Activision Kills Fan Game Project, Despite Fan License Granted By Previous Rightsholders

from the evil dept

Apparently some fans of the video game series King’s Quest have been working for eight years on a fan-made sequel to the last such game. Back in 2005, Vivendi (then the rights holder) sent them a cease and desist, but eventually worked out a “non-commercial fan license” that allowed them to continue. Fast forward to today, and Activision now owns those rights and has decided that the fans’ efforts should all go to waste. The company has told the fan group to shut it all down:

After talks and negotiations in the last few months between ourselves and Activision, they have reached the decision that they are not interested in granting a non-commercial license to The Silver Lining, and have asked that we cease production and take down all related materials on our website.

This is “promoting the progress”? You have to hand it to Activision, though. Not only has it pissed off a large group of fans, it’s stomped out eight years of their hard work as well. I’m sure that will make those folks that much more excited about purchasing Activision games.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: activision, vivendi

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Activision Kills Fan Game Project, Despite Fan License Granted By Previous Rightsholders”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
34 Comments
NAMELESS.ONE says:

Another ACTA leak

sorry im not going reg channels wiht this but ….this is evil lil document

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4829/125/

ya this isnt about copyright
the whole thing is about copyrights and how to most effectively screw people with patents and allegations rather then RULE OF LAW and democracy. THIS is truly undemocratic.
———————–

as to activision maybe we should all do away with copyrights and then see how turds like them survive

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It was also the fault of the company working on DNF. Every time a new engine came out, or a new game introduced a new function, so the story goes, they started over. Whenever something was mentioned, like the Jace Hall review in which he was ‘blown away’, they waved their hand, said “No! No! That is not the game, there is a new special effect engine we have to put in! NEW!” So, I wouldn’t exactly compare the two.

Anonymous Coward says:

New Slogan: Activision: Making EA Look Like a GOOD Owner

Keep in mind, Activision also killed many other projects revoking licenses and contracts. Brutal Legends? Ghostbusters? Wet? Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, World at Conflict: Soviet Assault, 50 Cent Blood on the Sand, Zombie Wranglers, Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust.

AND then they go and sue when Ghostbusters, Brutal Legends, and Wet come out under different studios waving their contracts around screeching ‘breech!’

And now we add this insult.

Activision: Bettering EAs Image.
(At least EA released the games Origin, and Bull Frog, and so on when they were already being worked on.)

anti-mike fanclub member #1 says:

Will someone answer me a question? here it is: SO WHAT? You can’t make people quit working on a fan game. Under what authority? I can craft whatever I want in the privacy of my own home or in the privacy of my own online home.

Now, you can try to keep me from releasing, distributing, or otherwise discussing the project in public.

But there is no legal justification to prevent me from working on it.

And then, once it is done, you just leak it, and blame it on a hacker.

Can someone please tell me–why do these fan games close their doors as soon as they get hassled? I used to think it was because they were attention whores and knew nothing about making games, and getting the attention from the publisher, even to get “shut down” was their peak ambition, but 8 years is a long time to work up to a single epic act of attention whoredom.

anti-mike fanclub member #1 says:

Re: Re: Re:

And then what? A year from now, is activision going to get a judge to issue a warrant to have their computers seized to find out whether they have quit working on it?

Well, in that case, the fangame guys would need to yammer about how contrite they were and keep working on it privately. So lets keep our fingers crossed, maybe thats what they’ll do

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

With secondary liability, it would be the developers legal obligation to prevent a leak. Unless they have money to pay an experienced lawyer.

The reason these C&D work is because its big companies with thousands of lawyers “impressing” upon those who have little to no ability to fund their own legal counsel. So the only logical thing to do for most people is to acquiesce to the demands.

Joe Perry (profile) says:

Re: Who Bought Whom?

well, it was a merger between Activision and Vivendi, in which Vivendi came out the largest shareholder, then Vivendi, which also owned the game developer/publisher Blizzard, made the new company Activision Blizzard, which is run by the former Activision CEO. Vivendi itself is just a media conglomerate based in France; video game publishing is just one of the things they deal in (which is how they managed to come out owning more shares).

Christopher Smith says:

Estoppel?

I know that if you have deep pockets and your target doesn’t, you can sue for no reason at all, but on a level playing field would there be an argument for estoppel against Activision here? After all, the community developers invested lots of effort in the game after reaching an agreement with the then-rightsholder, and Activision is kinda late to the game in calling takeback.

Ian Channing (profile) says:

No more comments

So it seems either that Activision are terrible at writing comment forms (their website is a terrible flash mess to start with), or they’ve stopped people from sending comments. After checking on both Firefox and IE their comment form (http://www.activision.com/index.html#contact|en_GB) only has one ‘To’ address – Customer Support and selecting this takes you to their random support pages.

Do let me know if you find another way to let them know how super great I think they are.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...