The 3DO Company

The 3DO Company (formerly THDO on the NASDAQ stock exchange), also known as 3DO, was a video game company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2003.

The 3DO Company
IndustryVideo games
FoundedSeptember 12, 1991 (1991-09-12)[1]
DefunctMay 28, 2003 (2003-05-28)
HeadquartersRedwood City, California, U.S.
Key people
Trip Hawkins, RJ Mical
SubsidiariesNew World Computing 

It was founded in 1991 by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, in a partnership with seven companies including LG, Matsushita (now Panasonic), AT&T Corporation, MCA, Time Warner, and Electronic Arts itself. After 3DO's flagship video game console, the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, failed in the marketplace, the company exited the hardware business and became a third-party video game developer. It went bankrupt in 2003 due to poor sales of its games. Its headquarters were in Redwood City, California in the San Francisco Bay Area.[2]


Console developer

Trip Hawkins wanted to get into the hardware market after the software market exploded with interest thanks to his involvement at Electronic Arts. When the company was first founded, its original objective was to create a next-generation CD-based video game system called the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, which would be manufactured by various partners and licensees; 3DO would collect a royalty on each console sold and on each game manufactured. For game publishers, 3DO's $3 royalty per sold game was very low compared to the royalties Nintendo and Sega collected from game sales on their consoles. The launch of the console in October 1993 was well-promoted, with a great deal of attention in the mass media as part of the "multimedia wave" in the computer world.

The 3DO console launched in October 1993 at the price of $699.[3] Poor console and game sales trumped the enticingly low royalty rate and proved a fatal flaw. While 3DO's business model attracted game publishers with its low royalty rates, it resulted in the console selling for a price higher than the SNES and Sega Genesis combined, hampering sales. While companies that manufactured and sold their own consoles could sell them, at a loss, for a competitive price, making up for lost profit through royalties collected from game publishers, the 3DO's manufacturers, not collecting any money from game publishers, and owing royalties to the 3DO Company, had to sell the console for a profit, resulting in high prices.[4] As the console failed to compete with its cheaper competitors, game developers and publishers, while initially attracted by low royalties, dropped support for the console as its games failed to sell. Stock in the 3DO Company dropped from over $37 per share in November 1993 to $23 per share in late December.[5] Though the company's financial figures dramatically improved in the fiscal year ending March 1995, with revenues nearly triple that of the previous fiscal year, they were still operating at a loss.[6] The console's prospects continued to improve through the first half of 1995 with a number of critical success, including winning the 1995 European Computer Trade Show award for best hardware.[7] In January 1996, The 3DO Company sold exclusive rights to its next generation console, M2, to Matsushita for $100 million.[8] Thanks in part to revenues from the sale of M2 technology to Matsushita and other licensees, in the first quarter of 1996 the 3DO Company turned a profit for the first time since it was founded, with a net income of $1.2 million.[9] Over the second half of 1996, the company restructured to focus on software development and online gaming, in the process cutting its staff from 450 to 300 employees.[10] President Hugh Martin was given full operating control, while Hawkins remained with the company as chairman, CEO, and creative director.[11]

Third-party developer

After selling the M2 technology to Matsushita, the company acquired Cyclone Studios,[12] New World Computing,[13] and Archetype Interactive. They established a new office in Redmond, Washington devoted to PC games development, with Tony Garcia as its head.[14] The company's biggest hit was its series of Army Men games, featuring generic green plastic soldier toys. Its Might and Magic and especially Heroes of Might and Magic series from subsidiary New World Computing were perhaps the most popular among their games at the time of release. During the late 1990s, the company published one of the first 3D MMORPGs: Meridian 59, which survives to this day in the hands of some of the game's original developers.

After struggling for several years, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2003.[15] Employees were laid off without pay, and the company's game brands and other intellectual properties were sold to rivals like Microsoft, Namco, Crave and Ubisoft, and also to founder Trip Hawkins, who paid $405,000 for rights to some old brands and the company's "Internet patent portfolio". Hawkins went on to found Digital Chocolate, a mobile-based gaming company.

