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Default Interplay - D&D Rights Sold to Atari

August 13th, 2008, 14:43
I don't really see this as good news. Atari is an abysmal publisher. They do a terrible job of publicizing games and just about every game that comes out from them is unfinished. And they have done an awful job of maintaining the D&D license when it comes to computer games, focusing more on shitty spinoff games instead of the party-based adventures in games like Baldurs Gate and Icewind Dale. As far as I can tell, they completely fucked over Ossian Studios with the Darkness over Daggerford debacle. Their handling of Mysteries of Westgate has been mind-bogglingly incompetent. Basically they are a bunch of completely inept retards, and if you value D&D, Atari owning the license instead of another major publisher is a bad thing.
Last edited by doctor_kaz; August 13th, 2008 at 14:51.
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August 13th, 2008, 15:04
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
As far as I can tell, they completely fucked over Ossian Studios with the Darkness over Daggerford debacle. Their handling of Mysteries of Westgate has been mind-bogglingly incompetent. Basically they are a bunch of completely inept retards, and if you value D&D, Atari owning the license instead of another major publisher is a bad thing.
What happened with Darkness of Daggerford? MoW is definitely a screw up on their part though.

I think the good news is that the licensing issue is clarified. Maybe Atari will eventually sell it to someone else.

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August 13th, 2008, 16:09
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
What happened with Darkness of Daggerford? MoW is definitely a screw up on their part though..
Darnkess over Daggerford was supposed to be a pay-for module. Late in the game, Atari decided that Ossian couldn't charge for it, because they decided to drop commercial support for NWN1 in favor of NWN2. As a gamer, I'm delighted to have gotten DoD for free, but the studio appears to have gotten completely hosed over it.
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August 13th, 2008, 18:30
Originally Posted by Ausir View Post
Yes, but in most cases they fund the development and own the IP. It's not the case with The Witcher. Atari didn't become involved until the game was mostly finished and they have no rights to the Witcher IP.
There isn't really a 'most cases' in this respect - each publishing contract is different. The amount to which Atari will fund the development varies between companies and products - NWN2 was funded by them to a larger proportion than NWN was. Especially in recent times they are playing the role of distributor more than funding publisher/producer.

Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
What happened with Darkness of Daggerford? MoW is definitely a screw up on their part though.
There were 3 premium modules in development at various stages late in the premium program - eventually Atari wound down the program in order to move on to NWN2 and then it was a simple case of milestones as to whether they'd allow the development extra time to complete or not, same as any other game. Wyvern Crown of Cormyr was much further along in the QA process than the others so it was just about squeezed in (after a huge amount of work by Steel_Wind). Once you are no longer part of the official Bioware/Atari QA process you can just choose to release quite quickly and DoD did that. And it was a great module, though obviously not as polished as WCoC which had the extra QA process.

Ossian weren't completely hosed over it, nor are they with MoW.

Doctor_kaz, are you looking forward to SoZ then? A return to the party-based style of Icewind dale.
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August 13th, 2008, 18:51
I know I'm pumped for that. I'd like to play MoW as well!

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August 13th, 2008, 20:43

There isn't really a 'most cases' in this respect - each publishing contract is different. The amount to which Atari will fund the development varies between companies and products - NWN2 was funded by them to a larger proportion than NWN was. Especially in recent times they are playing the role of distributor more than funding publisher/producer.
Indeed, but the point is that I wouldn't really refer to the games which Atari didn't fund/produce but only distribute "Atari games", especially if they're not even published by Atari at all in their country of origin. Only to the ones where they are involved in the development somehow.
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August 13th, 2008, 21:59
I'm sure Ossian themselves doesn't see things that way with Atari. As a former employee of Bioware, he's broken with his former company and is working with Atari again. Unlike certain members of the DLA team, he doesn't seem to hold any resentment, at least not publicly.

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August 14th, 2008, 19:28
Originally Posted by Ausir View Post
Indeed, but the point is that I wouldn't really refer to the games which Atari didn't fund/produce but only distribute "Atari games", especially if they're not even published by Atari at all in their country of origin. Only to the ones where they are involved in the development somehow.
Well they were actually partially involved with the development of The Witcher - as much as they are for other games, more so in fact. It certainly wasn't a distribution only deal.

From the recent press release it looks like they've finally turned around their financials as well.
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August 14th, 2008, 23:51
Where are you getting that from? Atari were involved in localisations but that's about it, as far as I know (other than distribution and marketing, obviously).

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August 15th, 2008, 02:25
I'm looking forward to both MoW and SoZ but I'm not going to hold my breath. NWN series have been more than disappointing so far to say at least. Although I think NWN2 OC is ok. Still haven't finished MotB. For some reason, I just can't get into it.

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August 15th, 2008, 18:10
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Where are you getting that from? Atari were involved in localisations but that's about it, as far as I know (other than distribution and marketing, obviously).
Atari UK were involved in focus group testing which is an important part of QA.
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August 16th, 2008, 03:22
Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
Atari UK were involved in focus group testing which is an important part of QA.
Yeah, OK. Not going to undermine the importance of QA but I don't think that changes Ausir's point much.

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August 16th, 2008, 10:19
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Yeah, OK. Not going to undermine the importance of QA but I don't think that changes Ausir's point much.
Ah yes I was misreading his point - I thought he was saying Atari only distributed The Witcher and therefore had less involvement than other Atari games - he was actually just saying they didn't have a hand in the IP which is true (just as it is for other 'Atari games')

My point on funding and involvement still stands though.
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