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

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Joined 2020-01-14

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Hi everyone, newbie here!
So im a big fan of fangames, i love seeing how people pour all their talents into making   a fangame or maybe remaking old games with modernized graphics,voices,controls etc.Recently i played Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (i know,i got late, shame on me) and i loved it! I grew up with Lucasarts games and i played a lot of point and click games in my childhood (Sam and Max, Monkey Island, Grim Fandago and so on).Come to find out there were apparently two more Indy games to come but they were cancelled. So i was wondering if someone in general wants to bring a cancelled game to life is that illegal or not.

Thanks!

P.S:Sorry for my bad English

     
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Total Posts: 433

Joined 2017-12-19

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It’s illegal.

I am not a big supporter of fan games. It seems like waste of their time and possible talent. If someone is good enough to create a game, why not go just a little bit further and create something original. Or make an effort to keep the original games alive, and join projects like ScummvM and ResidualVM.

I have never heard about cancelled Indiana Jones adventure games. Action-adventures, yes, but adventures, haven’t heard about. What games are you referring to?

If you mean games like Indiana Jones and the Seven Cities of Gold or Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth, they are fan games to begin with, and if they have been cancelled it’s either because the developers lost interest, or they were shut down by lawyers, as fan games are almost always illegal.

     

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Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix
Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny

Both of them apparently got shelved.

Also here are the links for both games development info and halt reasoning.

https://indianajones.fandom.com/wiki/Indiana_Jones_and_the_Iron_Phoenix_(game)
https://indianajones.fandom.com/wiki/Spear_of_Destiny_(game)

     
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Total Posts: 2431

Joined 2013-03-14

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It is, indeed, illegal as the IP’s are always owned by someone, in this case, Disney which has never been known to be a fan-friendly company if those fans are interested in using their IP’s even for free.

Fangame makers always take a risk in developing an unlicensed, free game, as you never know how the IP holders will react. On some cases, especially if the IP is seen as dead or not profitable or if the IP holders just are nice, fans can get away with it. Like with what happened to King’s Quest fan remakes when they made an agreement with the current rights holder to keep the games forever free and not try to monetize them in any way. They were granted a specific fan license by Activision. Many fan games have been likewise snuffed by the IP holders.

     

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theangelofdarkness - 14 January 2020 12:21 PM

Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix
Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny

Both of them apparently got shelved.

Also here are the links for both games development info and halt reasoning.

https://indianajones.fandom.com/wiki/Indiana_Jones_and_the_Iron_Phoenix_(game)
https://indianajones.fandom.com/wiki/Spear_of_Destiny_(game)

Why not invent your own archeologist/researcher-of-ancient-mysteries character instead of using Indiana Jones.
Have the character active in the 1800’s—or in the present day—some time other than when Indiana Jones was active.
Make a unique character. You don’t want to put a lot of effort into the game just to have some corporation shut it down over IP.

     
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crabapple - 14 January 2020 06:56 PM

Why not invent your own archeologist/researcher-of-ancient-mysteries character instead of using Indiana Jones.

Make a unique character. You don’t want to put a lot of effort into the game just to have some corporation shut it down over IP.

It is also possible to make a complete, shameless rip-off, but still keep it “original” enough to avoid lawyers. Like Diamon Jones series.

http://adventuregamers.com/gameseries/view/1645

     

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GateKeeper - 14 January 2020 07:47 PM
crabapple - 14 January 2020 06:56 PM

Why not invent your own archeologist/researcher-of-ancient-mysteries character instead of using Indiana Jones.

Make a unique character. You don’t want to put a lot of effort into the game just to have some corporation shut it down over IP.

It is also possible to make a complete, shameless rip-off, but still keep it “original” enough to avoid lawyers. Like Diamon Jones series.

http://adventuregamers.com/gameseries/view/1645

And: http://www.raunes.com/

     
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Total Posts: 126

Joined 2013-04-13

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there’s this… pretty insane mixture lol

  i have only played a little of it and it seemed pretty fun. It def has that amateur vibe going on to a degree but it’s pretty interesting crazy idea

     
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Total Posts: 126

Joined 2013-04-13

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need to try and give it a full play sometime..

     

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Joined 2020-01-14

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hmm interesting.I will check that one soon enough.

     

Total Posts: 26

Joined 2018-11-09

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These are frequent questions over developer forums/reddit communities as well.

As well as I can really understand the love for a franchise, one of primary concerns when developing a game is Intellectual Property. It is no joke. Some devs tend to laugh about it and even make games in various mixed universes with the notion “I am too small for IP owners to go after me”, but that’s totally untrue - they will make a case just to show their strength and protect what is yours and such dev’s life can be ruined financially. If you even for a second ask for a donation etc., you automatically cannot hide behind “fair use” wall.

And I am amazed, that some advocate others to continue this practice with “it’s just a parody, it’s allowed” catchphrase. Tell that to Universal well paid layers, who will contact you for 100k damage payment.