List of games


Title Alternative title Notes
3DO Games: Decathlon
Army Men PC version.
Army Men: Air Attack Army Men: Air Combat (on N64) PC, Nintendo 64, and PlayStation version.
Army Men: Air Attack 2 Army Men: Air Attack - Blade's Revenge (in EU)
Army Men: Air Combat - The Elite Missions
Army Men: Air Tactics
Army Men: Green Rogue Army Men: Omega Soldier (in EU)
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 version.
Army Men: Toys in Space Army Men in Space (in EU)
Army Men: World War
Army Men: World War - Final Front Army Men: Lock 'n' Load (in EU)
Army Men: World War - Land, Sea, Air
Army Men: World War - Team Assault
Army Men 3D
Army Men II PC version.
BattleTanx Nintendo 64 version.
BattleTanx: Global Assault
Blade Force
Captain Quazar
Crusaders of Might and Magic
Club 3DO: Station Invasion
Dragon Rage
Escape from Monster Manor
Family Game Pack Royale Family Game Pack (on PS)
Game Guru (3DO)
Godai Elemental Force
Groovy Bunch of Games
Gulf War: Operation Desert Hammer
High Heat Major League Baseball 2002 PC, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 version.
High Heat Major League Baseball 2003 PC and PlayStation 2 version.
High Heat Major League Baseball 2004
Jonny Moseley Mad Trix PlayStation 2 version.
Jurassic Park Interactive
Killing Time 3DO version by Studio3DO; Win95 and Mac port completed by Logicware, Inc.
Meridian 59: Vale of Sorrow
Portal Runner PlayStation 2 version.
Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball 2001
Sammy Sosa Softball Slam
Tozasarata Tachi
Twisted: The Game Show
Vegas Games 2000 Midnight in Vegas (in EU) PlayStation version.
Warriors of Might and Magic PC, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 version.
WarJetz World Destruction League: WarJetz
World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks PlayStation and PlayStation 2 version.
Zhadnost: The People's Party


Title Developer(s) NA EU Notes
3DO Buffet Interplay Yes No
Action Man: Destruction X Blitz Games No Yes Licensed from Hasbro Interactive.
Alex Ferguson's Player Manager 2001 ANCO No Yes
Army Men Digital Eclipse Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Army Men: Air Combat Fluid Studios Yes Yes
Army Men: Operation Green Pocket Studios Yes Yes
Army Men: RTS Pandemic Yes PC/PS2 The GameCube version was co-produced with Coyote Developments Ltd..
Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 GameBrains/3d6 Games Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Army Men: Turf Wars Möbius Entertainment Yes No
Army Men 2 Digital Eclipse Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Army Men Advance DC Studios Yes Yes
Aqua Aqua Zed Two Yes No
Arcomage New World Computing Yes No
BattleSport Cyclone Studios Yes Yes Other releases than the 3DO published by Acclaim
BattleTanx Lucky Chicken Games Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Chaos Overlords Stick Man Games Yes Yes
Cubix: Robots for Everyone - Clash 'n Bash Human Soft Yes No
Cubix: Robots for Everyone - Race 'n Robots Blitz Games Yes PS only
Cubix: Robots for Everyone - Showdown Yes No
Gobs of Games 2n Productions Yes Yes Also known as Games Frenzy in Europe.
Gridders Tetragon Yes Yes
Heroes Chronicles series New World Computing Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic (Game Boy Color) KnowWonder Digital
Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragon
Bone Staff
New World Computing Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Price of Loyalty Cyberlore Studios Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic III New World Computing Yes Yes Also known as Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia.
Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic IV Yes Yes
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering Storm Yes No
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War Yes No
High Heat Baseball 1999 Team .366 Yes No
High Heat Baseball 2000 Yes No
High Heat Major League Baseball 2002 Möbius Entertainment Yes Yes Game Boy Advance version.
High Heat Major League Baseball 2003 Yes Yes
Jonny Moseley Mad Trix GFX Construction/RTG
Yes Yes
Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative NetDevil Yes No
Killing Time Studio3DO Yes No 3DO version - 1995
Logicware Yes No PC & Mac ported version for Mac & PC/Win95; small print release on Mac and an even smaller print-run on PC/Win95
Legends of Might and Magic New World Computing Yes Yes
Mathemagics L3 Interactive Yes No
Meridian 59 Archetype Interactive Yes No First edition of the game (1996).
Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven New World Computing Yes No
Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor Yes Yes
Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer Yes Yes
Might and Magic IX Yes Yes
Player Manager 2000 ANCO No Yes
Phoenix 3 Gray Matter Studios Yes No
Portal Runner Handheld Games Yes No Game Boy Color version.
Requiem: Avenging Angel Cyclone Studios Yes No
Snow Job Ix Entertainment Yes Yes
Soccer Kid Team17 Yes No 3DO version only - 1994. Original game made by Krisalis.
Spaceward Ho! IV GhostNose Software
(Delta Tao licensed)
Yes No
Star Fighter Krisalis Yes No 3DO version only developed by Tim Parry and Andrew Hutchings, and original game developed by Fednet Software. Ports developed and published by Acclaim Entertainment and in Europe by Telstar. Also known as Star Fighter 3000.
Sven-Göran Eriksson's World Cup Challenge ANCO No Yes PlayStation and PlayStation 2 version.
Sven-Göran Eriksson's World Cup Manager No Yes
TOCA Championship Racing Codemasters Yes No
Uprising: Join or Die Cyclone Studios Yes No
Uprising 2: Lead and Destroy Yes No
Uprising X Yes No
Vegas Games Digital Eclipse Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
Vegas Games 2000 New World Computing Yes No PC version. Also known as Vegas Games: Midnight Madness.
Warriors of Might and Magic Climax Yes Yes Game Boy Color version.
World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks Sunset Entertainment Yes Yes


