Park Place Productions

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Park Place Productions logo

Park Place Productions (originally called Park Place Production Team) was a development company near San Diego, California, started in 1989 by programmers Michael Knox and Troy Lyndon with $3,000 on Knox's credit card (Sauer). In a few years, it grew to be North America's largest independent game developer with over 100 employees and clients including Electronic Arts, Acclaim, and Virgin (Lyndon).

This meteoric growth brought rapid expansion and diversification. A green screen filming studio was built, which benefited the company's renowned sports games (Lyndon). Nearby contract developer Knight Technologies was acquired (Forhan 41). Software testing was moved in-house (then spun off into a company called Bug Busters) (Private). A publishing arm for DOS and Windows titles called Spirit of Discovery was formed ("Entrepreneur of the Year"), which was buoyed by a "hybrid publishing agreement" with Konami (Sauer). (Spirit of Discovery later became an independent entity and relocated with the Knox family to Kaneohe, Hawaii. [Spirit of Discovery]) The company also expanded into edutainment and practical applications (Sauer).

However, by late 1993, Park Place had clearly overextended itself. As deadlines were missed, publishers quit paying and pulled their contracts ("Harsh"). Also, Lyndon left that November because of a dispute. Eventually the company couldn't make payroll ("Empty").

Sony, Park Place's largest customer, offered to buy the company, but Knox refused to sell. As a result, 30 employees resigned on December 27, 1993, to join a new Sony Imagesoft operation in San Diego's Sorrento Valley ("Empty") (what became Sony Interactive Studios America/989 Studios). Nevertheless, Park Place attempted to rebuild and limped along with a much smaller staff (Private). Park Place later filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Sony, alleging the electronics giant attempted a hostile takeover ("African-American software company").

Lyndon later ran Christian game maker Left Behind Games, started in 2001. Knox served on the board of directors for a time (Jenkins). Knox died of colon cancer on September 15, 2009, at age 48 ("Software Expert").

WORKS CITED

Research Methods: Actual mentions, interviews, online resources (see Links)

3DO[edit]

  • 3D Adventures (unreleased) (Spirit of Discovery)
  • 3D Football (unreleased) (Sports Forum)
Sports Forum was meant to be Park Place's sports label. [1] Park Place's 3DO titles were to be distributed by Acclaim. [2]

Commodore 64[edit]

  • ABC Monday Night Football (US Publisher: Data East)
Game Design: Season Ticket Productions
  • The Dream Team: 3 on 3 Challenge (US/CA Publisher: Data East)
Game Design: Season Ticket Productions

DOS[edit]

  • ABC Monday Night Football (US Publisher: Data East)
Game Design: Season Ticket Productions
  • Batman Returns (US/EU Publisher: Konami)
Game Design: Subway Software
  • Beat the House (US Publisher: Spirit of Discovery)
  • The Berenstain Bears Learn About Counting (US Publisher: Compton's New Media)
  • Bo Jackson Baseball / TV Sports: Baseball (US Publisher: Data East; EU Publisher: Mindscape)
The Amiga and IBM versions were apparently done by Acme Interactive, but Michael Knox's profile lists the IBM version, and an old Usenet post mentions "contract work on Bo Jackson." Acme programmer Nigel Spencer said in a YouTube comment that he wrote the Amiga, VGA, and EGA versions. Does that mean Park Place did the Tandy version?
  • David Robinson Basketball (unreleased?) (Sega)
  • Draft & Print (US Publisher: Spirit of Discovery)
  • The Dream Team: 3 on 3 Challenge (US/CA Publisher: Data East)
Game Design: Season Ticket Productions
  • Dvorak on Typing (US Publisher: Interplay)
Re-released on CD-ROM as Typing for Today. Macintosh version by Silicon & Synapse.
  • Facts in Action (US Publisher: Spirit of Discovery)
  • The Human Calculator (US Publisher: Compton's New Media)
  • NFL Video Pro Football (US Publisher: Konami)

Famicom/NES[edit]

  • Roundball: 2-on-2 Challenge (US/EU Publisher: Mindscape)

Game Boy[edit]

