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Old 02-28-2010, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default King's Quest IX Cease and Desist

I got this e-mail this morning.

February 28th, 2010




To Our Fans:

In 2005, Phoenix Online Studios received a Cease & Desist letter from Vivendi Universal, the owners of the King's Quest IP, in regards to our work on The Silver Lining. We complied with the request, and over the months that followed, we were able to work out a non-commercial fan license with Vivendi that allowed us to continue our work on the game.

We have spent a lot of time recently reworking the material of The Silver Lining into episodic releases, with the first out of a planned five episodes completed, and submitted for review, and had hoped we would be able to bring our game to you, the fans, in the Spring of 2010.

Recently, however, ownership of the Sierra IP changed hands and became the property of Activision. 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.

As before, we must and will comply with this decision, as much as we may wish we could do otherwise.

We cannot say enough how much we appreciate the support we have had over these years from our fans. Without you, we would never have gotten this far. There would be no game to develop, and no one to develop it for. You have been amazing and steadfast, and we will always remember that and appreciate it more than we can say.

Sadly, after eight years of dedicated work and even more dedicated fans, The Silver Lining project is closing down.

What the future holds for us, as individuals or a team, we cannot say. We have an amazing development team, however, filled with talented and hard-working individuals, and we hope the teamwork and rapport we’ve developed won’t go to waste. We hope that when we do know what the future holds for us, our fans will be there to enjoy what we can give them still.

Again, thank you all so much for everything. This has been a long and crazy road, full of more twists than we could’ve anticipated, but more triumphs and wonderful memories than we could’ve ever hoped for. And for that, to all of you and to everyone on our team, we will always be grateful.



Thank You,

The Silver Lining Development Team



In compliance with Activision's request, most of our forums are coming down. However, we are keeping a few new, empty forums open so fans can stay in touch with one another and with us. Please visit: http://www.tsl-game.com/forum/index.php?topic=8394.0




--

TSL Newsletter
The Silver Lining
http://www.tsl-game.com

If you wish to be removed from the TSL Newsletter mailing list, please email [email protected] with the subject "unsubscribe".
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:00 PM   #2
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I hate when companies do this stuff. They buy up IPs and just sit on them with no plans what so ever to make any new games. I was actually looking forward to this one, and I'm sorry to hear all your guys' hard work went to waste.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by [toj.cc]Phantom View Post
I hate when companies do this stuff. They buy up IPs and just sit on them with no plans what so ever to make any new games. I was actually looking forward to this one, and I'm sorry to hear all your guys' hard work went to waste.
That's the worst part, Activision are doing absolutely nothing with the property so why should they care if some dedicated fans are making a non-commercial tribute to it. I can understand trying to set a no tolerance rule about using your copyrighted material but this is a bit ridiculous...it's King's Quest. Activision aren't secretly toiling away on some massive MMO set in Daventry, they're doing nothing with the license. They should be humbled by the fact that there's still a demand for more content from one of their older properties.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:03 PM   #4
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Whether Activision does anything with the IP or not, that doesn't mean they have a commitment to allow it to be used by someone else for free.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:54 PM   #5
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Whether Activision does anything with the IP or not, that doesn't mean they have a commitment to allow it to be used by someone else for free.
True. Even so, this just contributes to me having a bad opinion about Activision. One more strike and they'll join Valve, Ubisoft and EA in my black list.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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I'm not so sure they're not doing anything with the IPs. I know of at least one legit, well-established company bidding to do work on them, and there may well be others. I think it was shoddy of Vivendi not to "grandfather in" their agreement with TSL.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:25 PM   #7
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Jeez. I didn't really have much interest in the project, but things like this really get to me. My deepest sympathies go out to those who devoted their time to making TSL. Eight years of work that must be shelved? That's really sad.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:05 PM   #8
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I just sent them the following message via their customer service contact page (for lack of a better E-mail address):

************
(Forgive me if I am addressing this letter to the wrong department, however the website's contact page kept redirecting me here.)

I have just received word of Activision forcing the cancellation of the King's Quest fan-sequel, The Silver Lining. As the new copyright holder, this is your right. However, as someone who has been looking forward to this project for a very long time, I am heartbroken, and I imagine many other fans are feeling the same. I urge you to reconsider.

