Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 6:13 am Post subject: The lost gaming companies: ASC and Trilobyte
I thought this could've gone in Lost Treasures, but this doesn't deal with unpublished games; rather, with dead companies.
I recently got the PC game called "Sanitarium" from a friend of mine who couldn't play the game. I looked at the box, and it said that the publisher was a company named XS Games. But when I installed the game, and played it, it said "American Softworks Corporation" (or ASC Games) all over. Intrigued, I looked around for the company's website and found nothing but a report on a lawsuit that ASC suffered. Which is too wordy for me to understand. Now you know why I refused to take Law Translation classes at school. :P
Anyway, what bothers me is that this "XS Games" company has a really shoddy website, not to mention that they say that I should visit it to get a manual but they have squat. I'd like to know who these people are, why they're selling a game that's very clearly marked as an ASC game, without mentioning either ASC or the developer on the box. Which is just a cardboard box, it's one of those cheapy 9.99 Wal-Mart games. Eheheh. -_-;;;
The second company is Trilobyte. They developed The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour - only recently have I found a way to play The 7th Guest on my Windows XP machine... curious, I decided to look for them, and the only link I could find was http://www.tbyte.com/ - A site that no longer exists. I've been unable to find more info on them.
... does anyone here know what happened to these companies? They couldn't have just vanished, especially Trilobyte, they had those two games... then again, I never heard of more games by them. :\
Joined: 16 Jan 2004 Posts: 281 Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 4:30 pm Post subject:
Yeah, XS Games seems to primarily handle publishing of low-budget games. The only games they ported over in-house (at least, I think they were in-house) are titles like Sol Divide and Mobile Light Force that are butchered versions of the Japanese originals where they translated as little as possible. Newer games, like Syberia, they appear to be merely a publisher.
ASC made some decent games on PSX, like Ten Pin Alley... it's possible they became XS or were bought out by them, but I'd say unlikely. You're right though, I haven't heard of anything by them in quite some time. Perhaps they went bankrupt? Wouldn't mind knowing myself. The last game of theirs I remember was Animaniacs Ten Pin Alley...
I'd like to know exactly what happened to Psygnosis too. One minute, they're prolific, next minute, they're gone...
Joined: 26 Aug 2003 Posts: 673 Location: New Orleans, LA
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:58 pm Post subject:
The last console game that I know of that was published by American Softworks (publishers of Treasure Master, Power Punch II, and Mutant Virus on the NES, as well as a few SNES, Genesis, PlayStation, and Saturn games) was on the PlayStation in 1999... TNN Motorsports Hardcore TR
ASC Games (the name used on their later-published material) seems to have been primarily a publishing group, with games developed by Software Creations, Beam Software, ASCII Entertainment, and a host of others. I didn't follow the link that was posted, but I'd imagine that if American Softworks is still around, they either merged into another company or changed their name.
I'm pretty sure XS and ASC are either a). the same company, b). the same company after some restructuring, or c). maybe XS bought ASC out.
Somewhere, although I have no idea which issue, I have an EGM with a brief article on ASC's transition into XS. It relates around an unreleased Jeff Gordon game ASC was planning to release that kept getting pushed back, and the article (I think) states that the game would now be published under the XS banner, although I don't know that it ever was.
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