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Backbone Entertainment is the result of a 2003 merger between Digital Eclipse Software and ImaginEngine. Digital Eclipse Software specialized in arcade game emulation and handheld video games, and formerly had studios in Emeryville, California and Vancouver, British Columbia. ImaginEngine specializes in children's software, formerly having studios in San Francisco, California and Boston, Massachusetts. The San Francisco and Emeryville teams were combined at the Emeryville location upon execution of the merger.
One of their first franchise projects as Backbone Entertainment was Death Jr., for the PSP. They have also produced a sequel, Death, Jr. II: Root of Evil, and a Nintendo DS version of the franchise entitled Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom. When Death Jr. was first announced, the CEO of Backbone spoke on making DJ a full-featured franchise, with comic books, a TV show, action figures, and more. Though many of theseTemplate:Which? have happened since the launch of the game, the success of the franchise overall is considered by someTemplate:Who? to be hampered by the mediocre qualityTemplate:According to whom? of the games themselves. According to Gamerankings.com, the average review score for the three games in the franchise is a 59%, with Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom scoring the lowest overall.
The Foundation 9 Entertainment conglomerate initially used the Backbone Entertainment brand for its original titles, the Digital Eclipse brand for its arcade emulation titles, and ImaginEngine for many children's titles. Currently, the name ImaginEngine is used for products from the Boston-based studio of Foundation 9 Entertainment, while Backbone Entertainment is used for their Emeryville, California-based studio. The Digital Eclipse brand is no longer in use, and its website redirects to Backbone Entertainment.
An additional studio was formed in 2006 in Charlottetown, PEI, but was spun out in 2007 to become Other Ocean Interactive. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based studio of Backbone Entertainment was scaled back in September 2008 and ultimately closed in May 2009, ending the company's presence in Canada. Among that studio's later projects were Sonic Rivals and Sonic Rivals 2.
They developed Bomberman Live and Shrek N' Roll for the Xbox 360, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. They also created the Halo 3 interactive bonus disc included with Collector's and Legendary versions of the game.
- Space Invaders Extreme (2009) - XBLA
- Cyberball 2072 (2007) - XBLA
- Gyruss (2007) - XBLA
- Paperboy (2007) - XBLA
- Root Beer Tapper (2007) - XBLA
- Rush 'n Attack (2007) - XBLA
- Super Contra (2007) - XBLA
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2007) - XBLA
- Track & Field (2007) - XBLA
- Yie Ar Kung-Fu (2007) - XBLA
- Golden Axe (2007) - XBLA
- Ecco the Dolphin (2007) - XBLA
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2007) - XBLA
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2007) - XBLA
- Streets of Rage 2 (2007) - XBLA
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (2007) - XBLA
- Defender (2006) - XBLA
- Frogger (2006) - XBLA
- Contra (2006) - XBLA
- Robotron: 2084 (2006) - XBLA
- Scramble (2006) - XBLA
- Time Pilot (2006) - XBLA
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (2006) - XBLA
- Joust (2005) - XBLA
- Gauntlet (2005) - XBLA
- Smash TV (2005) - XBLA