Feeds

PlayStation emulator developer Bleem folds

Game over

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Updated Bleem, the company behind the PC and Dreamcast-based PlayStation emulator of the same name, has closed down.

At this stage, details are sketchy - the company's Web site simply displays a somewhat self-pitying graphic of Sonic the Hedgehog weeping over Bleem's grave. Bleem's life: April 1999 to November 2001.

And a terse email sent the company said: "Thanks for emailing Bleem, but we're history. Vapor. Kaput. Splitsville. Extinct. Gone the way of the Dodo. In a word, Dead."

Enquires for the company's prinicpals, it said, should be routed through "that kid from The Sixth Sense". Dead indeed...

Bleem launched its PlayStation emulator just over two and a half years ago, only to be instantly sued by Sony for a mix of copyright infringement, intellectual property violation and brand degradation.

Sony's case against Bleem followed a parallel action targeting Connectix, which launched a PlayStation emulator of its own earlier in the year, for the Macintosh. Unlike the Connectix case, however, Bleem won the support of the court, beating a temporary injunction against sales of its emulator and later defeating Sony's demand to ban the sale of the emulator permanently.

Sony's failures in court went to its head, Bleem later alleged in a countersuit of its own. The emulation company claimed that the Japanese giant's US operation had initiated a dirty tricks policy which, in part, involved attempting to have Bleem thrown out of the May 1999 E3 show, one of the world's largest games industry shindigs.

May 2000 saw the announcement of the Dreamcast version of Bleem - Bleemcast - at which point Sony sued the company again. Once more, Sony alleged that Bleem was violating its patents.

Connectix, incidentally, later called it quits and sold its GameStation software and assets to Sony.

Bleemcast was to have shipped in June 2000, but didn't actually arrive until April this year. Rather than ship the emulator as a standalone product, as it had with the PC release, Bleem licensed Gran Turismo 2 and bundled it with Bleemcast. At the time, Bleem was looking to offer Tekken 3 and Metal Gear Solid.

Their success seems to have been limited. Certainly, Bleem accused Sony of threatening retailers will much-reduced PlayStation 2 hardware and software allocations if they stocked any of Bleem's offerings.

Given the ongoing litigation between the two companies and, of course, Sega's decision to abandon Dreamcast production from the end of March this year, it's hard to believe that many retailers would have chosen to support the three Bleemcast releases, no matter what pressure Sony is alleged to have brought to bear.

That, plus a shift in focus in the gaming world toward the PlayStation 2, is probably what did for Bleem in the end. With PlayStation and XBox code protected against emulation efforts, both legally, and through hardware- and software-based techniques, Bleem's scope for future expansion looked limited.

And with sales potentially insufficient to support future development and ongoing legal battles with Sony, it's not hard to see why CEO David Herpolshimer and Bleem programmer Randy Linden might decide to call it quits. ®

Related Stories

Sony hits PlayStation emulator developer with patent suit
Bleem to countersue Sony
Bleem beats back second Sony strike
Bleem beats Sony

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.