April 26, 2004 - You either love them or hate them. Regardless, you can't deny the reach of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's vast media empire. The sibling duo even leaked into video games, with various cross-platform titles coming out through game company Acclaim.
The union, however, came to a screeching halt. Now, the tween team is suing the game publisher for doing a crappy job of developing and releasing their games.
According to the suit, Acclaim failed to fork over $177, 966.32 in game royalties over to Dualstar Entertainment, a company owned by the Olsens. The suit includes back royalties and a settlement fee of $300,000 left over from Dualstar's split from Acclaim last fall.
According to a letter from the Olsens' band of lawyers, the split between camp Olsen and Acclaim stems from Acclaims tarnishing of the Olsens' good name...as far as videogames are concerned, anyway.
The letter states that Acclaim "blatantly abandoned the mary-kateandashley brand and has taken the mary-kateandashley brand in video games which had flourished and has now run it into the ground."
Acclaim cancelled the cross-platform title Mary-Kate and Ashley in ACTION! back in 2003, which helped break up the marriage between the twins and Acclaim.
And what does $177,966.32 mean to the Olsen twins? Probably not that much. The twins are reported to be worth around $150 million each; with some reports estimating their net worth will reach into the billions by the time they're 21.
That's a whole lot of scratch.
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Two reasons why the Olsen Twins video games sucked:
1. They were made by Acclaim. 2. They were about the freakin' Olsen Twins, for godsakes.
I mean, what are you gonna do, produce a game called Mary-Kate and Ashley Nude Mud Wrestling? That'd be very nice, but Mary-Kate and Ashley want to maintain their squeaky-clean image.
Likewise, you can't make any action games, and even adventure games (in the vein of Sonic, Mario and Pac-Man World) wouldn't really work well either.
Puzzle game? Hmm, maybe, but it's difficult to come up with a truly original puzzle game.
So you're stuck with a whole bunch of games about “oooh, that boy is soooo hot, but he doesn't even know I exist” and educational games, which no one wants to play. I imagine the 10-year-old girl market isn't really a major target audience when it comes to video games.
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I was playing Diablo when I was 10. But I've got one game 'Get a Clue' where if you jump on Mary-Kate's head it works as a trampoline. And you can throw dogs at penguins. And I never got past level 11. *sniffle*
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Note, I said all out CRAPPY Acclaim games, which far outweigh the GOOD Acclaim games that have come out. Mortal Kombat is on a technicality, since Midway invented it. I don't share your views on Turok though, Flea. For me, the only cool thing about Turok was the weird gun that bored its way into your skull and was an auto kill in Multiplayer. That should tell you something; the coolest part of the entire friggin' series is associated with something that's boring.
I had the chutzpah to spend more than 15 minutes playing the following, and I feel the right to have them projected voilently at at least a brick wall:
Wrestlemania the Arcade Game (Midway's to blame, but Acclaim thought it should be on my SNES) Batman Forever BMX XXX Turok (Great idea, poor execution, and in fairness, it's competitor was Shadows of the Empire) Battle Arena Toshinden Justice League (Fighting game in which Aquaman is capable of handing Superman his ass. NO NO NO NO NO NO!) Looney Tunes B-Ball Any Simpsons Title except Bart's Nightmare ECW Anarchy Rulz/ECW Hardcore Revolution (the only fun I had was making people run into the damn barbed wire, and watch them collapse) Punch King Any South Park Title Shadowman Armorines 18 Wheeler Pro American Trucker Fur Fighters Space Jam Forsaken Iggy's Wreckin' Balls Batman and Robin Cutthroat Island Fighter's History Judge Dredd
The list goes on.
On a more positive note, Mad Props to Acclaim for the following;
The original Quarterback Club Bust-A-Move Maximum Carnage, almost any other comic license except Turok.
Acclaim didn't make Bust-a-Move, Taito did. Acclaim only published (but didn't develop) several of the later console ports.
I'm a fan of Friday the 13th and Jaws for the NES, but most everyone else seems to hate them. I also liked Legends of Wrestling (never played 2) though opinions seem to be mixed on that, as well.
They did do the Sega ports of NBA Jam, which I quite enjoyed and absolutely owned at the Blockbuster World Video Game Championships trials. The score keeper said he had never seen anyone play an entire game and never move the ball across the half-court line. (Unfortunately, I got my ass owned at Sonic 2, having never played it.)
On the Olsen Twins front, Mary Kate and Ashley: Get a Clue, as well as it's sequel The New Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley, were actually pretty fun games. They came off as puzzle versions of The Goonies II, similar level structure, except you used the twins and their dog to solve the puzzles. I think the game might have actually sold better if there was a version without the Olsen Twins attached to it, automatically turning off most teens and adults who might have enjoyed the games. What I saw of the others sucked, but I don't think any of the others were designed by Crawfish Interactive, the developers of Get A Clue.
As I'm looking down the list of games developed and (even worse) published by Acclaim, I think the Olsen Twins missed the boat here. This *should* be a class action lawsuit.