August 27, 2004 - Following Monday's announcement of a waning loan extension and a possible bankruptcy filing, IGN has learned that Acclaim Entertainment has closed all of its offices today -- in Austin, Texas, Manchester, UK, and now, we've just learned, its headquarters in Glen Cove, New York as well. This morning IGN placed three phone calls to its New York headquarters, none were answered nor returned.
Contrary to other reports, however, there is no evidence of employees being fired or let go, according to several online sources. Although now that all three offices are closed, the next step is almost assuredly bankrupcty.
"Acclaim has not nine, but 25 lives," said John Taylor, a videogame analyst of Arcadia Investment Corp. of Portland, Oregon whose been covering the industry and Acclaim in particular since 1998. "But each time we go through this (critical financial point) it gets more challenging for them to re-establish themselves. Turok: Evolution was the most critical blow for the company financially. That really took the wind out of them. They've been heading south ever since."
On Monday the struggling game publisher made public its intention to extend a loan from primary lender GMAC Commercial Finance; the load had expired and Acclaim warned that -- if continuing negotiations with a new lender were unsuccessful -- the company may have to file for bankruptcy protection.
GMAC Commercial Finance is still waiting to hear the result of loan negotiations before seeking its debt. And Acclaim reported it was negotiating a proposed $65 million loan with an unnamed new lender. There is no new news on these talks.
Acclaim's financial worries are deep, affecting many aspects of its operation. The Glen Cove, NY-company is also being sued by Battleborne Entertainment (see article), the creative team responsible for Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers. Battleborne was granted an injunction in July against Acclaim by the Supreme Court of the State of New York to halt the release of its game. BattleBorne claimed the publisher hadn't made payments owed the developer as part of the title's development contract; and it claims the pubslisher also allegedly threatened to release the title before completing payments to BattleBorne.
We'll have more on Acclaim's financial future soon.