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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Piranha Bytes - Clarifies the Gothic Rights Situation

Default Piranha Bytes - Clarifies the Gothic Rights Situation

June 6th, 2007, 23:02
A few hours ago Piranha Bytes / Pluto 13 published a press release on their website. In it they clarify their position and correct what they consider wrong information spread by the German and Austrian press. Here is it, as always minus the company details:

Rights to „Gothic ®“Essen, 2007-06-06 Regarding the rights to the “GOTHIC” series, statements and incorrect reports have been published by the German and Austrian press. Pluto 13 GmbH has to clarify on this matter:
Specific rights to already or yet to be published games of the “GOTHIC” series were contractually granted to JoWooD Productions Software AG, Austria. The same applies to usage of the trademark “GOTHIC”. These contracts are extensive and confidential.
Claims that all rights to all future games of the GOTHIC series have been exclusively granted to any company are definitely wrong.
And the German version:
Rechtslage von „Gothic ®“
Essen, 06.06.2007 Aufgrund von in der Presse veröffentlichten Aussagen und Berichten zur Rechtslage von „GOTHIC“ sieht sich die Pluto 13 GmbH veranlasst, hierzu Stellung zu beziehen.
Über einzelne Nutzungsrechte an den bereits veröffentlichten und künftig aus dieser Reihe noch erscheinenden Spielen sowie der Marken „GOTHIC“ gibt es umfangreiche und vertrauliche vertragliche Vereinbarungen mit der JoWooD Productions Software AG.
Darstellungen, nach denen alle Rechte an künftigen Spielen der Gothic-Serie ausschließlich und exklusiv bei einem Unternehmen lägen, entsprechen in keinem Fall den Tatsachen.
Thanks, Sir_Brennus.
More information.
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June 6th, 2007, 23:02
well, this is hardly a clarifying anything actually ;-)
instead, we know less than before. why did pb release this, now that they work on other brands? why not call it quits with gothic, as g3 was quite a desaster for the reputation of all involved companies and announce their new game instead? so many questions…
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June 6th, 2007, 23:16
For legal reasons. Mr Seidl claimed JoWooD has exclusive rights. Pluto 13 has to get on record as being in disagreement with this to protect their rights in the Gothic brand. I wonder why they didn´t send him a C&D though. Would have been much more spectacular.

Indeed it "clarifies" almost nothing. It sounds like the rights will fall back to PB in the future. But when? After Gothic 4 plus a gazillion add-ons? After G5, after 3 years, 5 years, 10 years?
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June 6th, 2007, 23:41
well, actually both companies have lost in this matter…who cares for either a g4 or a new pb game after all this mess…seriously? summing it all up, the once again publisher forced out another unfinished game, but the developers seemed to have messed up big time and futhermore failed to fix the game within 5 months…is no good for either of them. really sad. dunno what more to say…i will play some two worlds maybe?
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June 6th, 2007, 23:57
"Specific rights to already or yet to be published games of the “GOTHIC” series were contractually granted to JoWooD Productions Software AG, Austria. The same applies to usage of the trademark “GOTHIC”."

"Already or yet to be published" means "all". Therefore the above quote means that the right to all (past and future) Gothic games belongs to Jowood.

"Claims that all rights to all future games of the GOTHIC series have been exclusively granted to any company are definitely wrong."

And still, the second part refutes this.

So what don't I get?
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June 7th, 2007, 00:07
Elwro, that's what I meant…two companies that both messed up accuse each other for whatever..end of a sad story
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June 7th, 2007, 00:33
Originally Posted by Elwro View Post
"Specific rights to already or yet to be published games of the “GOTHIC” series were contractually granted to JoWooD Productions Software AG, Austria. The same applies to usage of the trademark “GOTHIC”."

"Already or yet to be published" means "all". Therefore the above quote means that the right to all (past and future) Gothic games belongs to Jowood.

"Claims that all rights to all future games of the GOTHIC series have been exclusively granted to any company are definitely wrong."

And still, the second part refutes this.

So what don't I get?
Mind the "specific rights" bit. You have to really read into these things. Specific rights can mean anything. Obviously, they have contractually agreed on certain things, and obviously these agreements do not extent indefinitely into the Gothic brand. So, yes, this statement says nothing, except that at some time in the future PB might legally be allowed to develop Gothic products again.
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June 7th, 2007, 01:00
Whoa, OK, thanks! Missed that part.
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June 7th, 2007, 01:09
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Elwro, that's what I meant…two companies that both messed up accuse each other for whatever..end of a sad story
What's worse is that one of them (hint: the company that's named after a fish and it smells like it, too ) has claimed to be caring oh-so-much about the fans, the players, the community and the PAYING customers and has not only promised a patch but has even gone as far as saying that they would -and I quote- "betray themselves and their company policy if they would leave the players of Gothic III with an unfinished game".

