Greg Fischbach gaming returns with the launch of a new game publisher, Accelerate Games. This startup was the first gaming company after Fischbach, which started video game publisher Acclaim Entertainment in 1987.
The former Fischbach company published games such as Mortal Kombat and the controversial NBA Jam, but closed in 2004. Now Fischbach hopes to capitalize on its relationship with game makers and start a new publisher to develop “brands and build lasting intellectual property”, Fischbach said in an interview. with GamesBeat.
“We are building a team, and the idea of building a team is very important for all of this,” said Fischbach. “Everyone has a role. Everyone’s voice matters. That’s what I’ve learned from everything I’ve done. “
The company’s first title was a remake of Toy Soldiers, a game from Signal Studios that pits toy soldiers in World War I modeled dioramas against each other. The action strategy game made its debut on Xbox Live Arcade in 2010 and on Windows in 2012.
The game continued to sell over the years (it has sold millions to date), and the original developer, Signal Studios, wanted to remake it and get the rights to it. Fischbach asked Microsoft whether to give the rights back to the developer. Microsoft agrees, even though the game is one of the best-selling Xbox Live Arcade games of all time.
“I was very surprised,” said Fischbach.
And that prompted further talks between Signal and the Fischbach team. And they have agreed that the first game Accelerate Games will publish will be a remake of Toy Soldiers, which has the working name Toy Soldiers HD. Coming in 2021, it will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Accelerate Games will offer global publishing, distribution, and marketing support so developers can focus on what matters most to them: the creative process. The Toy Soldiers franchise was created by DR Albright III, president and creative director at Signal Studios.
Fischbach says Toy Soldiers’ appeal lies in its historical accuracy, hardcore action and strategy, humor, and contagious gameplay. The game is replayable, and has many dedicated fans.
Co-founders of Accelerate Games include Brett Gow, former studio partner at Signal Studios, former director of development at Glu Mobile, and former senior producer at Microsoft Game Studios; and John Chao, former head of data and strategy officer at Rabbit and former vice president of marketing at Telefora.
Most recently, Fischbach is an investor and CEO at Rabbit, which allows people to watch movies together and chat on video. It raised $ 50 million, but Fischbach says the company was sold too early to Kast. Fischbach says Rabbit may be a competitor to Zoom, which took off during the pandemic.
After the deal was concluded in mid-2019, Fischbach met with Gow and Chao and discussed what to do next.
“It was Brett’s idea that I got involved and did something again,” said Fischbach.
They officially started the company about a year ago, and they talked to lots of independent developers and platform owners. Their goal is to publish maybe half a dozen to a dozen games a year. Although their first game was a remake, Fischbach said the company was open to all kinds of games.
Fischbach was an entertainment attorney in the 1970s, but he switched to gaming in 1983, when he became president of Activision International. In 1987, he co-founded Acclaim Entertainment and served as CEO until 2003. He is also the co-founder of the Entertainment Software Association and the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Both groups are trying to keep the gaming industry from flirting with politicians, as games like Mortal Kombat drive the anti-violence lobby.
Compared to that time, the gaming industry is very different now, says Fischbach. At that time, a game will be sold for several months through retailers, and after that, sales will drop dramatically and you will be forced to work on a sequel. Now distribution has shifted to digital and subscriptions are expanding.
“Toy Soldiers is an exciting product because it continues to sell, and Microsoft continues to support it for the next 10 years,” said Fischbach. “This opportunity, and an opportunity for independent developers, was created by moving businesses from packaged goods to digital distribution.”
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