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The 3DO company was founded by co-founder of EA Games, Trip Hawkins, under the name of SMSG, Inc in 1991. The name was later dropped and the company became the 3DO Company. The 3DO Company is responsible for the 3DO and the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise. The company disappeared in 2003 after filing for bankruptcy.
Making the 3DO
The 3DO Company was created with one objective in mind: to make a console. And not just any console. A console where games would be played on a CD (this was a revolutionary idea at the time since most games still came on cartridges) and developing games for the console would be cheap (royalties were only $3 per game). The 3DO company lived on these royalties and saved money by outsourcing the construction of their console. This was also a revolutionary way of doing business at the time, building their console like an airplane. They'd get parts from different companies shipped to their factories where the console would be assembled. Production costs were low meaning that the royalties could be low. This business structure was designed to compete with Sega and Nintendo who were charging developers more in royalties to make games on their consoles.
The 3DO launched in 1993 at 699$. Despite a massive marketing push and third party support, the console was a failure. It was in part due to the price but also in part due to the fact that wind had already broken that Nintendo was developing a new console that would be more powerful than the 3DO. As the 3DO Company's stock dropped and despite the 1996 price cut, the 3DO Multiplayer System was discontinued at the end of 1996.
This led to some major changes at 3DO. First of all, they were forced to abandon the successor of the 3DO, the M2. Second of all, the whole company was restructured in order to specialize in game developing.
In order to develop quality games, 3DO acquired Archetype Interactive, Cyclone Studios and New World Computing. The 3DO company developed many games over their 12 years of existence, most notably Army Men and Heroes of Might and Magic.
Despite developing games for all systems, the 3DO company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2003 and had to sell most of their licenses to competitors.