  • The Chessmaster (US Publisher: Hi Tech Expressions; JP Publisher: Altron)
  • The New Chessmaster (US Publisher: Hi Tech Expressions; JP Publisher: Altron)

Jaguar[edit]

  • 3D Football (unreleased) [3]

Macintosh[edit]

  • Beat the House (US Publisher: MacPlay)

Mega CD/Sega CD[edit]

  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (unreleased) (Sunsoft)
  • NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993 (US Publisher: Sega)

Mega Drive/Genesis[edit]

  • Champions World Class Soccer (EU/US Publisher: Flying Edge; JP Publisher: Acclaim; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
  • Dan Marino Football (unreleased) (Virgin) [4]
Also referred to in various places as Dan Marino's Football, Dan Marino Power Play Football, Dan Marino's Power Play Football, and Dan Marino's Touchdown Football
  • ESPN Baseball Tonight (US Publisher: Sony Imagesoft)
  • Jeopardy! (US Publisher: GameTek)
  • Jeopardy!: Deluxe Edition (US Publisher: GameTek)
  • Joe Montana Football (US/EU/JP Publisher: Sega)
  • John Madden Football / John Madden American Football (US/EU Publisher: Electronic Arts; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
  • Lennox Lewis Boxing (unreleased) (Acclaim) [5]
  • Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing (US/EU Publisher: Virgin)
  • NHL Hockey / EA Hockey / Pro Hockey (US/EU Publisher: Electronic Arts; JP Publisher: Electronic Arts Victor)
  • Road to the Cup Hockey '94 (unreleased) (Electro Brain)

NFL Quarterback Club was originally being developed by Park Place, but the company's problems at the time (as detailed above) forced Acclaim to hand it off to Iguana Entertainment. [6]

Dick Vitale's "Awesome, Baby!" College Hoops turns up on several profiles [7] [8] [9] [10], yet nobody from Park Place is credited. Was this another game caught up in Park Place's internal problems?

The Genesis version of Lobo (unreleased) was originally being programmed at Park Place. It was finished at Ocean of America.

Super Famicom/Super NES[edit]

  • Champions World Class Soccer (JP/US Publisher: Acclaim)
  • Dan Marino Football (unreleased) (Virgin) [11] [12]
Also referred to in various places as Dan Marino's Football, Dan Marino Power Play Football, Dan Marino's Power Play Football, and Dan Marino's Touchdown Football
  • ESPN Baseball Tonight (US Publisher: Sony Imagesoft)
  • John Madden Football / Pro Football (US Publisher: Electronic Arts; JP Publisher: Imagineer)
  • Kawasaki Caribbean Challenge (US Publisher: GameTek)
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (unreleased) (Sunsoft)
  • Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing (unreleased) (Virgin)
  • NFL Football (US/JP Publisher: Konami)
  • NHLPA Hockey 93 (US Publisher: Electronic Arts)
  • Pigskin Footbrawl (unreleased) (RazorSoft)
Originally contracted to Knight Technologies, this got caught up in Park Place's implosion, which led to RazorSoft suing for breach of contract. [13] RazorSoft then brought in programmer Glen Volk to write a new version; he finished it, but it was cancelled.
  • Road to the Cup Hockey '94 (unreleased) (Electro Brain)
  • Super Slam Dunk / Magic Johnson no Super Slam Dunk (US/JP Publisher: Virgin)

NFL Quarterback Club was originally being developed by Park Place, but the company's problems at the time (as detailed above) forced Acclaim to hand it off to Iguana Entertainment. [14]

Windows[edit]

  • Beat the House (US Publisher: Interplay)
  • Beat the House 2 (game design) (US Publisher: Interplay)
Developer: Cetasoft
  • Caesars Palace series (game design) (US Publisher: Interplay)
Developer: Cetasoft
  • Dvorak on Typing (US Publisher: Interplay)
  • Galles Indy Extreme (unreleased)
  • Jeopardy! Deluxe Edition (US Publisher: GameTek)
  • Wheel of Fortune Deluxe Edition (US Publisher: GameTek)

Links[edit]