I do not think that this project would conflict with an official King's Quest sequel, if that is your concern. Indeed, if you do have one planned, nothing would make me happier. (I was rather hoping that if the fan sequel were popular and successful, that might make an official sequel more likely, and then I'd have MORE King's Quest to play.)

I'd be happy to try any King's Quest adventure you release. But I'd like very much to have this game to play in the meantime.

If Activision does NOT plan to release any official sequels, then there is no possible way that this fan-project could harm you, and there is no reason not to let it continue.

Please. The previous copyright holder, Vivendi, came to an agreement with the developers of The Silver Lining that allowed the project to move forward. Canceling it now just seems mean-spirited on Activision's part, and makes you look bad to potential customers.

Please change your mind.


******************

Don't know if that will do any good, but what the heck.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:52 PM   #9
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Why throw everything away??? Why not change the names, play with the concept a little, and release it as something non-KQ related? It just seems wasteful to throw away eight years(????) of hard work.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:08 AM   #10
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Even if Activision did something with the license it would be dumb to shut down a fan project of such high caliber since it's basically free advertising for the commercial games.
It's like they want to be jerks just for the heck of it...
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:06 AM   #11
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It's a real shame. This is something I had been looking forward to for years, pretty much since I first heard about the project. I had no idea then it would be in development for so long, undoubtably neither did the development team. And now to have all that hard work not even see the light of day....
Any chance the team might work on an original project?
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzie View Post
Even if Activision did something with the license it would be dumb to shut down a fan project of such high caliber since it's basically free advertising for the commercial games.
It's like they want to be jerks just for the heck of it...
In this case Activision is risking a lot with relatively little to gain. A free game will devalue the IP (the last one was free, why pay $40-$50 for the next one). A bad game will devalue the IP. Without control of content, an inappropriate easter egg or off color comment in the game could devalue the IP.

Could a free fan created game foster a huge resurgence in demand for a new game? Possibly, I guess, but there hasn't been anything even close to a precedent for that, so hanging your hat on that is even a risk. I find it hard to believe that a fan made game that seemingly is very retro, would generate any renewed interest outside of the core adventure game audience who already has enough interest in another KQ game.

So where is the reward here for Activision to make it worth the risk?
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:17 AM   #13
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True. Even so, this just contributes to me having a bad opinion about Activision. One more strike and they'll join Valve, Ubisoft and EA in my black list.
Sorry to go off-topic, but what did Valve do to join your black list? Just curious.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by HaroldO View Post
True. Even so, this just contributes to me having a bad opinion about Activision. One more strike and they'll join Valve, Ubisoft and EA in my black list.
Valve? Really? They are the most community and mod friendly developer out there. Actually they are the complete opposite of Activision
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:52 AM   #15
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Valve? Really? They are the most community and mod friendly developer out there. Actually they are the complete opposite of Activision
I mean I can understand Ubisoft (horrible DRM), EA, and Activision.


At least thats the reason I hate Activision...besides the whole reason this thread was started obviously.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:23 AM   #16
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Someone on the Silver Lining forums created an online petition. Here's the link. http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/savetsl/
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:34 AM   #17
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Someone on the Silver Lining forums created an online petition. Here's the link. http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/savetsl/
I'll "sign" it but online petitions aren't worth the paper they aren't written.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:56 PM   #18
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I saw that email too. Very disappointing. Talk about a lot of wasted time and money. But I think I somehow always felt this project was doomed to failure and never would be released.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:59 PM   #19
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I would definitely like to know Activision's rationale (which may be 100% legitimate), but they're probably not about to explain themselves, and even Phoenix may not be allowed to discuss Activision's real reasons -- if Activision has even given it to them.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:04 AM   #20
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I saw that email too. Very disappointing. Talk about a lot of wasted time and money. But I think I somehow always felt this project was doomed to failure and never would be released.
I hate to agree with this, but I think you're right. To be honest, I wonder if the team in general are quite releaved this has happened. I know a lot of work has gone in but I think this project has come to hang over their heads and in some ways it has been disappointment after disappointment in the face of a lot of support and enthusiasm. Definitely sorry to see this one go.
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