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Creator / Phoenix Games

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Phoenix Games, known as Phoenix Games Ltd. in England, Phoenix Games B.V. in the Netherlands, Phoenix Games Asia in Thailand, and collectively as Phoenix Games Group, was a Dutch multinational game developer and video game publisher. Self-described as a "Super Budget Publisher," the company's business model was in the production and publishing of games sourced from small, independent developers at a limited time and budget, likely in order to get a quick return on investment with as little money and time as possible. Where as with most publishers production takes several months for budget games (or licensed tie-ins) to years for big-name, AAA-quality titles, Phoenix claims a 3-5 month turnaround time for works published under their label.

Despite not attracting mainstream attention from major video game magazines and review sites due to their frugal nature, Phoenix gained notoriety among gaming circles due to the quality of their games; some of these games being produced in collaboration with Dingo Pictures, a German studio infamous for producing ripoffs of Disney cartoons amongst others, and Aqua Pacific, a similar company.

Not much is known about the company's inception or their demise, but they declared bankruptcy in 2009. A memorial fansite dedicated to documenting all known Phoenix Games-published titles can be found here.

Games published/developed by Phoenix Games:

  • Arcade 3D Games Action
  • Cartoon Kingdom
  • Crabby Adventure
  • Hamster Ball
  • Kidz Sports Basketball
  • London Cab Challenge
  • Maniac Mole
  • Paccie (cover concept, never released)
  • Street Warrior
  • Veggy World
  • Wacky Zoo GP
  • White Van Racer

Made in association with Dingo Pictures:

  • Animal Football/Animal Soccer World (knock-off of Bedknobs and Broomsticks)
  • Dinosaurs/Dinosaur Adventure (knock-off of The Land Before Time)
  • Detective Mouse/The Mouse Police (knock-off of The Great Mouse Detective)
  • Toys/The Toys Room (knock-off of Toy Story)
  • Dalmatians 2/Dalmatians 3 (knock-off of 101 Dalmatians)
  • Winky the Little Bear/Countryside Bears (knock-off of The Country Bears)

Made in association with Aqua Pacific:note 

  • Snow White and the Seven Clever Boys* (knock-off of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
  • Pinocchio* (knock-off of Disney's version)
  • Mighty Mulan (knock-off of Mulan)
  • Legend of Herkules (knock-off of Hercules, repackage of Hercules (Pure Magic))
  • Cinderella* (knock-off of Disney's version)
  • Peter Pan* (knock-off of Disney's version)

Tropes associated with the company include:

  • Animesque: Mighty Mulan has an anime-inspired art style that looks completely different from anything else the studio has done. While the animation is still choppy, individual still frames could probably be passed off as genuine anime.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Some of the songs, such as Snow White's, were translated into English word-for-word with no attempt to make the lyrics rhyme.
  • Compressed Adaptation: In Pinocchio, after the Blue-Haired Fairy saves Pinocchio from a tree, all the rest of the story is reduced to a 30-second montage.
  • Covers Always Lie: The covers to their animated movies feature 3D renders of Disney characters which look nothing like the characters in the actual product.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: At least two of the games that came with the PS1 compilation Shoot, namely, "Ace" and "Wild West", are the exact same game with identical scenery, the only difference being textures and a slightly different character model.
  • Daddy System: They were publishing games on the original Play Station long after most publishers and developers had stopped supporting it. Notably, the Shoot compilation, released exclusively in Germany, was one of the very last games released for the console, being released in 2005 (in fact, it is one of only two games on the PS1 to be copyrighted in 2005; the other being Schnappi – 3 Fun-Games, another Germany-exclusive).
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Despite many of the games being little more than a collection of awful sliding puzzles and mini-games, loading times can sometimes be upwards of a minute. Worse yet, the incredibly poor quality of the discs can result in the PS2's drive spinning much faster than intended, potentially overheating and bricking the console! See Caddicarus's review to experience the horror.
  • The Mockbuster: With Dingo Pictures and Aqua Pacific no less.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Most of Phoenix's output is this, like from the aforementioned Dingo Pictures activity CDs for the PS1 or PS2, or uninspired and often janky clones of various video game franchises.
    • Surprisingly averted with Road Rage 3note  for the PS2, though that was merely because they (presumably) bought the European publishing rights from Atlus for cheap.
    • The studio produced one game that earned positive reviews, Poppie — but it was only released in Italy.