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September 15th, 2013, 19:32
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
The Humble Weekly Sale: Retro Shooters

This is the best one yet imo. Includes -

Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter
Shadow Warrior Classic Redux
Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition
Hard Reset: Extended Edition
System Shock 2

Well this is somewhat odd. Normally they are pretty good in enumerating who the developer split is actually going to. In this case however they are simply going with the more nebulous "the developers" in lieu of telling you who is getting any of the money for any of these games. I would normally dismiss any concerns I had over this as Humble Bundle has built up so much good will that I could usually just assume they meant the people who made the games. In this case however I know that to be untrue for at least one of them - System Shock 2.

The developers of this game do not own any of the rights anymore. As part of agreements made when they closed, Star Insurance and Meadowbrook Insurance Group assumed all existing rights and properties icluding the rights to System Shock 2, except for the trademark. Along with its debts and obligations they also assumed its existing contracts (what this means is that for all intents and purposes they would fill Looking Glass's role in any existing contract going forward.) So since the trademark reverted to Looking Glass as scheduled in the original contract with EA, this means it too is property of Star Insurance and Meadowbrook insurance group.


Night Dive was able to license these rights from the insurer and to distribute the game. I am very glad they did and are keeping the game alive by making it more readily accessible on modern systems. It is however disingenuous to refer to them as "the developers" when describing their split of the price. They themselves though are quite quick to emphasize that they are distributing and patching the original game and they do not refer to themselves or consider themselves the developers of system shock 2.


This is probably an oversight on Humble Bundle's part but it seems that the implication of saying a certain amount of money will go flatly to "the developers" is that it will go to the people who created the game or at least people who would consider themselves its developers. I also feel they are slighting Night Dive by wholly leaving their names out of the sale page - as well as the actual recipients of money for any of the titles. Rather than getting attention and thanks for the work they have done, I think what they are doing for classic games might be overlooked by some - who might mistakenly believe they're giving money that's going to the people who created the game.

They are normally much better about letting you know who is getting your money. I wonder what if any of the developer's cut for these games is actually going to "the developers"?

I'm happy to support companies that keep publishing games I loved and update them to run stably on newer systems. I just don't want to be sold a previously out of print book by an author I like, told the creator is getting a piece of the sale price, then find out that this means in its entirety the book binder who physically printed it rather than the author. Great on them for bringing it back into circulation, but give credit where its due and don't be coy about it because people might ask "who?"

EDIT: After looking up the publishing rights for most of the games, Devolver Digital who would be getting money apportioned for the developer cut for the Serious Sam games and they are the actual developer as well as current rights holder. They are also the publisher of the Megaton Edition of Duke 3D and Shadow Warrior Redux (also may have done any updating for both or either) here so I imagine they're getting that too, though I'm not sure if 3D Realms gets any of that if Devolver paid them a flat fee for publishing rights and gets all revenue. Hard Reset looks to be co-published by the original developer and 1C so I'm moderately confident they are getting that money here too.
Last edited by jhwisner; September 15th, 2013 at 19:50.
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