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Acclaim's BMX Game Rejected By Major Retailers

Acclaim found out yesterday that its upcoming title BMX XXX has been shunned by three major retailers --
not good news for a struggling publisher whose stock price is hovering near a 52-week low. Wal Mart, Toys R Us and KB Toys said yesterday that their stores will not sell the game due to objections over its content. The BMX game features naked women on BMX bikes, as well as prostitutes and pimps as game characters. In an interview with Reuters, Acclaim CEO Greg Fischbach said critics were being unfair and had misunderstood that the game was supposed to be a spoof. He also said that the loss of the three giant retailers would not have a major impact the game's sales. "I still believe that we'll get substantially full distribution in the United States," Fischbach said. "I don't really think it goes much further than some other video games on the marketplace." He said the company has no plans to change the game to appease the retailers, but will make changes if the console companies request them. Of the 12 SKUs the Acclaim plans to release in the current quarter, four of them are BMX XXX titles for different platforms. Channel difficulties with this title during the holidays could therefore have a significant impact on the publisher's fiscal Q1 2003 earnings.

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