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Replay Games Kickstarter / KQ/SQ/LSL Rights

posted by jonathanfrisby on - last edited - Viewed by 946 users

Bit off topic, but someone from Replay Games mentioned trying to get the rights to King's Quest in their Leisure Suit Larry Kickstarter comments. Also SPACE QUEST!

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Replay Games about 1 hour ago
@Perdition - we're way ahead of you!! Scott is ready to jump on board, we already spoke to him. Mark, however, can't since he works for Foundation 9, a developer / publisher and he would have a "conflict of interest" as he put it. Having said that, however, the last game, Space Quest 6, was all Scott & Josh (no Mark Crowe involvement) so we think we can hold pretty true to the SQ franchise with those two geniuses on board. We're in the middle of negotiating the rights for King's Quest as well as Space Quest & Police Quest too. :) It all depends on the success of this first game, though.....everybody wants to see how much demand is out there.
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Doesn't mean much.. Unless Telltale is passing on the franchise? They ought to jump on that before Replay gets the muppets back together!

104 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Quest for Glory? Is that still going?

  • Why would it still be going?

    It's another essentially dead IP from the glory days of Sierra...

    I'm not sure if its seen a rerelease in years... Not even under Vivendi... No one knows if the rights were kept or sold off to other parties... Maybe the Coles retain some of the copyrights, as they have used elements from the games on their School for Heroes (including use of some of the characters, races, places, from the games, but sometimes radically reimagined), which is copyrighted to Transolar Entertainment. But apparently do not have rights to the games themselves... School of Heroes website is currently closed for renovation, and there is a promise of a text based adventure/rpg? game version in the future maybe by 2013. Sounds like a MUD type thing... They are also working on a classic adventure apparently, but haven't released any names or information on it yet.

    They were also at one point going to attempt to release a series of novels based on the Quest for Glory series as well, but that fell through.

    This may be an issue of copyright limbo, where two parties share the copyrights, and its unclear who has rights to what.

    See also;
    http://www.destructoid.com/quest-for-glory-developers-only-approached-once-for-a-remake-135372.phtml

  • Speaking of resurrecting Sierra IPs and such, Jane Jensen has a new studio and kickstarter as of today as well :)

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1005365109/jane-jensens-pinkerton-road-2012-2013-csg

    And she's said she's definitely interested in doing GK4 at some point (albeit it won't be one of the studio's first releases).

  • @jonathanfrisby said: this may be the only chance Sierra gets -- and I'll put my faith in Al Lowe / Josh Mandel / Paul Trowe / Scott Murphy to eventually become the best possible custodians of these games... even if it looks thrown together right now.



    See, this is exactly why I made the criticism I did about the Replay quote in your opening post -- they're leaving people with the implication that this is the resurrection of Sierra. I'm skeptical that there's any truth in the statement that they're "in the middle of negotiations" for KQ etc. and the info on the Kickstarter page now seems to imply otherwise. Even if they have such ambitions, they have no business talking about licenses they don't have.

    I feel really bad for Larry fans that they didn't keep the focus there. The video was good but I think Lowe should get out in front on this, give the impression that his vision and initiative are driving it, and share a little more about what remake/reload/re-imagining of LSL1 really means.

    @jonathanfrisby said: Speaking of resurrecting Sierra IPs and such, Jane Jensen has a new studio and kickstarter as of today as well :)

    Interesting ideas and well presented. I hope she and the studio are successful.

  • @BagginsKQ said: Why would it still be going?

    It's another essentially dead IP from the glory days of Sierra...

    I'm not sure if its seen a rerelease in years... Not even under Vivendi... No one knows if the rights were kept or sold off to other parties...

    ...

    This may be an issue of copyright limbo, where two parties share the copyrights, and its unclear who has rights to what.


    On the bright side, if absolutely nothing is done with the trademark for a certain amount of time (not the case for KQ, SQ etc. as they have seen releases on Steam + GoG), then I think the trademark lapses and could be reclaimed by the original creators. Then again, I'm not a lawyer so I could be wrong.

  • Trademark is not the same thing as copyright. Copyrights are sustained for a long time in most places and then ownership doesn't "revert" to anyone; it goes into the public domain. Original creators as I think you meant it have no legal standing. If they created the work while employed by or under contract to some other entity, that entity owns the IP and the individuals that actually developed it have no claims on it.

  • Ya, you have things where the company is doing something with the IP, still earliest manifestations of that IP ultimately go into the public domain... See early 1930's Superman tv shows and cartoons as an example.

    Sometimes big companies (see 'empires') like Disney fight to retain control (through special case laws and extensions), see Steamboat Willie...

    It takes something like the life of the creator + 70 years for something to go into public domain in general (assuming the creator has rights to his own works)... But companies have gotten around that under certain cases...

    There were times in the past when people didn't properly register their copyrights and things ended up in public domain... See Night of the Living Dead... But thanks to Disney's rabid band of lawyers, changing the laws, and making it easier for creators to protect their works and dispute things (but probably only if they have the money to do it :p)...

  • @thom-22 said: Trademark is not the same thing as copyright. Copyrights are sustained for a long time in most places and then ownership doesn't "revert" to anyone; it goes into the public domain. Original creators as I think you meant it have no legal standing. If they created the work while employed by or under contract to some other entity, that entity owns the IP and the individuals that actually developed it have no claims on it.



    I'm aware of the difference between trademark and copyright. It's a bit complicated. What I'm saying is that the name "Quest for Glory" could be obtained and become usable again even if the copyrights on the games themselves did not expire. See: Why Brian Fargo can make a sequel to Bard's Tale, and now Wasteland via Kickstarter (EA never used the names), but cannot release the original Wasteland as incentive (EA owns it). I'm not saying it's *likely*, but due to the differences between trademark and copyright -- you can't copyright an idea, individual words, a title, etc.; trademarks must be used and defended unlike copyrights -- it is possible to have a spiritual sequel as long as it doesn't use content from previous games (a bit of a bummer I suppose).

  • @Irishmile said: Ooooh I really liked Freddy Pharkas as well...


    I did not.

  • @KuroShiro said: (a bit of a bummer I suppose).



    Only if you intend to mess around with the established continuity or take liberties, voluntarily or not, with the execution. If you can and do imitate the tone, atmosphere, writing and graphical style, type of humor, of gameplay, of puzzles, and in true Sierra fashion, set your game in new locations, with new characters and villains, you don't care what your game is called, with just a bit of targeted promotion your game will find its intended audience, you may even make money out of it.

    The problem is most people cannot resist revisiting old stuff, tweak something they didn't like, leave their mark in their game or miss the subtleties of the originals.

    King's Quest wouldn't be any less fun if it featured a new knight, king, queen, prince or princess every new chapters if the tone and style remained the same. Police Quest needs neither Sonny Bond nor Lytton like Police Quest IV and Blue Force proved. Space Quest and Quest For Glory you could even get away with them being sequels without the title, since the main characters are generic blonde, change uniforms every games and both series allowed the players to enter their names.

    There's really an untapped market for Sierra commercial spiritual sequel for anyone, any team skilled, determined and willing to aim for perfect imitation, perfect faithfulness to the original games and interested in making a living out of it.

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