Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to King’s Quest Game

June 28, 2010 -

Phoenix Online Studios, which had received a cease-and-desist from Activision over a fan-made King’s Quest game, has now been given the go-ahead by the publishing giant and will release the first episode of The Silver Lining on July 10.

At the end of June, the development team wrote that Activision reached out a few months earlier with “a desire to revisit their decision.” After some negotiating the cease-and-desist was rescinded and Phoenix was granted a non-commercial license.

Ironically, Phoenix went through the exact same scenario when King’s Quest was still under the control of Vivendi. That publisher too had issued a C&D on the project, only to cave to fan pressure later on and bestow a non-commercial license on the game.

The game, which will be released for free on TSL-Game.com, is described as “allowing gamers to revisit familiar characters and lands inspired by Roberta Williams' beloved King's Quest universe, which captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of fans during the 80's and 90's.”


Comments

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

Now, if Activision will let IA release the Space Quest 2 remake, and THEIR unofficial King's Quest sequel, we'll be in business.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

Good to hear.  Activision DOES have a legal obligation to protect its trademarks (unlike copyrights, trademarks have to be actively enforced or you lose them), but it's nice to see they've come to a resolution that keeps their fans happy -- and these developers obviously ARE big fans.

I think a lot of other companies could learn something here.  Yes, your properties are valuable.  Yes, you have the legal right to go after anyone who uses them without permission.  But the fact that you have the legal right doesn't mean you have to go that route.  Yes, you have to defend your trademarks -- but there's more than one way of doing that.

"Ironically, Phoenix went through the exact same scenario when King’s Quest was still under the control of Vivendi."

I'm not sure how that's ironic.

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

It's not.  It's coincidental.

People have been confused ever since that Sarah McLaughlan song came out (and probably before that too).  To be clear, the only thing ironic about "Ironic" is that the song, ironically, fails to mention a single irony.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

I don't think getting C&D's from two separate owners over the same act of copyright/trademark infringement even qualifies as "coincidental".

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

What is really funny but far from ironic is that you got the name of the artist wrong.

It is Alanis Morisette.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

You are correct, sir.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

four horseman? does Darksiders count?

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

 *Looks out window*

What? Activision being reasonable and no horsemen? No blood red moon? No angels blowing trumpets.

I call shenanigans!

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

Activision is trying to change its public image. They are attempting to look as indie friendly as possible. This move combined with their new Indie game contest are part of that attempt.

I don't know how much has changed in the heart of the company, but things are in the process of changing on the face.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

In short, they're starting to pull an EA.

"'EA - Electronic Arts' - To spend x years at the top of the EVIL chart, then slowly working to change their public image for the far better, that is, not TOO evil.

Examples of this: behave in public, treat indies and mod teams decently, less axing of innovative and alternative titles, no meddling of larger titles, less use of DRM as an excuse to make shitty rehashes and push prices, less bashing other publishers with exclusive rights etc, less blaming the pirates, putting more effort into chain sequels, and so forth."

 

Note: EA themselves have not wholly achieved the aove example list, but have worked notably towards it.

Re: Activision Sees Silver Lining, Grants License to ...

Tell me about it. Publishers who listen to the worries of its customers... what next? Clowns doing roadwork?

 
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Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthe thing is unions earned their bad reputation in the US. the way unions oparate the better at your job you are, the likely you want to be in a union.07/07/2015 - 11:33am
InfophilePut that way, "right to work" seems to have BLEEP-all to do with gay rights. Thing is, union-negotiated contracts used to be one of the key ways to prevent employers from firing at will. Without union protection, nothing stops at-will firing.07/07/2015 - 11:06am
Infophilehas an incentive to pay dues if they're represented either way, so the union is starved for funds and dies, unless things are bad enough that people will pay dues anyway.07/07/2015 - 11:02am
InfophileFor those who don't know, "right to work" laws mean that it can't be a condition of an employment contract that you pay union dues. That is, the right to work without having to pay dues. Catch is, unions have to represent non-members as well, so no one...07/07/2015 - 11:01am
MechaCrashUnexpected? Seriously?07/07/2015 - 10:55am
Mattsworknamejob they wanted without the unions getting involved. The problem is, it has some unexpected side effects, like the ones Info mentioned07/07/2015 - 8:49am
MattsworknameThe problem being, right to work states exsist specificly as a counter to Unions, as the last 20 or so years have shown, the unions have been doing this countries economoy NO favors. The right to work states came into being to allow people to work any07/07/2015 - 8:49am
Infophile(cont'd) discriminatory. This can only be done for protected classes which are outlined in law (race, sex, religion, ethnicity everywhere, sexual orientation in some states). So, a gay person could be fired because they're gay and have no recourse there.07/07/2015 - 7:27am
Infophile@Goth: See here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/firedforbeinggay.asp for a good discussion on it. Basically, the problem is that in the US, most states allow at will firing, and it's the burden of the fired person to prove the firing was ...07/07/2015 - 7:25am
Goth_SkunkAssuming that's true, then that is a fight worth fighting for.07/07/2015 - 6:58am
Yuuri@ Goth_Skunk, in many states being gay is not a protected status akin to say race or religion. It's also in the "Right to work" states. Those are the states where one can be fired for any reason (provided it isn't a "protected" one.)07/07/2015 - 6:07am
Goth_Skunkregarded as a beacon of liberty and freedom that is the envy of the world, would not have across-the-board Human Rights laws that don't at the very least equal those of my own country.07/07/2015 - 5:47am
Goth_SkunkI find that hard to believe, Infophile. I have difficulty believing employers can *still* fire people for being gay. I would need to see some evidence that this is fact, because as a Canadian, I can't believe that the United States,07/07/2015 - 5:46am
InfophileFor that matter, even women don't yet have full legal equality with men. The US government still places limits on the positions women can serve in the military. And that's just the legal side of things - the "culture wars" are more than just laws.07/07/2015 - 5:43am
InfophileAnd that's just LGB issues. Get ready for an incoming battle on rights for trans* people. And then after that, a battle for poly people.07/07/2015 - 5:41am
InfophileA battle's been won. In many states employers can still fire people for being gay. And in many states, parents can force their children into reparative therapy to try to "fix" being gay. Those battles still need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:40am
Goth_Skunkand now they've switched to battles that don't need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:37am
Goth_SkunkIn my opinion, it was the final legal hurdle denying homosexual couples final and recognized statuses as eligible spouses. But even though this war's been won, some people are still too keen to keep fighting battles,07/07/2015 - 5:28am
 

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