Another fan tribute bites the dust

I shouldn’t be surprised, but it still comes as a depressing blow: Went2Play’s high-quality remake of Fate of Atlantis has been told to pack it in because “guuhhh license uggghh copyright blaaah.”

"Doctor Ubermann! Not-so-fantastic news."
“Doctor Ubermann! Not-so-fantastic news.”

It’s hardly surprising, given that the game was not just a remake of an existing game by a well-known developer (LucasArts) that Went2Play didn’t have the rights to, but that said game was also an Indiana Jones game, another license that Went2Play didn’t have the rights to. Looking back on it, I suppose a venture of this nature was doomed to fail.

It’s also incredibly disheartening, because this is another case of seeing dedicated, creative souls wanting to pay tribute to a favorite game of theirs, only to get shut down by the powers that be because it might “hurt sales” or somehow sully the brand.

Are they within their right to shut it down? Of course. No one is debating that.

Is it, as my mate Gareth says, morally right? No. Not if you ask me. These people were not out to spite the original, or claim it as their own.

The bigger question is: Would a fan tribute to a game of this kind really hurt sales of the original?

I don’t have the answer to that. My gut reaction says no. People would look at this and think, “Wow, that looks cool. I should try the original.” Shawn (of Infamous Quests), however, says people would be too cheap to spring for the original because a) the new one would be shinier, and shiny is all a modern audience cares about, and b) the original costs money, and modern audiences don’t like to spend money.

If it was an old game that had been out of circulation for a long time, perhaps even on the brink of obscurity, I would definitely disagree.

But this one is a tricky one because you’re not just dealing with an old game. You’re dealing with an old game that’s still being sold and has the goddamn Indiana Jones name on it.

And maybe Shawn is right that, should someone who’s unfamiliar with the original stumble upon this, they would have no interest in subsequently going out and paying for the original.

The counter-argument to that is, well, Fate of Atlantis sells for peanuts on GOG and Steam; it’s hardly like this is make-or-break territory. But, through the eyes of corporate thinking, lost revenue is lost revenue, even if it’s just peanuts.

As much as it pains me to see it go, maybe it was foolish to think Fate of Atlantis: Special Edition would ever actually be completed. It hurts to see an effort with this much love, affection and talent behind it get squashed — yet again — but this is the world we live in, it seems.

Your favorite Sierra characters beating the snot out of each other

This is one of those things that deserves being spread around like fungus, or perhaps an especially virulent STD.

What if someone suggested we took all our favorite protagonists from classic 80’s-era Sierra games and made them square off, Mortal Kombat-style? You’d probably have them committed.

Let’s be grateful, then, that this has yet to happen to the lads over at Jolly Roger Epic Productions (but probably will soon), because they went ahead and did just that.

Continue reading “Your favorite Sierra characters beating the snot out of each other”

A Star Wars adventure game? Yes, please!

So, there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out. Maybe you haven’t heard; they’ve been really quiet about it. </sarcasm>

I never understood why LucasArts didn’t do a Star Wars adventure game. If you can do an action hero like Indiana Jones in an adventure game setting, you can sure as fuck do Star Wars.

But they didn’t. Instead we got Tie Fighter (a flight sim), Dark Forces (a 3D shooter), and Rebel Assault (god knows what the fuck that’s supposed to be). And I kind of checked out after that initial barrage, but I hear there’s a new Star Wars game out that everyone loves, and it’s a multiplayer shooter again. Yeah, you have fun with that.

Thankfully, someone’s actually doing something about that. His name’s Stacey Davidson, and he’s making an adventure game in the old-school Fate of Atlantis style, but with Star Wars. It’s called Han Solo Adventures.

Han Solo Adventures
He even looks like the Indiana Jones sprite, which is cool, ‘cos – you know, Harrison Ford. Yeah.

And it looks great. I hope it does great, too. It’s been in development for a while, but from what I can tell it’s still going strong, and I’m really looking forward to playing it. Keep up with Stacey on his Twitter profile.