At least JoWood have the decency to be assholes all of the time so you can't really expect nothing from these losers anyway but PB have now officially managed to be even worse than that in my book. They sweet-talk up front and then fuck everyone in the rear. I can't stand that. If they would at least be honest and tell us that it's all about money then it'd be fine but to pretend like they care sooooo much about us on the one hand and that it's soooo breaking their heart that it had to come to this and then to just abandon support on the other hand is just plain bullshit. And if JoWood would have forbidden them to do further patching for G3 then we'd know about it because they (PB) would've told us by now. That is definitely not the issue. PB is very selective about obeying their NDA. They only stick to it when it suits them and they break it when it suits them. That's the way it is.

Besides, they keep contradicting themselves in every other statement and are really slowly but surely getting caught up in their web of lies. It's too bad that most PB fanbois can't see the forest for the trees but just like JoWood these guys are playing games at OUR expense.

Look, I'm not taking sides either. JoWood are assholes. Period. Those fuckers have even banned me from their forums but PB needs to be called out for their double talking, hypocrisy and self-victimization as well. There's no way they are as innocent as they claim or want to appear to be. Contracts are always signed by two parties, usually in mutual agreement. I don't give a flying fuck about who stole whose shovel first. Sort it out, you idiots. Fast. Then deliver a proper Gothic III patch and find an agreement about the continuation of the Gothic franchise either involving both of you or just one of you parties with or without compensation for either party… who cares… but please stop this pathetic public exchange of retarded press releases that helps exactly no one but your retard egos. kthx.
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June 7th, 2007, 01:18
Mo, is that really you? I mean, I cannot contradict this recent post, bit I am surprised you're using these harsh words :-)
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June 7th, 2007, 01:21
Ooops… pardon my French, mon ami .
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June 7th, 2007, 03:32
As my right honourable friend Codex Mo pointed out so eloquently, neither side is playing with open cards at present.
Both release information bits to win the community over and bring their respective company into position for a legal battle. Which will certainly come if PB and JoWooD think they have certain rights in the Gothic brand. It´s unlikely they can settle their conflict out of court unless JoWooD offers a significant amount of money to purchase whatever rights PB still owns.
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June 7th, 2007, 04:42
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
As my right honourable friend Codex Mo pointed out so eloquently, neither side is playing with open cards at present.
New definition > Clarifies = spun in their favor.

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June 7th, 2007, 12:24
I have to agree, both are trying to put a spin on the mess they think will give them a favored face with the public. All they are doing as far as I am concerned, is proving to me that the Gothic we all loved died with G2.

Bart and Corwin should just admit that when it gets down to it, I will have the final say.
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June 8th, 2007, 21:56
Latest update:

GameStar received official word from JoWooD. Their answer is of course quite tricky, as always. It would be nice if one of our German readers could make a precise translation of the JoWooD quote.

I understand it the following way:
JoWooD currently has the exclusive right to make games with the name Gothic.
G3: JoWooD has all rights, incl. console ports.
G3A: No Comment!
G4: JoWooD has all rights, incl console ports. Another dev will make the game.
G4A: PB has ROFO. JoWooD everything else.
G5: PB "may have certain rights" but JoWooD has "at least" ROFO & ROLR for worldwide publishing.

Note: The specific rights (ROFO and ROLR) were not defined in the statement and the exact terms different. It is possible JoWooD means something else.

edit: ROLR, not ROFR. Doesn´t really make much of a difference here. It basically means JoWooD can take over the finished deal PB negotiated with somebody else.
Last edited by Gorath; June 8th, 2007 at 22:11.
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June 8th, 2007, 22:33
What does "A" represent (ex: G3A)? Does it just mean that was an answer to a question or a response to a position taken by Jo Wood? ROFO? ROFR? ROLR? What do those terms mean?
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June 8th, 2007, 22:36
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
What does "A" represent (ex: G3A)? Does it just mean that was an answer to a question or a response to Jo Wood's position? ROFO? ROFR? ROLR?
(A)dd-on, a la NOTR
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June 8th, 2007, 22:39
Thanks, chamr.
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June 8th, 2007, 22:48
JoWooD mentions a "right of the first option" and a "right of the last option". The German "Erstoptionsrecht" and "Letztoptionsrecht" may or may not be identical to the terms I used. That´s really hard to say without knowing the contract.
ROLR means Right of Last Refusal.
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June 9th, 2007, 02:07
I've never heard of "right of last refusal".

"Right of first refusal" is the term I'm used to hearing. If PB has right of first refusal, it would mean that if JoWood wants to make a game/sequel/whatever, they must first ask PB. If PB refuses, then JoWood is free to ask someone else to do the work. I suppose that would be equivalent to "right of the first option".

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