The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Draxas on June 18, 2010, 05:09:20 pm



Title: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Draxas on June 18, 2010, 05:09:20 pm
I figure I may as well crosspost this here for anyone who doesn't frequent the SCDB.

I recently stumbled across this chronology thanks to TVTropes:

http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmes ... _id=128252

The whole affair is deeply disturbing to me, especially since TFB is basically a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision at this point. Policies like the ones discussed are really making me despair of ever seeing our sequel (or if we do, the sort of "revenue enhancing" nonsnse and sequelitis it might generate), especially considering Activision's focus on rapidly exploiting the hell out of a successful franchise until the quality and interest drop low enough that the returns diminish, and then sacking the teams responsible without a second thought.

What are you guys' thoughts on the subject?


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Steve-O on June 18, 2010, 05:17:11 pm
The link isn't working for me, however considering it's been what -- 15 years? -- since the last official StarCon game was made I don't think there's much danger of an officially produced sequel being made at this point.  The absolute best I would hope for is a remake of the franchise that ignores or subdues its ties to the older games.  And no, I doubt such a game would have the charm and enthralling gameplay of SC2.

If you want sequels, you'd be better served watching the fan projects being made around here and at SCDB.  Those will most certainly be more faithful to the game we love, and even with the risk of of not being finished due to author delinquincy (an ever-present threat in the fan-made community) I still think there's an infinitely greater chance of seeing these sequels come to pass than anything "official" out of Activision.

In short, I wouldn't worry about this. =P


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Dabir on June 18, 2010, 05:45:27 pm
The link seems to have cut itself in half, here's the one you want:
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=128252


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Draxas on June 18, 2010, 06:10:15 pm
Thanks Dabir. Not sure why it did that.


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Vee-R on June 18, 2010, 06:53:11 pm
If you want sequels, you'd be better served watching the fan projects being made around here and at SCDB.  Those will most certainly be more faithful to the game we love, and even with the risk of of not being finished due to author delinquincy (an ever-present threat in the fan-made community) I still think there's an infinitely greater chance of seeing these sequels come to pass than anything "official" out of Activision.

Take a look at the linked article.  Especially what it says under February 28, 2010: Activision has actually terminated a non-commercial fan project with a cease-and-desist.
Who's to say that future Star Control fan projects are safe?


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Alvarin on June 18, 2010, 07:38:24 pm
Star Control fan projects are far from safe. In fact, they are doomed from the get go. This is why they are called "UQM", "TimeWarp" and other names.


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Vee-R on June 18, 2010, 09:09:35 pm
That King's Quest fan project wasn't called 'King's Quest', either; in the presented material it was merely called 'The Silver Lining'.  Didn't stop Activision from burying it.

Then again, if they had a way to strangle SC-related fan projects they most probably would have done so already, so I feel more optimistic for the simple reason that it hasn't happened yet.  Maybe a subtle difference in intellectual property status between these two cases; a lawyer I am not.

The damn shame in all of this is that Activision can't be sued for infringement for stealing their entire corporate philosophy from the Crimson Corporation.


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Alvarin on June 18, 2010, 09:26:20 pm
... Activision can't be sued for infringement for stealing their entire corporate philosophy from the Crimson Corporation.

Are you sure?


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: onpon4 on June 18, 2010, 09:36:05 pm
Attention, loyal customers.

I am an officer of the Crimson Corporation.

We have learned that Activision has stolen our business philosophies, and we have taken action against this atrocity already, by sending them a formal cease and desist letter. I thank you for making us aware of these wicked pirates.

Please stop by at our trade world at
(click to show/hide)
We would be delighted to sell our mystical and ancient artifacts.


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Draxas on June 19, 2010, 12:30:41 am
Then again, if they had a way to strangle SC-related fan projects they most probably would have done so already, so I feel more optimistic for the simple reason that it hasn't happened yet.  Maybe a subtle difference in intellectual property status between these two cases; a lawyer I am not.

