Hercules Computer Technology, Inc. was formed in 1982 in Hercules, California, by Van Suwannukul and Kevin Jenkins and was one of the major graphics card companies of the 1980s. Its biggest products were the MDA-compatible Hercules Graphics Card (HGC) and Hercules Graphics Card Plus (HGC+) and the associated standard, which was widely copied and survived into the 1990s. The Hercules Graphics Card included a "Centronics compatible" parallel printer port, the same as the IBM Monochrome Display and Printer Adapter board that the card was based on. The company also produced CGA compatible cards, and with the unsuccessful Hercules InColor Card, it tried to go head-to-head with EGA.
After low sales with InColor, Hercules stopped making its own graphics core and bought graphics chipsets coming from other manufacturers. The company name gradually declined in the 1990s while graphics chipsets firms such as Tseng Labs, S3 Graphics, 3Dfx, nVidia and ATI Technologies became popular, but Hercules sales of graphic cards were still at US$20 million in 1998. Hercules was acquired by ELSA in August 1998 for $8.5m; ELSA also assumed all of Hercules' debts. ELSA entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy the following year, Hercules was closed and the assets were purchased by the French-Canadian based Guillemot Corporation for $1.5m. In 2000, Hercules became the brand name for Guillemot 3D Prophet graphic cards, based on nVIDIA chipsets in 2000, then switching to ATI Technologies chipsets in 2002.
In 2000, Guillemot also introduced a new sound card, Game Theater XP, with the Hercules brand name, and Hercules gradually became the computer peripherals brand in Guillemot Corporation.
In 2004, Guillemot announced it would cease to produce graphics cards.
Within the Guillemot group, computer peripherals (audio interfaces, speakers, webcams, networking) are designed by the Hercules division and given the Hercules brand, while gaming peripherals are designed by the Thrustmaster division and receive the Thrustmaster brand.
In 2010, the Hercules brand is used on computer speakers, computer DJ controllers, webcams and wireless networking peripherals.
Hercules turnover was EUR40.9 million (US$56.5 million) in 2010.