Distributed (U.S. only)

3DO Rating System

The 3DO Rating System was a rating system created by The 3DO Company and used on games released for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. The rating system, which went into use in March 1994, uses the following four categories:[16]

  • E - Everyone
  • 12 - Guidance for age 12 & under
  • 17 - Guidance for age 17 & under
  • AO - Adults Only

These ratings would appear on the lower front and back of the packaging, while the back of the packaging also specified what content was present in the game. In late 1994, the majority of 3DO's competitors signed on with a new rating system from the Entertainment Software Rating Board; despite this, the 3DO Company opted to continue providing their own rating system, leaving publishers of 3DO games to decide whether to use the 3DO Rating System or the new ESRB ratings.[17] The 3DO rating for each game was designated voluntarily by the game's publisher,[16] in contrast to the ESRB ratings, which were determined independently by the ESRB.


  1. "Business Search - Business Entities - Business Programs | California Secretary of State".
  2. "Legal notices." 3DO Company. March 31, 2001. Retrieved on November 3, 2012. "The 3DO Company, 100 Cardinal Way, Redwood City, CA 94063."
  3. Ramsay, M. (2012). Trip Hawkins. Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play (pp. 1-15). New York: Apress.
  4. Matthews, Will (December 2013). "Ahead of its Time: A 3DO Retrospective". Retro Gamer. Imagine Publishing (122): 18–29.
  5. "3DO Sales Slow, Stock Suffers". GamePro. No. 66. IDG. March 1994. p. 186.
  6. "Tough Year for 3DO". GamePro. No. 84. IDG. September 1995. pp. 138–140.
  7. "PlayStation Dominates European Show". Next Generation. No. 6. Imagine Media. June 1995. p. 14.
  8. "Deal Propels M2 into System Wars". GamePro. No. 89. IDG. February 1996. pp. 16–17.
  9. "Tidbits". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 84. Ziff Davis. July 1996. p. 15.
  10. "Tidbits". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 88. Ziff Davis. November 1996. p. 21.
  11. "3DO Company Restructures to Focus on Internet Games". GamePro. No. 99. IDG. December 1996. p. 32.
  12. Sherman, Christopher (February 1996). "Movers & Shakers". Next Generation. No. 14. Imagine Media. p. 25. It wasn't by mistake that 3DO's first acquisition since its sale of its M2 technology to Matsushita is designed to pump up Studio 3DO, the company's software arm. The move continues the diversification of The 3DO Company, the once-only licensor of gaming technology, into a software development house.
  13. "The World According to Trip". Next Generation. No. 22. Imagine Media. October 1996. p. 159.
  14. Svenson, Christian (October 1996). "3DO Renaissance Continues". Next Generation. No. 22. Imagine Media. p. 26.
  15. Becker, David (May 29, 2003). "3DO files for bankruptcy". CNET. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  16. "Rated E". GamePro (57). IDG. April 1994. p. 174.
  17. "Hey, How Do You Rate?". GamePro (68). IDG. March 1995. p. 10.
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