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Is it illegal if someone wants to make a cancelled game ?

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Here you go:

Dear Activision bosses,

Please let Jane Jensen develop another game in the Gabriel Knight series, or the ghost of the unfinished fourth chapter will haunt you forever.

Love, fans.

     

PC means personal computer

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chrissie - 21 January 2020 04:36 PM

Please don’t see your idea as shot down in flames here Hannes084, I’m pretty sure many members here would love to see GK 4 but just don’t believe it’s possible.
Just let us know if a petition turns up -  I for one don’t feel my writing skills are good enough to submit a worthy pitch - hopefully someone else with more talent may rise to the challenge & PM you.    Smile

Yeah I totally get that, I’m not holding my breath and def not too hopeful about it either. Thank you.

It’s just that I wanna give it a shot. No harm in that. I wish I could have a kick ass essay on the meaning of GK series, and why they should be releasing an ending. Some videos too. I’m good with video producing but text, especially convincing on subjects that I’m biased and too passionate about… Not so much. But if nothing happens I’ll have to write it up myself then.

     
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Do you have a draft? Your English is good enough to be able to express the meaning of the series to you, why you want the rights, and the other important details. If you provide that, I would be happy to convert it into a petition.

Or alternatively, we could have an open thread where everyone contributes suggestions for improvement.

     

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cyfoyjvx - 22 January 2020 03:16 AM

Do you have a draft? Your English is good enough to be able to express the meaning of the series to you, why you want the rights, and the other important details. If you provide that, I would be happy to convert it into a petition.

Or alternatively, we could have an open thread where everyone contributes suggestions for improvement.

I don’t at the moment. It’s still a process in my head currently. I’m gonna go with trying to convince them to let Jane finish the story instead of trying to get them to sell the rights to her. Mainly cause I was told they’ll not get the rights no matter what.

I can write English Ok but the process is complicated. I’d have to go from the history of GK games, their cultural impact, how much the games mean to fans and then end with something about how many times we’ve tried to petition for this, and how many people have dedicated websites to GK4 and how the time is running out for a chance for a final chapter in the saga, that the fans deserve. I get a headache just thinking of the structure.

Forum post about it.. Well it would just turn into an argument about whether one should be made or not, like it has here. Lol.

Thank you for the offer! I will hit you up if I end up writing it myself Smile

Changeorg is amazing in the sense that when you choose who you direct the petition to, they’ll get an automated email telling them they’re a subject of something and fans don’t have to send it to Activision via email, they’re able to see it themselves and monitor how many signatures it gets. Obviously I’d still send it to them and tweet it daily.

     
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I don’t think the actual content of the petition will make that much of a difference. What we all can do is promote the love to the series, by buying it on GOG, Steam, writing reviews about it on relevant sites, organizing community playthroughs… until someone from Activision notices that the series still has life in it.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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diego - 22 January 2020 08:47 AM

I don’t think the actual content of the petition will make that much of a difference. What we all can do is promote the love to the series, by buying it on GOG, Steam, writing reviews about it on relevant sites, organizing community playthroughs… until someone from Activision notices that the series still has life in it.

True. I’ll start working on it

     
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diego - 22 January 2020 08:47 AM

I don’t think the actual content of the petition will make that much of a difference.

For all practical purposes it won’t make any difference, because no one who has any authority is most likely never going to even see the petition. At best, someone from customer relations will write a polite reply back.

But assuming anyone there cares, it does make a huge difference whether you ask “make another Gabriel Knight game” or “allow Jane Jensen to purchase a licence to use the IP”.

In the former, you ask something that causes them to spend money on game development. In the latter, you ask them to do something which basically provides them free money, they get their share in any case, and Jane Jensen (or someone else) will take the financial risk.

Now I don’t think it’s happening either way, but the actual wording makes a world of difference in the business world.

     

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GateKeeper - 22 January 2020 09:07 AM
diego - 22 January 2020 08:47 AM

I don’t think the actual content of the petition will make that much of a difference.