Fortunately, TFB seems to own all of the IP associated with Star Control with the exception of the name. That's why we can get away with this; they've given us permission. Of course, there's no telling what might happen if the big bosses at Activision decided this was sub-optimal to their profits.


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Valos Cor on June 19, 2010, 05:44:51 am
I didn't read most of the "short history" (most of which I didn't get because though I like history but I don't even really know what StarCraft, World of Warcraft....whatever... is) but as I read 65 percent of each post I noticed the one in February 28, 2010.  I then went to the link and saw the developer's message.  It made me feel really angry at Activision...Activision should've said "I don't care, it has nothing to do with us and as long as you're not selling it..." so why did Activision tell them to "cease and desist"?  I still feel relatively safe in the Star Control fan made projects...I think...


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Steve-O on June 21, 2010, 04:07:06 pm
I didn't read most of the "short history" (most of which I didn't get because though I like history but I don't even really know what StarCraft, World of Warcraft....whatever... is) but as I read 65 percent of each post I noticed the one in February 28, 2010.  I then went to the link and saw the developer's message.  It made me feel really angry at Activision...Activision should've said "I don't care, it has nothing to do with us and as long as you're not selling it..." so why did Activision tell them to "cease and desist"?  I still feel relatively safe in the Star Control fan made projects...I think...

When you're a big coporate entity, it's generally considered more important to protect your copyrights than to make people happy.  This is the same reason White Wolf sued Underworld, GW goes after any kind of unauthorized use of their games and images, etc.  Even if Activision has no intention of ever using the Star Control name again, they will take whatever measures necessary to protect their right to the name.  It may seem harsh, and really, it is, but it's the way businesses work.  It's territorial.

As long as fan projects don't use the name "Star Control" they should be bulletproof, though.  I didn't see the SC reference in the link above, was the fan project in question calling itself "Star Control?"


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Valos Cor on June 21, 2010, 07:47:56 pm
Quote
As long as fan projects don't use the name "Star Control" they should be bulletproof, though.  I didn't see the SC reference in the link above, was the fan project in question calling itself "Star Control?"
I don't know if that's still directed at me.  I meant Activision shut down some other game on February 28, 2010.  I don't know if there's anything directed at Star Control.


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: tingkagol on July 05, 2010, 10:13:11 am
In the end, I guess business is business.  

The comments made by Activision's Kotick and Tippl were unfiltered and upsetting to read, yes, (and for the record, I think they're assholes) but it does kind of prove their claim that they'd rather spend money on the development of games over spending for the company- like hiring a PR consultant for themselves.  If you think about it, it does make sense seeing the success of their franchises.
(EDIT: Come to think of it, for a company who's making millions of dollars from games like Call of Duty you'd think they can at least compensate the development teams properly.  More money for the higher ups perhaps?)

In the end, consumers vote with their wallets.  If activision continues to go down that road treating its developers unfairly or milking its titles to the point where gamers get extremely fed up (Guitar Hero), it will cost them dearly in the long run.


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Alvarin on July 05, 2010, 11:18:33 am
The problem now, with monopoly in gaming industry, what alternative the gamers have?


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Angelfish on July 05, 2010, 01:38:47 pm
We still have Bioware, who actually give a crap about their fans :).


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: tingkagol on July 05, 2010, 03:56:57 pm
I believe Bioware is owned by EA.  I don't know if they're worse than Activision (think EA sports) but at least their executives are smart enough to shut up (as far as I know).  Plus, they're offering their games much much cheaper than any Activision titles.  Starcraft 2 is going to cost 2.5x more than a copy of an EA game- say Mass Effect 2 or Battlefield Bad Company 2.

We need more indie developers.  That's what I think.


Title: Re: Activision & Toys for Bob
Post by: Draxas on July 06, 2010, 05:10:50 am
Of course, the problem with indie developers is that it costs a lot of money to publish a game, which most indie guys get from signing a distribution deal with one of the megacorps. Either that, or they release for minimal cost on the PC, and get no exposure on consoles and make minimal money from the arrangement. It's not an easy situation when the almighty dollar is involved.