft announced that they had acquired the "Accolade" branding, and, together with developer Black Forest Games and publisher Tommo, announced the upcoming release of a fifth installment in the Bubsy franchise, Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back . [10]


SunDog: Frozen Legacy 1984 (Apple II) FTL Games Accolade
HardBall! 1985 (Apple II, Atari 8-bit, C64)
1986 (Amstrad CPC, MacOS, ZX Spectrum)
1987 (Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, DOS, MSX)
1991 (Genesis)
Fight Night 1985 (Apple II)
1986 (Atari 8-bit, C64)
1987 (Atari XEGS)
1988 (Atari 7800)
Sydney Development Corporation Accolade
Law of the West 1985 (Apple II, C64)
1987 (NES, PC-88, PC-98)
Accolade U.S. Gold
The Dam Busters 1985 (Apple II, DOS) Sydney Development Corporation Accolade
Psi-5 Trading Company 1986 (C64, DOS)
1987 (Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW, ZX Spectrum)
Accolade U.S. Gold
Mean 18 1986 (Amiga, Atari ST, DOS)
1987 (Apple IIGS)
1989 (Atari 7800)
Killed Until Dead 1986 (C64)
1987 (Apple II)
Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
Ace of Aces 1986 (C64)
1987 (DOS)
1988 (Atari 7800, Atari 8-bit)
Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
Accolade Comics 1987 (Apple II, C64) Distinctive Software Accolade
The Train: Escape to Normandy 1987 (Apple II, C64)
1988 (Amstrad CPC, DOS, ZX Spectrum)
Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
4th & Inches 1987 (C64, Apple II)
1988 (Amiga, Apple IIGS, DOS, MacOS)
Pinball Wizard 1987 (DOS)
1988 (Atari ST)
ERE Informatique Accolade
Mini-Putt 1987 (C64, DOS)
1988 (Apple IIGS)
Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
Apollo 18: Mission to the Moon1987 (C64)
1988 (DOS)
Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
Power at Sea 1988 (C64) Distinctive Software Accolade
Test Drive 1987 (Amiga, Atari ST, C64, DOS)
1988 (Apple II)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Rack 'Em 1988 (DOS) Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
Serve & Volley 1988 (Apple II, Apple IIGS, C64, DOS) Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
Fast Break 1988 (C64, DOS)
1989 (Amiga, Apple IIGS, MacOS)
Grand Prix Circuit 1988 (C64, DOS)
1989 (Amiga, Apple IIGS, MacOS)
1990 (Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Card Sharks 1988 (C64)AccoladeAccolade
TKO 1988 (C64)
1989 (DOS)
Accolade Electronic Arts
Bubble Ghost 1988 (Amiga, Apple II, Apple IIGS, C64, DOS) ERE Informatique Accolade
Jack Nicklaus' Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf 1988 (C64, DOS)
1989 (Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple IIGS, Atari ST)
1990 (MacOS, TG-16)
Sculptured Software Accolade
Steel Thunder 1988 (C64)AccoladeAccolade
Hardball II 1989 (DOS)
1990 (Amiga, MacOS)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Test Drive II: The Duel 1989 (Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple IIGS, C64, DOS, MacOS, ZX Spectrum)
1990 (Atari ST)
1992 (Genesis, SNES)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Blue Angels: Formation Flight Simulation 1989 (Amiga, Atari ST, DOS)
1990 (C64)
Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
Day of the Viper 1989 (Amiga, Atari ST)
1990 (DOS)
Test Drive II Car Disk: Musclecars 1989 (Amiga, C64, DOS)
1990 (Atari ST)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Test Drive II Car Disk: The Supercars 1989 (Amiga, Apple IIGS, C64, MacOS)
1990 (Atari ST, DOS)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Test Drive II Scenery Disk: California Challenge 1989 (Amiga, Apple IIGS, C64, DOS)
1990 (Atari ST, MacOS)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Test Drive II Scenery Disk: European Challenge 1989 (Amiga, C64, DOS)
1990 (Apple IIGS, Atari ST, DOS)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Don't Go Alone 1989 (DOS)Sterling Silver SoftwareAccolade
The Cycles: International Grand Prix Racing 1989 (Amiga, C64, DOS)
1990 (Amstrad CPC, Mac OS, ZX Spectrum)
Distinctive Software Accolade
The Third Courier 1989 (DOS)
1990 (Amiga, Apple IIGS, Atari ST)
Manley & Associates Accolade
Bar Games 1989 (DOS)
1990 (Amiga)
Strike Aces 1990 (Amiga, DOS) Vektor Grafix Accolade
Test Drive III: The Passion 1990 (DOS)AccoladeAccolade
Gunboat 1990 (Amstrad CPC, DOS, ZX Spectrum)