For all practical purposes it won’t make any difference, because no one who has any authority is most likely never going to even see the petition. At best, someone from customer relations will write a polite reply back.

But assuming anyone there cares, it does make a huge difference whether you ask “make another Gabriel Knight game” or “allow Jane Jensen to purchase a licence to use the IP”.

In the former, you ask something that causes them to spend money on game development. In the latter, you ask them to do something which basically provides them free money, they get their share in any case, and Jane Jensen (or someone else) will take the financial risk.

Now I don’t think it’s happening either way, but the actual wording makes a world of difference in the business world.

BTW Broken Sword games were remastered because of a petition that asked for a port to nintendo Smile Anyway, I can ALWAYS ask for either. Simply say “Please either produce Gabriel Knight 4 or allow the legendary creators Jane Jensen and Robert Holmes to buy the rights from you to give the fans the chance to experience a proper ending to the beloved saga”.

We’ve achieved the fact that it’s unlikely to work. But it does not do any harm to try. Cause it won’t happen if you don’t try. And as I said, those in charge will see it. That’s why change.org is popular.

It’s not 2004 where petitions don’t get any attention. With social media and tons of game magazines it is likely to gain attention IF fans sign it. Whether that will change the outcome or not is uncertain. But we do live in the era of remakes and reboots, and let’s face it, original creators aren’t getting any younger so now is a good time to go ahead and do this. That being said, I’m gonna start on it, and link it here somewhere when I’m done. All suggestions on improvement are welcome and I’ve already asked quotes from the creators themselves.

If I have time I’m making a video as well, just to make a point. Mainly with review headlines (original) and very short clips of the game.

     
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Sorry, but there is a zero chance of a new Gabriel Knight game.

That opportunity was lost many years ago. Even the 20th anniversary edition (remake) of Sins of the Fathers wasn’t able to prove there was sufficient fan following to justify an investment for a sequel.
They basically gave her the chance to remake the first game and to demonstrate how popular the game series was without much marketing investment. Well, it turned out, not that much.

She did produce a quality game in my opinion, which is pretty amazing given she had to work out of a farm with a virtual development team. But she must have worked so hard to get that game out the way she envisioned. The critical reception wasn’t that bad at all, but commercially I don’t think it worked out at all….both for Moebius and Gabriel Knight….with Moebius also not getting any critical endorsements.

The comparison with Broken Sword does not hold up. Broken Sword was and is a very successful game series. The first game alone sold over a million units and they were very clever to port the game to other platforms other than the PC and managed to stay in business basically on one game franchise. But unfortunately Gabriel Knight is no Broken Sword. It’s strong name and commercial impact basically died with the fall of Sierra.

But even if Activision would release the rights to JJ…Why would she go back into it, with all the hard work that it entails for so very little in return. Yes, she’ll have the eternal gratitude of some old fans like us….but I can’t blame her for wanting to get a little more out of it this time around.

     
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I don’t think Broken Sword is any bigger or popular franchise than Gabriel Knight. Not to mention that all three GK games are fair contestants for the best adventures, while BS1 is the only one mentioned in such contest. The difference is that Revolution was, and IS a working company from Europe (where adventures are still popular to an extent) which released also Broken Sword 3 and 4 throughout the 2000s, and then remake of the first game with all the ports, while Pinkerton Studio is a small indie company from USA that has nothing to do with what Sierra once was apart from Jane Jensen.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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I fully agree on critical reception, but I don’t think any Gabriel Knight game ever sold a million copies, so commercially the Broken Sword series were doing a lot better, even the later sequels, especially if you count their sales on the PlayStation early on and the handheld devices later on.

Yes, the fact that Revolution kept producing either a new game or port every several years must have helped in keeping the franchise somewhat alive and they did have the advantage of being a European developer with more support for the genre within their home market, whereas Jane Jensen had to build a new studio with no development team nearby.

Even in between Gabriel Knight 3 and the Sins of the Fathers remake there is 15 years…..you don’t just keep a large fan base like that with such a gap in time….especially if the company producing these games is no longer there to maintain some level of the original fan base.

