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LJN

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LJN (1970 - 1994) was an American toy company and video game publisher. It created toy lines and video games based on movies, television shows, and celebrities. It was headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, and later in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

History

LJN was founded in 1970 by Jack Friedman, the companies name came from the initials of Lewis J. Norman, the reverse of Norman J. Lewis, whose toy company Friedman had been employed by as a sales representative in the 1960s.

In 1985, MCA, which had been actively acquiring companies in the mid-1980s, acquired LJN for $66-67 million in an effort to retain more profits from the merchandising of its film properties. LJN began publishing video games for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986. Although this was LJN's first foray into the video game business, it was not for MCA who had previously started MCA Video Games, as a joint venture with Atari, to create coin-operated and home games and computer software based on various MCA properties. In 1989 , MCA decided to sell LJN after years of losses since 1987. MCA finally agreed to sell to Acclaim Entertainment in March 1990 for cash and Acclaim common stock.

During the time the company was owned by Acclaim, LJN mostly retained the same movie/cartoon direction for their video games it pursued under MCA. Acclaim rid LJN of its toy division and re-branded it exclusively as a video game developer. During the 8-bit gaming era, Nintendo, as a form of quality control, regulated the number of titles to appear on its console, the Nintendo Entertainment System. As a result, companies like Acclaim used divisions such as LJN to produce more products than Nintendo would have traditionally allowed. Konami also utilized such tactics with their division Ultra. Unlike Ultra which was a brand name of Konami, LJN was still a legal company operating independently from Acclaim. Even after Nintendo dropped its rule in the early 1990s, Acclaim kept LJN operating which published several titles for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

There is no video game that has been developed in-house by LJN. All of LJN's video games were developed by external developers, although many of their video games (especially the pre-Acclaim ones) did not disclose the developer.

Criticism

LJN has become synonymous with badly-made games, despite never developing the games themselves. Almost every game associated with LJN has been viewed as awful. Many episodes of internet reviewer The Angry Video Game Nerd have been based around LJN games.

Games released by LJN

Nintendo Entertainment System

Alien 3 (NES) (NA) Alien³
March 1993
Back to the Future (NES) Back to the Future
September 1989
Back to the Future II & III (NES) Back to the Future II & III
September 1990
Beetlejuice (NES) Beetlejuice
May 1991
Bill & Teds Excellent Video Game Adventure (NES) Bill & Ted's Excellent
Video Game Adventure

August 1991
Friday the 13th (NES) Friday the 13th
February 1989
Gotcha The Sport (NES) Gotcha! The Sport!
November 1987
The Incredible Crash Dummies (NES) The Incredible Crash Dummies
August 1994
Jaws (NES) Jaws
November 1987
The Karate Kid (NES) The Karate Kid
November 1987
Major League Baseball (NES) Major League Baseball
April 1988
NFL Football (NES) NFL Football
September 1989
ANightmareonElmStreet A Nightmare on Elm Street
October 1990
Pictionary (NES) Pictionary
July 1990
The Punisher (NES) The Punisher
November 1990
Roger Clemens MVP Baseball (NES) Roger Clemens' MVP Baseball
October 1991
Spider-Man Return of the Sinister Six (NES) Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six
October 1992
Town & Country Surf Designs (NES) Town & Country Surf Designs:
Wood & Water Rage

February 1988
Town & Country II (NES) Town & Country II:
Thrilla's Surfari

March 1992
T2 Terminator 2 (NES) Terminator 2: Judgment Day
February 1992
The Uncanny X-Men (NES) The Uncanny X-Men
December 1989
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (NES) Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
September 1989
Wolverine (NES) Wolverine
October 1991
WWF King of the Ring (NES) WWF King of the Ring
November 1993
WWF WrestleMania Challenge (NES) WWF WrestleMania Challenge
November 1990
WWF WrestleMania Steel Cage Challenge (NES) WWF WrestleMania:
Steel Cage Challenge

September 1992

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Alien 3 (SNES) (NA) Alien³
May 1993
The Incredible Crash Dummies (SNES) (NA) The Incredible Crash Dummies
October 1993
NBA All-Star Challenge (SNES) (NA) NBA All-Star Challenge
December 1992
NFL Quarterback Club (SNES) (NA) NFL Quarterback Club
December 1994
Roger Clemens MVP Baseball (SNES) (NA) Roger Clemens' MVP Baseball
September 1992
Spider-Man (SNES) (NA) Spider-Man
February 1995
Spider-Man & Venom (NA) Spider-Man & Venom:
Maximum Carnage

September 1994
Spider-Man and the X-Men (SNES) (NA) Spider-Man and the X-Men:
Arcade's Revenge

November 1992
T2 Terminator 2 (NA) Terminator 2: Judgment Day
November 1993
True Lies (SNES) (NA) True Lies
February 1995
Wolverine Adamantium Rage (NA) Wolverine: Adamantium Rage
November 1994
WWF Raw (SNES) (NA) WWF Raw
November 1994
WWF Royal Rumble (NA) WWF Royal Rumble
June 1993
WWF Super WrestleMania (NA) WWF Super WrestleMania
March 1992

Game Boy

Alien 3 (GB) (NA) Alien³
January 1993
The Amazing Spider-Man (NA) The Amazing Spider-Man
July 1990
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (NA) The Amazing Spider-Man 2
August 1992
Beetlejuice (GB) (NA) Beetlejuice
January 1992
Bill and Teds Excellent Game Boy Adventure (NA) Bill & Ted's Excellent
Game Boy Adventure

August 1991
The Incredible Crash Dummies (GB) (NA) The Incredible Crash Dummies
November 1992
NBA All-Star Challenge (GB) (NA) NBA All-Star Challenge
February 1991
NFL Quarterback Club (GB) (NA) NFL Quarterback Club
November 1993
NFL Quarterback Club II (NA) NFL Quarterback Club II
March 1995
Roger Clemens MVP Baseball (GB) (NA) Roger Clemens' MVP Baseball
September 1992
Spider-Man and the X-Men (GB) (NA) Spider-Man / X-Men
December 1993
Spider-Man 3 (GB) (NA) Spider-Man 3:
Invasion of the Spider-Slayers

July 1993
True Lies (GB) (NA) True Lies
February 1995
WWF King of the Ring (GB) (NA) WWF King of the Ring
September 1993
WWF Raw (GB) (NA) WWF Raw
December 1994
WWF Superstars (NA) WWF Superstars
April 1991
WWF Superstars 2 (NA) WWF Superstars 2
August 1992

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