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Default Atari - D&D rights extended to 2017

July 20th, 2007, 15:13
Atari announced a couple of days ago that they have signed a deal with Hasbro to extend their D&D rights to 2017, while selling back the rights to nine other properties:
New Strategic Agreement With Hasbro Concerning The Dungeons & Dragons Franchise

DIGITAL GAMING RIGHTS TO BE SOLD BACK TO HASBRO FOR 19.5 MILLION US DOLLARS

Lyon, France, July 18, 2007 – As part of the relaunch strategy announced by the Group on June 21 and the Group’s plan to focus its investment on major franchises with significant potential, Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext 5257) today announced the signing of a new agreement with Hasbro concerning:

- the extension until 2017 of the exploitation of the intellectual property rights to the Dungeons & Dragons universe, under an exclusive license covering all interactive formats, including online and wireless.

The agreement covers all current and future products that are part of this universe, including NeverWinter Nights, Baldur’s Gate, etc.

Two new games have already been announced for fiscal 2007-2008: NeverWinter Nights 2 Expansion Pack for PC and Dungeons & Dragons Tactics for PSP.

- the purchase by Hasbro of digital gaming rights (online and wireless) to nine franchises (Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, Game of Life, Clue, Yahtzee, Battleship, Boggle and Simon), for 19.5 million dollars (*). This sale will have no significant impact on revenue for the current fiscal year.

“This agreement represents a reaffirmation of our partnership with Hasbro. It is an important step in our business strategy that will allow us to keep and strengthen a franchise with significant potential, while giving the Group additional resources to invest in the relaunch of its publishing business. Dungeons & Dragons is one of the Group’s historic intellectual properties on which we plan to expand our business, relying on one of the largest and most active gamer communities in the world of video games,” commented Patrick Leleu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

(*) of which, 4 million dollars shall be paid to Atari Inc
More information.
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July 20th, 2007, 15:13
This is absolutely terrible news. I can't think of a worse publisher to have this property. Atari is a pile of shit. I guess we have ten years to look forward to crappy spinoffs and then one above average legitimate PC RPG once every four years.
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July 20th, 2007, 15:20
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
This is absolutely terrible news. I can't think of a worse publisher to have this property. Atari is a pile of shit. I guess we have ten years to look forward to crappy spinoffs and then one above average legitimate PC RPG once every four years.
I agree with you on that, I WILL NEVER purchase another D&D product while Atari holds the license. That goes for anything pulished by Atari.

Looks like switching RPG systems and maybe have a look at D&D again after 2017…

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July 20th, 2007, 15:35
It could be worse. It could be UbiSoft holding the rights. Then all you'd get would be Dark Messiah of Dungeons & Dragons with a console interface, crappy performance and cancellation of support after a couple of months .
Atari might not be doing everything right but the fact alone that they are letting Obsidian do their thing with a game like NWN 2 is more than what Ubi or EA would ever allow. I don't think that NWN or NWN 2 would even exist if one of those other companies would hold the licence.
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July 20th, 2007, 15:38
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Atari might not be doing everything right but the fact alone that they are letting Obsidian do their thing with a game like NWN 2 is more than what Ubi or EA would ever allow. I don't think that NWN or NWN 2 would even exist if one of those other companies would hold the licence.
QFT!

Atari is pretty bad at doing their own support thing, but there are worse publishers out there, truth be told …

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July 20th, 2007, 16:56
Yeah, look at the Gothic3 fiasco. Shudder…
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July 20th, 2007, 17:18
I agree, Atari isn't that bad really. At least Atari will have D&D games made and not just sit on the license only to prevent other people from using it. As long as good developers get hired to make D&D games, it's fine that Atari has the license.

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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July 20th, 2007, 17:24
ubisoft makes/publishes plenty of fine games. just not rpgs.
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July 20th, 2007, 17:29
Atari is very small, but they do a pretty good job considering. They do seem willing to provide stuff for the hardcore as well - D&D tactics isn't dumbed down at all!
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July 20th, 2007, 17:33
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
Atari is very small, but they do a pretty good job considering. They do seem willing to provide stuff for the hardcore as well - D&D tactics isn't dumbed down at all!
But you need to own, or buy, a PSP in order to play it, which is irritating. I want to play Tactics but I don't really want a PSP (I'm leaning far more heavily towards picking up a DS this year).

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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July 20th, 2007, 17:57
Originally Posted by curiously undead View Post
ubisoft makes/publishes plenty of fine games. just not rpgs.
No, they don't. They have flushed the Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon franchises down the toilet by converting these fine games from tactical shooters into console crap shooters. They have cancelled support for Dark Messiah even though a lot of people still can't get the game to work on their systems and even though multiplayer is beyond broken. They have released the latest Splinter Cell game pretty much as a straight port from the X360. Just try the demo. That game has "crappy console port" plastered all over it.

I hate UbiSoft with a passion. It seems like they can get nothing right. Even their forums are bugged. Links on their websites are leading to nowhere or looping back on the main page. Trying to find a patch for the correct language version is a nightmare (especially when you get auto-linked to the German pages… I hate that crap so much… let me decide which language version of your website I want to visit, I don't need no retard IP detection that will forward me to what it thinks is the "right" place for me). Their multiplayer sofware/tool is a complete travesty.
Seriously. It seems like everything that has to do with UbiSoft is buggy, broken and useless. I can't stand them.

Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Yeah, look at the Gothic3 fiasco. Shudder…
You probably meant Gothic 2 (NotR) since Atari had nothing to do with Gothic 3. Rumor has it that Atari's decision to treat Gothic 2 like a red-headed stepchild was a tactical decision of them to reduce (or keep in check) the competition for their D&D franchise products.
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July 20th, 2007, 20:12
sorry but i don't do tom clancy

cold fear, king kong, beyond good and evil, wild earth safari, hopefully call of juarez when i get a cheap copy, and dark messiah were all the ubisoft games i've played in recent years. all of them were at least a 7.5 in my book, and none of them suffered from bad console controls.

and you hate alot of stuff with a passion
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July 20th, 2007, 20:30
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
Atari is very small, but they do a pretty good job considering. They do seem willing to provide stuff for the hardcore as well - D&D tactics isn't dumbed down at all!
I wouldnt call that hardcore. Turnbased games are popular on handhelds.
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July 20th, 2007, 20:41
Originally Posted by curiously undead View Post
cold fear, king kong, beyond good and evil, wild earth safari, hopefully call of juarez when i get a cheap copy, and dark messiah were all the ubisoft games i've played in recent years. all of them were at least a 7.5 in my book, and none of them suffered from bad console controls.
Call Of Juarez looks really cool, but my system can't really run it. I was able to try the demo enough to get an idea of what the game is like and I was really impressed, but it just doesn't run well enough to play.

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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July 20th, 2007, 20:41
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Seriously. It seems like everything that has to do with UbiSoft is buggy, broken and useless. I can't stand them.
Except the Settlers, maybe, which I don't expect you to play.
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July 20th, 2007, 22:30
atari are ok. it could have been EA…
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July 20th, 2007, 22:40
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
You probably meant Gothic 2 (NotR) since Atari had nothing to do with Gothic 3. Rumor has it that Atari's decision to treat Gothic 2 like a red-headed stepchild was a tactical decision of them to reduce (or keep in check) the competition for their D&D franchise products.
I was replying to the "there are worse publishers out there" part of the previous message. Gothic3 got screwed over by the dispute between its devs and publisher big time.
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July 20th, 2007, 23:17
In my experience, there's only one publisher that tends to truly abuse lisences, and that's EA. Just look at what they've done with Lord of the Rings. So much potential, sigh.
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July 20th, 2007, 23:45
EA is for max profit. They take no risks. They dont innovate. They buy innovative games outside their company and then ever slowly squeesh every last buck of them. Thats why they are so successful.
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July 21st, 2007, 00:20
Originally Posted by curiously undead View Post
sorry but i don't do tom clancy

cold fear, king kong, beyond good and evil, wild earth safari, hopefully call of juarez when i get a cheap copy, and dark messiah were all the ubisoft games i've played in recent years. all of them were at least a 7.5 in my book, and none of them suffered from bad console controls.

and you hate alot of stuff with a passion
OK, with the exception of Dark Messiah and Call of Juarez which are indeed both somewhat decent (especially the latter) and at least for DMoMM we have to limit the "decent" to the single player part of the game because multiplayer is dead and broken (just check the Ubi forums for Dark Messiah if you don't believe me) I haven't played any of the games you mentioned. With the exception of Beyond Good & Evil, however, they all got pretty mediocre scores (Wild Earth Photo Safari = 72% average, King Kong PC version = 79% average, Cold Fear PC version = 66.9% average).
I would bet real money that if we looked up -say- three random reviews of the multiplatform titles out of those titles, we'd find references to poor PC adaptation in at least one of the three random reviews for each game. Wanna bet?
I think it's great and good for you that you can easily overlook certain issues in games. That's truly a gift and a blessing but obviously those reviewers weren't too happy with the games.

Also, to get back to the more prominent Ubi franchises, did you know that German community members not only got this boycot petition going (for GRAW, R6V and Silent Hunter 4) but that they actually went ahead and had a community summit at Ubi's German HQ? The report (also available in English on the page) from that meeting can be found here. Bottom line: Ubi Germany is not responsible for the (lack of) support but the French main HQ is, of course. The fact that Ubi Germany agreed to meet members of the community at their office to listen to their complaints shows that there must be something severely wrong about Ubi's product policies.

Next, Ubi went ahead just very recently and issued a gag order to the developers (GRIN) of GRAW 2, forbidding them to post on the Ghostrecon.net fan forums. This order has been lifted again after massive complaints from the community but it shows what Ubi is capable of. Just about the only help and support players of GRAW 2 were getting was via GRIN's posts on the GR.net forums and Ubi goes ahead and tries to shut them up? They issue a gag order to their own devs for supporting their product? Are they mad?
BTW, rumor has it that the support for GRAW 2 will last exactly four weeks. No more patches after that supposedly. We'll have to see if it's true but basically that's Ubi for you so I wouldn't be surprised at all if it does happen.

Now if you add all of this up (including the stuff from my previous post in this thread) and finally -as the icing on the cake- add the fact that Ubi used to slap StarForce on their games a while back then you end up with a company that very easily outranks Atari and EA on the crap-o-meter BY FAR. Among the big publishers (i.e. if we exclude small crap publishers like JoWooD), I can't possibly think of a company that puts out more crap quality games.
Sure, EA's games might not be to everyone's liking and the milkage might be a bit extreme and the (non-)usage of their franchises might be questionable etc etc etc but EA games are usually of very high product quality at release. Can't really say the same for a certain French publisher.
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