|Key People (choice)|
|Information||merged into Infogrames|
Accolade was founded by Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead. The first titles of the young company were Law of the West, Test Drive, Psi 5 Trading Company, Mean 18 Golf, The Dam Busters and Hardball. Test Drive and Hardball turned out the be the most persistent franchise. The first games by Accolade were developed in their own company. Later more and more games by other producers were added until Accolade published almost exclusively games by other companies in the middle of the 90s.
They developed for the common system of the homecomputer scene at that time: C64, Atari 400, Apple II, Amiga and PC. When the homecomputer slowly came to an end, Accolade concentrated on consoles and PC games. They developed for the NES, SNES, Mega Drive and the Playstation.
In 1992 Accolade caused a stir with a spectacular lawsuit against Sega. The high licence fees by Nintendo and Sega were a thorn in Accolade's side. They bypassed this by being able to create games for both systems through re-engineering without having to pay the licence fees. Sega then sued Accolade and won the first lawsuit, whereby Accolade was forced to have all console games for the Sega Mega Drive taken out of the shelve. Accolade appealed on points of law and won the lawsuit. In an out of court agreement "Accolade" kept the right to be allowed to go on producing own Mega Drive cartridges.
At the beginning of the 90s, Accolade was immensely successful. Many games from this time still today count as the big ones of the corresponding genre. In the middle of the 90s Accolade published a great number of games - in all possible genres - which were only average though and did not really stand out. At a manager conference the decision was made to conentrate on the genres Action and Sport. This decision was made for a reason, as Accolade had placed successful franchises in these genres in the past.
Alan Miller left Accolade in 1995 and Bob Whitehead followed him only little time later. Before Alan Miller left the company, the position of company boss was filled by Peter Harris. This had been decided by Prudential Investments, which already had invested 10 Mio. US Dollars into Accolade. After leaving the company for a baseball team, Harris left the fortunes of Accolade to Jim Barnett, who was new to the sector. Under the lead of Barnetts the Test Drive series was introduced again and expanded by offroad games. In 1999, Accolade was bought by Infogrames after having published their last game Redline. In the same year the company was silently merged with Infogrames. The office in San Jose moved to Los Angeles.
According to the legend, Miller and Whitehead chose Accolade as a name, because it was found before Atari and Apple in the phone book. Acclaim and Absolute Entertainment were named after the same principle. Whereby these companies were founded by ex Activision employees.
Former employees of Accolade enriched many other companies. Below the companies, which then profited this way from the experience of Accolade are Electronic Arts, Maxis, LucasArts, Activision and many more.
- Winter-Challenge with Accolade History