Originally established in 1982, Hercules Computer Technology was a leading graphics card company in the 1980s. While the company also produced CGA compatible cards, its most popular product was the Hercules Graphics Card, a MDA-compatible card that was frequently imitated by many other competitors. The popularity of this card helped the company survive into the 1990s. In attempt to compete with EGA, Hercules launched the Hercules InColor Card, which failed miserably in terms of sales.
Hercules started to decline throughout the 1990s as companies including ATI Technologies emerged. Product sales dipped to $20 million in 1998, the same year the company was purchased by ELSA for $8.5 million. Though it enjoyed the benefit of Hercules’ intellectual properties and product lines, ELSA also became responsible for all the debt Hercules owed, inevitably sending them into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Hercules brand was acquired by Guillemot Corporation the following year for $1.5 million. It quickly became the premiere brand for Guillemot’s NVIDIA-based graphics cards.
The Hercules brand remains prevalent today and represents a diverse range of products. The portfolio now consists of sound cards, speaker systems, digital DJ devices, wireless solutions and accessories for the Apple iPod and iTunes media application. Hercules web cams are among the latest products. Its Dualpix Exchange has largely contributed to explosion of web cam sales throughout Europe. This product has been highly praised by the European press and won numerous awards for features such as 2-megapixel video resolution and high-speed USB 2.0 Video Class compliance. The integrated custom designed software makes this webcam just as easy to use as the typical digital camera.
While the company itself no longer exists, the Hercules brand is alive and well. Guillemot promises to continuously launch products that put the customer first by placing a strong emphasis on quality and performance.