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 After some negotiating the cease-and-desist was rescinded and Phoenix was granted a non-commercial license.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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