From other side - protect what is yours when you have something - it goes both ways Smile

Sorry, if I sounded a bit aggro - I am a photographer by trade and have fought some battles in this regard over the years. Nasty stuff.

     

Total Posts: 46

Joined 2020-01-20

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It’s illegal but you can always start a petition to convince the rights owner to release another game. They usually do it if enough people share and sign. Petitions in general get more attention these days than like 10 years ago. I’ve had success via changeorg twice so far, and I was surprised how quickly my petitions blew up and what I asked for actually happened. Times have def changed so do try it!

I’m actually trying to make one for GK4. I’ve got Robert’s and Jane’s approval for it (especially Robert is very grateful for the idea-he is such a sweet guy with a big heart tbh), but my English isn’t great so I’m just waiting for a way to find a HC GK fan who would be glad to write up an essay on why GK4 should be made. Then I’d launch it.

I spoke with Robert and he said they’ll never be able to get the rights of GK from Activision since GK 20th remake didn’t sell, but if fans can convince Activision to let them make GK4 they’d be more than happy to do it. Promised to give it my all. Just need someone who is native in English and has a way with words.  Thumbs Up I know we’ve had tons of petitions about this before, but this would be a different era and kind of a “last chance” thing. Cause it kind of is.

     
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I’m not sure that’s going to work. But I’ll sign your petition!

     

Ceci n’est pas un jeu!

Total Posts: 46

Joined 2020-01-20

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Karlok - 21 January 2020 08:34 AM

I’m not sure that’s going to work. But I’ll sign your petition!

Me neither but it’s kind of the last chance for now. I do need help with the writing. And since Robert is on board with this, I am more willing to make it.

     
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Hannes084 - 21 January 2020 02:46 AM

It’s illegal but you can always start a petition to convince the rights owner to release another game. They usually do it if enough people share and sign.

I have never heard about a petition that actually would have made any difference in some game being released. So I think you are way too optimistic about this.

Hannes084 - 21 January 2020 02:46 AM

I spoke with Robert and he said they’ll never be able to get the rights of GK from Activision since GK 20th remake didn’t sell, but if fans can convince Activision to let them make GK4 they’d be more than happy to do it.

Nobody wanted the remake, what people wanted was a new game from Pinkerton Road Studio and that never happened. Also, the remake was a major step down in production values from the original, so is it any wonder that it wasn’t selling?

I mean, fans are always arguing whether Tim Curry or Dean Erickson was better, so for this remake they chose… (drum roll) some guy who doesn’t even have a photo in IMDB!!!
There’s no way they could pull GK4 off either, or at least it would be on the level of indie game production, which is not what dedicated fans of the series (and that really doesn’t include me, for the record…) expect to see.

The most likely way to see Gabriel Knight in games ever again is if some German group makes an AGS fan game “Gabriel Knight vs. Maniac Tentacle” and manage to avoid all lawyers. Crazy
I suppose since Maniac Mansion Mania has already 100 fan games in the series, they could try some crossover stuff next.

     

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GateKeeper - 21 January 2020 09:52 AM
Hannes084 - 21 January 2020 02:46 AM

It’s illegal but you can always start a petition to convince the rights owner to release another game. They usually do it if enough people share and sign.

I have never heard about a petition that actually would have made any difference in some game being released. So I think you are way too optimistic about this.

Hannes084 - 21 January 2020 02:46 AM

I spoke with Robert and he said they’ll never be able to get the rights of GK from Activision since GK 20th remake didn’t sell, but if fans can convince Activision to let them make GK4 they’d be more than happy to do it.

Nobody wanted the remake, what people wanted was a new game from Pinkerton Road Studio and that never happened. Also, the remake was a major step down in production values from the original, so is it any wonder that it wasn’t selling?

I mean, fans are always arguing whether Tim Curry or Dean Erickson was better, so for this remake they chose… (drum roll) some guy who doesn’t even have a photo in IMDB!!!
There’s no way they could pull GK4 off either, or at least it would be on the level of indie game production, which is not what dedicated fans of the series (and that really doesn’t include me, for the record…) expect to see.

The most likely way to see Gabriel Knight in games ever again is if some German group makes an AGS fan game “Gabriel Knight vs. Maniac Tentacle” and manage to avoid all lawyers. Crazy
I suppose since Maniac Mansion Mania has already 100 fan games in the series, they could try some crossover stuff next.

I’m not really interested in debating about the subject nor will I even reply to comments once I’ve launched the petition. You can sign it or not. We’ve all got our opinions but at the end of the day, do you wanna see a proper ending to GK saga in lower budget or do you wanna be left hanging forever. Cause that’s all it comes down to. But as I said you are free to have your opinions as is everyone else. I’m simply giving it one more shot.

I’ve had major stuff done in music industry via petitions so why wouldn’t it work also game wise. Of course it’s extremely unlikely, some might say it will never happen but it’s really become obvious these are the very last years it is even theoretically possible. So I’m gonna go for it as I promised.

     

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