1991 (Amiga)
Heat Wave 1990 (Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS) Artech Digital Entertainment Accolade
Ishido: The Way of Stones 1990 (Amiga, DOS, Genesis, MacOS)Publishing InternationalAccolade
The Game of Harmony 1990 (Amiga, C64, DOS)
1991 (GB)
The Assembly Line Accolade
Altered Destiny 1990 (DOS)
1991 (Amiga)
Stratego 1990 (DOS, MacOS)
1991 (Amiga, Atari ST, C64)
Jack Nicklaus' Unlimited Golf & Course Design 1990 (Amiga, DOS) Sculptured Software Accolade
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark 1990 (Amiga, DOS)
1991 (Atari ST, C64)
Horror Soft Accolade
Les Manley in: Search for the King 1990 (DOS)
1991 (Amiga)
Test Drive II: The Collection 1990 (Amiga, C64)
1991 (DOS)
Distinctive Software Accolade
Star Control 1990 (Amiga, Amstrad CPC, DOS)
1991 (C64, ZX Spectrum)
Toys for Bob Accolade
The Games: Winter Challenge 1991 (DOS)MindSpanAccolade
Les Manley in: Lost in L.A. 1991 (DOS)AccoladeAccolade
The Cardinal of the Kremlin 1991 Capstone Software Accolade
Turrican 1991 (GB, Genesis, TG-16) Rainbow Arts Accolade
Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus 1991 (DOS)
1992 (Amiga, Atari ST)
Horror Soft Accolade
Hoverforce 1991 (DOS)Astral SoftwareAccolade
Mike Ditka Power Football 1991 (DOS, Genesis)AccoladeAccolade
The Games: Summer Challenge 1992 (DOS)
1993 (Genesis)
Jack Nicklaus Golf & Course Design: Signature Edition 1992 (DOS) Sculptured Software Accolade
Waxworks 1992 (Amiga, DOS)
2009 (Windows)
2012 (MacOS)
Horror Soft Accolade
Snoopy's Game Club 1992 (DOS)AccoladeAccolade
Universal Soldier 1992 (GB, Genesis) The Code Monkeys Accolade
Grand Prix Unlimited 1992 (DOS)AccoladeAccolade
Zyconix 1992 (Amiga, DOS) Miracle Games Accolade
Hardball III 1992 (DOS)
1993 (Genesis)
1994 (SNES)
Star Control II 1992 (DOS)
1994 (3DO)
Toys for Bob Accolade
Warp Speed 1992 (SNES)
1993 (Genesis)
Speed Racer in The Challenge of Racer X 1993 (DOS)AccoladeAccolade
Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind 1993 (Genesis, SNES)AccoladeAccolade
Pelé! 1993 (Genesis) Radical Entertainment Accolade
Unnecessary Roughness 1993 (DOS)AccoladeAccolade
Unnecessary Roughness '95 1994 (DOS, Genesis)AccoladeAccolade
Ballz 1994 (Genesis, SNES) PF Magic Accolade
Battle Isle 2200 1994 (DOS) Blue Byte Accolade
Bubsy II 1994 (GB, Genesis, SNES)Accolade, Images Software (GB)Accolade
Cyclemania 1994 (DOS)Compro GamesAccolade
Barkley Shut Up and Jam! 1994 (Genesis, SNES)AccoladeAccolade
Brett Hull Hockey 95 1994 (Genesis, SNES)
1995 (DOS)
Radical Entertainment Accolade
HardBall 4 1994 (DOS, Genesis)MindSpanAccolade
Pelé II: World Tournament Soccer 1994 (Genesis) Radical Entertainment Accolade
Zero Tolerance 1994 (Genesis) Technopop Accolade
Combat Cars 1994 (Genesis)AccoladeAccolade
Speed Racer in My Most Dangerous Adventures 1994 (SNES) Radical Entertainment Accolade
HardBall 5 1995 (DOS, Genesis)
1996 (PS1)
Barkley Shut Up and Jam! 2 1995 (Genesis)AccoladeAccolade
Unnecessary Roughness '96 1995 (DOS)AccoladeAccolade
Star Control 3 1996 (DOS) Legend Entertainment Accolade
Eradicator 1996 (DOS)
2014 (Linux, MacOS, Windows)
AccoladeAccolade (DOS), Night Dive Studios
Deadlock: Planetary Conquest 1996 (Windows, Windows 3.x)
1997 (MacOS)
AccoladeAccolade, MacSoft (MacOS)
PO'ed 1996 (PS1)Any ChannelAccolade
Pitball 1996 (PS1)Warner Interactive EntertainmentAccolade
Bubsy 3D: Furbitten Planet 1996 (PS1) Eidetic Accolade
Test Drive: Off-Road 1997 (DOS, PS1) Elite Systems (DOS), Motivetime Ltd.Accolade
Jack Nicklaus 4 1997 (Windows) Cinematronics, LLC Accolade
Jack Nicklaus 5 1997 (Windows 3.x)Eclipse EntertainmentAccolade
Test Drive 4 1997 (PS1, Windows)Pitbull Syndicate LimitedAccolade
Deadlock II: Shrine Wars 1998 (Windows) Cyberlore Studios Accolade
Test Drive 5 1998 (PS1, Windows)Pitbull Syndicate LimitedAccolade
Test Drive: Off-Road 2 1998 (PS1, Windows)AccoladeAccolade
HardBall 6 1998 (Windows)MindSpanAccolade
Big Air 1998 (PS1)Pitbull Syndicate LimitedAccolade
HardBall 6 - 2000 Edition 1999 (Windows)MindSpanAccolade
Redline 1999 (Windows) Beyond Games Accolade
Slave Zero 1999 (Dreamcast, Windows)Infogrames North AmericaInfogrames North America
Test Drive: Off-Road 3 1999 (Windows)Infogrames North AmericaInfogrames North America

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