Phoenix Games

A tribute to Phoenix Games

I usually check the website for budget publisher Phoenix Games around once a month. The reason for this is simply for my own amusement – they are the company that brought us White Van Racer on PlayStation 2, after all.

There were no cheap giggles today though – it would appear that they’ve shut up shop. Their website is down and going by the online retailers they haven’t released anything for a very long time.

Their last games were two DS titles that I haven’t ever seen for sale – Valentines Day and a collection known simply as 12. Seriously – was that the best name the company that gave us Snow White and the Seven Clever Boys could think of?

Just about everything they’ve put out has been unintentionally amusing. They managed to release the same racing game on PSone about a dozen times, merely by changing the name and the vehicles to trucks, bikes, stockcars, etc.

They also licensed some horrifically horrid cartoons from a company known as Dingo Pictures and slapped them onto a PlayStation 2 disk along with a few rubbish mini-games. How horrid were they, you ask? Try checking out this little gem on YouTube.

Just to prove how ‘budget’ they were, apparently a lot of music featured in their games was taken from free-to-share public domain music sites. Now that’s penny pinching.

In a bizarre way, I think I shall miss Phoenix Games. Nobody else has had the balls to release such a long string of dubious games without ever giving a single fuck.

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

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  • Gagging for more Phoenix Games goodness?

    Here’s London Cab Challenge on PS2:

    Drag Racer USA. Note the way the other car skids all the way down to the finishing line:

    Wonder why the Tony Hawks games have gone down in quality? They couldn’t complete with Skateboard Madness. Within seconds they get the game to glitch:

    And if you can watch this Mouse Police cartoon without laughing i’ll send you a biscuit:

  • Hi guys, the peeps from @Bashers notified me of this sad news. I did some research and found Phoenix Games closed in august 2010. Seems like their games will be collector’s items soon! :)

  • What??

    I’m gutted by this news. White Van Racer gave me many many lulz.

    I borrowed a copy naturally, I wouldn’t tarnish my collection by actually handing over money for the experience. :P

  • I’ve ordered “12” on DS from Amazon, purely out of curiosity. Cost £4 and I never seen it anywhere.

    I think this company has given many gamers “lulz” over the years.

  • So, basically, Phoenix Games is the prime, yet somewhat obscure (being that the article on Wikipedia was denied of inclusion due to lack of mainstream coverage) example on how to perform extreme cost-cutting for a quick profit.

    Personally I think video game hardware firms like Sony should screen companies for their reputation and deny licensing rights to those who churn out one crap game after the other – such titles can and will tarnish a platform’s image, just as what happened when Nintendo opened the Pandora’s Box on the Wii.

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