Saturday, September 15, 2018

Gaming Ads: Motown Games, Multitude, and Naki

Motown Games was a video game publishing label of the Motown record company. Some sources refer to it as Motown Software though both of my ads say Motown Games. It only released two games, both for the Super NES: a basketball game starring rappers called RapJam: Volume One and a side-scrolling combat game based on the animated film Bebe's Kids.

Multitude was founded in April 1996 by Ned Lerner and Art Min. FireTeam released in December 1998 and is the company's only game, though it is an interesting one as it's an early online only competitive game. The game is a third-person shooter for two teams of four with a strong focus on teamwork and community. With built-in voice chat players were encouraged to communicate with their teammates during matches and could chat in-between matches as well. Inside the game's community section players could find statistics, post on bulletin boards, and manage their teams. Although the game play is different, the ideas Multitude implemented sound quite similar what Dynamix did with Tribes, especially the second Tribes game (the first Tribes game actually released in the same month and year as FireTeam). FireTeam was well received but Multitude opted to concentrate on developing its voice technology rather than create another game.

California-based Naki was founded in 1989 as Naki Industries and was later renamed to Naki International, though I'm just going to refer to the company as Naki. It was a maker of video game accessories, such as controllers, cleaning kits, and battery packs. Website Sega Retro believes Naki went out of business around 2004 which would be just before the Xbox 360 kicked off a new console generation. The lastest press release I could find is from 2002 so 2004 makes sense.

Flickr album: Motown Games
Flickr album: Multitude
Flickr album: Naki

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