Vicious Cycle was an American game developer based in Morrisville, North Carolina. It was founded in 2000 by Eric Peterson, Dave Ellis and Wayne Harvey after being laid off from MicroProse. In 2005, the company established Monkey Bar Games as a family entertainment division specialized on licensed kids' properties; the same year, they also released the Vicious Engine, which was one of the the first cross-platform game engines, and the first to offer full support for PSP and Wii. In 2007, the company was acquired by Japanese publisher D3 Inc, making it a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings in 2009. By the end of 2015, several rounds of layoffs reduced the studio to a skeleton crew, and caused its closedown in January 2016.
Logo (September 25, 2002-December 15, 2015)
Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
Visuals: On a black background, there is a 15-end solstice figure cut out of a circle and a triple-end blade in front of it. Below is "VICIOUS CYCLE" in a Copperplate font.
- Starting with Marvel Trading Card Game from 2007, a registered trademark symbol was inserted both to the logo and the wordmark.
- On Robotech: Battlecry, a two-legged minibot is seen walking in a blue environment. It bumps into a big shield, which starts rolling upon the impact. It rolls in front of the minibot (revealing it as the Vicious Cycle logo), which looks up as the shield falls and crashes it. As the screen zooms out, an outlined rectangle plate fades in around the shield, with the wordmark below it.
- On Dinotopia: The Sunstone Odyssey, the screen fades in to a top view of the logo made of bones and covered with sand and dinosaur footprints. As it zooms out, the wind blows the sand off the bones, revealing rocks around them. Then, the logo lights up with an orange flash and clears the background black, with the wordmark sliding in from left and right below the logo.
- On Robotech: Invasion, a bug robot crawls in in a blue environment similar to the Battlecry variant. The bug stands for a few seconds, then looks up in fear as the Vicious Cycle shield lands on it. The logo zooms out to a top view, then the background fades to black and the wordmark appears.
- On Spy vs. Spy, the white spy is chasing the black spy in the spinning logo, successfully hitting him once with a bat. Then the logo zooms out making the wordmark appear, while the spies fade out and the logo stops spinning.
- On Dead Head Fred, Unknown.
- On Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, Unknown.
- On Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, a bunch of ants appear crawling in or digging out in a black environment. Then, a machinery leg crushes most of them, and leaves green goo behind, forming a shape like the Vicious Cycle logo. The actual logo then fades in.
Technique: None. 3D animation for the variants.
Audio: None, or corresponding sound effects for the variants.
Availability: Seen on many games produced by the studio, such as the Robotech games, Spy vs. Spy and Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard.