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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Planescape: Torment - Who owns the rights?

Default Planescape: Torment - Who owns the rights?

September 29th, 2009, 01:56
Blue's has picked up on a tweet from Direct2Drive, saying they'd love to re-release Planescape: Torment if they could only figure out who controls the rights:
@Daggity hah, would love to re-release Plancescape…if we could find someone who actually owns the rights! Sad.
Presumably they would have already started with Interplay and WotC?
More information.
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September 29th, 2009, 01:56
I have to admit I'm a bit baffled by them not being able to find out, if they really wanted to. Can't help but think that this is an attempt to get legal issues sorted out in time for a ten year anniversary release by putting pressure on any intransigent parties.

AFAIK, WOTC owns the IP, and definitely has trademark protection on the 'Torment' name, Atari has an exclusive distribution deal for D&D (but only new products, it isn't retrospective so should not apply unless a PST release counts as a new product, or rights got transferred in previous legal skirmishes), Interplay owns the code, and Bioware has veto power over transfer of the code to third parties due to the use of the IE.

That is a rather complicated situation as it would need, potentially, five parties (including the digital distributor) to agree to a release…
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September 29th, 2009, 05:06
As I recall Interplay was the original publisher and I'm sure they would be selling if they could. Chris confirms that they do not have publishing rights any more here. Have to assume Icewind Dale I & II are in a similar situation and for that matter Decent to Undermountain. Gamefaqs says that Sega had published PS:T in Japan though that probably doesn't help NA or EU.
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September 29th, 2009, 05:34
The rights might end up partially in Beth's hands depending on how their suits against Interplay go. Actually, given Fallout: New Vegas, maybe, just maybe, that wouldn't be a bad thing at all… one can dream.

I don't think Atari would need to be involved. As I recall, one of the reasons that The Black Hound was going to be called Baldur's Gate 3 was so that Interplay could publish it.

I do recall MCA mentioning at one point how the rights for PS:T had sort of disolved into the ether - that is was VERY complicated. Hmm, well, I have a copy on CD anyway. They can be dug up if you put in the effort. Or you could go for 'alternative' sources - if no one knows who owns the rights, then I don't know who's going to care or lose out if the game should happen to find its way onto someone's hard drive somewhere*

*Note that I absolutely do not condone video game piracy. But at the same time I tend towards the chaotic side of a neutral good alignment in that I think there is room for rules to be broken in specific circumstances where no one gets screwed as a result.
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September 29th, 2009, 08:07
CD Projekt has re-released Planescape Torment in May in Poland and I doubt they had any problems with figuring out who owns the rights.
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September 29th, 2009, 09:50
Originally Posted by Konjad View Post
CD Projekt has re-released Planescape Torment in May in Poland and I doubt they had any problems with figuring out who owns the rights.
No shit? Any chance it'll show up on GoG?
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September 29th, 2009, 14:03
This is exactly what I fear because of the whole license stuff.

Licenses might get lost, and then out of nowhere a virtually unknown mini-company pops out of nowhere claiming they've got it and that everyone else has to pay fees.

Reminds me of SCO vs Linux / Novell.

Or the infamous German "Explorer" incident. A tiny company that maybe doesn't even exist anymore right now held the German rights of the name "Explorer" - and Microsoft and others had to pay …

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September 29th, 2009, 14:38
As I recall Interplay was the original publisher and I'm sure they would be selling if they could.
I don't think Atari would need to be involved.
Actually, Atari now fully owns all of Interplay's D&D games. They'd need to license it from Atari. Interplay recently gave them all these rights as part of a settlement deal, since Herve owed Atari a large sum of money. Atari re-released BG and IWD games recently, but not PS:T.

No shit? Any chance it'll show up on GoG?
As far as I know, they are in talks about that.
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September 29th, 2009, 14:56
That would be great (The GOG thing). I have the game, but there is a problem with the third CD, so it won't install properly.

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September 29th, 2009, 15:29
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Or the infamous German "Explorer" incident. A tiny company that maybe doesn't even exist anymore right now held the German rights of the name "Explorer" - and Microsoft and others had to pay …
Another company illegally allowed to trademark a common word just like Microsoft is allowed to trademark Windows which is another common word. (It is good that Microsoft had to pay since they do the same thing.) I don't get how these companies can get away with trademarking common words when it is clearly illegal in law.

On the topic of Planescape: Torment I don't need a copy since I have both the 4 cd and 2 cd version but I think it is a game that everyone should play and people newer to pc gaming can't play so should be re-released.
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September 29th, 2009, 16:01
Originally Posted by lghartveit View Post
That would be great (The GOG thing). I have the game, but there is a problem with the third CD, so it won't install properly.
Are people really this dense? I mean, you bought the game, you HAVE the game, there are torrents everywhere, by all means! It's not piracy if you bought the game.

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September 29th, 2009, 18:21
Originally Posted by lghartveit View Post
That would be great (The GOG thing). I have the game, but there is a problem with the third CD, so it won't install properly.
such a shame cd3 got scratched.
i also tried my best to damage mine, but sadly enough, this game comes on 2 discs only.
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September 29th, 2009, 18:24
Uh… baron? You do know there is a four-CD edition of the game as well?
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September 29th, 2009, 18:58
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Uh… baron? You do know there is a four-CD edition of the game as well?
That would be a sarcasm-fail

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September 29th, 2009, 19:31
Originally Posted by Morbus View Post
Are people really this dense? I mean, you bought the game, you HAVE the game, there are torrents everywhere, by all means! It's not piracy if you bought the game.
Yes it is. In the UK at least.
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September 29th, 2009, 19:45
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Uh… baron? You do know there is a four-CD edition of the game as well?
Which is the one I have.

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September 29th, 2009, 22:44
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Another company illegally allowed to trademark a common word just like Microsoft is allowed to trademark Windows which is another common word. (It is good that Microsoft had to pay since they do the same thing.) I don't get how these companies can get away with trademarking common words when it is clearly illegal in law.
If I remember correctly, in the "Lindows" lawsuit it was said by the cout that the word "Windows" *cannot* be trademarketed.

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September 29th, 2009, 22:45
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Uh… baron? You do know there is a four-CD edition of the game as well?
There also is a DVD version of it - it shipped with an issue of the German magazine "PC Games", and I don't think it has ever been released again in that form. I think it was some kind of special release.

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September 29th, 2009, 22:50
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
If I remember correctly, in the "Lindows" lawsuit it was said by the cout that the word "Windows" *cannot* be trademarketed.
Oh, it can be "trademarketed", but maybe it can't be trademarked.
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September 29th, 2009, 23:13
Nitpicker.

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