|2009 (except Ascaron UK)|
|Video game industry|
Ascaron Entertainment was a video game developer based in Germany. Founded as Ascon and later renamed in October 1996 due to the possible confusion with the Swiss company Ascom AG, the company produced titles primarily for the PC until it was made insolvent in 2009.
Background and history
Ascaron has its headquarters in Gütersloh, a town in western Germany. It has a development studio in Aachen and an international office in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom.
Ascaron has traditionally had a particular focus on strategy and management games. Among its early successes were the Patrician series (a trading simulation) and the On the Ball series (a soccer team management simulation). More recently, the company has developed games such as Port Royale (a pirate/trading simulation game), Sacred (an RPG) and Darkstar One (a space combat simulation).
Ascaron is also known for publishing or distributing many games from smaller developers and publishers. Examples of games distributed by Ascaron in the UK include King's Bounty: The Legend, Audiosurf and several games in the TrackMania-series. The company distributed games from other European publishers, such as Nobilis and Focus Home Interactive.
In April 2009 company, was unable to pay its debts and went into administration citing the extended development time of Sacred 2: Fallen Angel as the reason. The company continued trading in the hope that a solution could be found, but the company was ultimately dissolved in July 2009, with Kalypso Media purchasing many of the licenses and assets from Ascaron Entertainment, with the notable exception of the licence for Sacred, which was acquired by Deep Silver (Germany). Gaming Minds Studios was then launched by Kalypso and former Ascaron employees. 15 former Ascaron developers joined the Gaming Minds Studios.
- The Patrician (1992)
- On the Ball (video game) (Original title: Anstoss) (1993)
- Hanse - Die Expedition (1994)
- Elisabeth I (1995)
- Pole Position (1996)
- On the Ball 2 (1997)
- Extreme 500 (1998)
- On the Ball 3 (2000)
- Patrician II (2000)
- On the Ball Action (2001)
- Ballerburg (2001)
- Patrician III (2002)
- Port Royale: Gold, Power and Pirates (2002)
- Sacred (2004)
- Port Royale (2004)
- Arena Wars (2004)
- Port Royale 2 (2004)
- Tortuga (US title: Pirate Hunter) (2004)
- The Great Art Race (Original title: Vermeer 2)(2004)
- Sacred Underworld (2005)
- Darkstar One (2006)
- Sacred 2: Fallen Angel (2008)
- World War One (2008)
- Gaming Minds Studios
- Sacred Developer Ascaron Files for Bankruptcy, Currently in Takeover Talks shacknews.com
- Alexander, Leigh (June 18, 2009). German Developer Gaming Minds Formed. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2009-06-19
- Swindells, Roger (2010-03-18). Mount & Blade: Warband discussion. Retrieved on 2010-04-17