It doesn’t matter much anymore now as there won’t be a chance for a new game…even when playing the 20th anniversary remake I started to notice slightly that Gabriel Knight hasn’t really moved with the times. It started to feel as an entity of the 90’s….much like Larry Laffer being frozen in the 70’s and 80’s
At least George Stobbart was given a mobile phone in his latest adventure Smile

     
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Yes, one big problem with Gabriel Knight is that as a character he is a prisoner of age and if any new game would be made of him, it would have to be tied to time the last game was released. That isn’t necessarily an issue, as is with the Shenmue 3 which continues from where the second game left the players a couple of decades ago. But like Shenmue 3 also showed, a game with an avid fanbase doesn’t necessarily translate into good sales numbers, no matter how vocal those fans are. 

And that really is the problem with many, if not all, Sierra titles. They have fans, some of which are very vocal. But that doesn’t really translate into sales numbers. Had it done so, Activision’s attempt at kickstarting Sierra-brand with new King’s Quest would have resulted in a resurgence of rekindled Sierra franchises. That didn’t happen.

     
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subbi - 22 January 2020 02:48 PM

But even if Activision would release the rights to JJ…Why would she go back into it, with all the hard work that it entails for so very little in return. Yes, she’ll have the eternal gratitude of some old fans like us….but I can’t blame her for wanting to get a little more out of it this time around.

You really think that commerce is the only consideration for Jane? She’s a writer, not a banker. If sales and $$ are all that matter to her, adventure game development would be the last thing she would be interested in doing.

And if the numbers don’t add up for a sequel (and I don’t see why they wouldn’t, since releasing a license which is not profitable makes as much sense as holding on to it, if not more), why not try an appeal to the heart? Activision is run by people, and even CEOs are human. Tell them how much we love the series, how much gratitude we would have to the company for allowing this to happen.

     
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You’re making it sound as if I’d be implying she wants to get rich from making games. I’m talking about earning a decent living…..which she did not get out of the Pinkerton Road studio.
Just google ‘starvation wages at Pinkerton Road’ and you’ll see why she won’t do it again unless some bigger studio is going to back it financially and that is not happening.

It boils down to there being too little interest in a new Gabriel Knight game and it would be a poor business decision to produce a quality game for such a niche audience. It has nothing to do with appealing to the heart of CEO’s. They also need to protect the future of their companies and with that the livelyhoods of their employees.

     
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subbi - 22 January 2020 06:38 PM

You’re making it sound as if I’d be implying she wants to get rich from making games. I’m talking about earning a decent living…..which she did not get out of the Pinkerton Road studio.
Just google ‘starvation wages at Pinkerton Road’ and you’ll see why she won’t do it again unless some bigger studio is going to back it financially and that is not happening.

It boils down to there being too little interest in a new Gabriel Knight game and it would be a poor business decision to produce a quality game for such a niche audience. It has nothing to do with appealing to the heart of CEO’s. They also need to protect the future of their companies and with that the livelyhoods of their employees.

There are a few quotes from that article that are far more encouraging than the situation you are portraying.

“They contacted me a couple of years ago during the time of our Kickstarter because I was just very visible during [the campaign] and there were people in-house [at Activision] who really wanted to do something with those Sierra franchises. They pretty much just called me to brainstorm to see if I had any ideas and what I thought about the market.

“I knew then that there were people in-house that had some clout and were interested in doing something with those Sierra games and that eventually translated into this new Sierra brand, which I think is wonderful.”

“Gabriel Knight rights in general are still with Activision and I really hope that they would love to make more GK games. I think they will and of course I’d love for Pinkerton Road to be involved with that.”

These tell me it’s really up to Jane and maybe, to a lesser extent, the fans, to prove to those in Activision who are interested in doing something with the series. And a lot has changed since 2014. A lot of sequels to more obscure series have been successfully funded. So I see little justification for your outlook that it’s never going to happen.

     

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