>> Friday, July 9, 2010
Oldergames brought us CD-i prototypes which we thought that would never see the light of day. Jack Sprite, Plunderball, Space Ranger and they even published the CD-i homebrew title 'Frog Feast'. We've had our concerns about he legal aspects of what Oldergames did with the IP although we are ofcourse highly thankful RW Bivins released the prototypes to the public. We followed Oldergames until the end when RW Bivins sold the Oldergames name and 'business' in 2007. You can read a little more info about that here and here. After some recent discussion RW Bivins popped up today to give his final answer. Read on.
RW Bivins: "I posted contracts we had signed before we closed. When it came to "unlicensed" releases the deal was this: I'd call company x,y,z and they said it was simply beneath them to even spend the money to write up a contract and would say something to the extent of "good luck you crazy guy, hope you don't go bankrupt releasing our old, written off garbage".
Simply put: the current game industry with a typical budget in the 3-5 Million dollar range (btw - this is for a start up company) does not care... at all. if you do a limited release. This is why unearthed and un-dumped prototypes were being released all the time and still are. OlderGames actually CALLED companies and/or developers to at the very least ASK if it was "okay". We did and STILL DO somewhere have signed contracts with homebrew developers such as Charles Doty, and Andrew Looney but others we never had the chance to release games for.
You need to understand that companies merge, lose interest, and go away. I remember the day I called the VP of Ubisoft regarding Marko and he said "why are you bothering me over such meaningless nonsense... just do it and leave me alone". For those companies such as elite who provided two of our 3DO releases - We did pay, they did expect to get the money and we delivered. For those such as "jack sprite" for the cd-i - I personally spoke with Rob Fulop, a CGE 2K10 alumni... go ask him what he said... if I'm not mistaken he said something along the lines of "people actually care about the cd-i still?".
So what happened in the end? I, along with my best friend who never seemed to bother having the time to care about what we did except for CGE shows decided that it simply wasn't worth it anymore. If you, or anyone you know ever purchased an unreleased, and undumped prototype in this lifetime you would know it isn't cheap. After all the hours of replying to emails, shipping, packaging, designing, and printing everything it was just no longer fun for me.
I started that company because I absolutely despised high-end prototype collectors. FYI I'm talking about the people who will and would pay thousands for a game that you probably never knew existed. To dump such protos, to even have the audacity of releasing such prototypes to all of you to play is treason in such circles. This is what I did. This is what it was at the end of the day. Spend a few grand and make $500. It simply wasn't worth it. It was a ride that went its course. I am happy and grateful that a passionate and truly caring gamer and programmer like Brandon Cobb stepped in and made OlderGames a place for people like us, who care about the good old days and the time when this industry couldn't count it's genres on a single hand.
Sure we made our mistakes. I was a collector with an idea and it simply didn't work - not because of what we accomplished but because we lost a fortune on my stupid idea. And for those who thought we had a war with Good Deal Games I will say this -- We came to be because Mike Thomasson inspired me, we partnered up because we believed the same things, we broke away because he couldn't share the "limelight" which I could care less about, and for all the claims of legitimacy and being "legal this, and that" - I remember, and for those of you who attended CGE2K7 probably will as-well the simple fact that Mike had TimeCop available for sale at his booth. I highly doubt he acquired the license from Universal and Jean Claude Van Damme. We always sought permission, where we did get it we paid, where we didnt we held the release back - where nobody gave a crap we went forward. In the end GDG is using our .iso's to burn the 3DO games they have published - we paid for this encryption... under DMCA we own the releasable versions byte-by-byte as work for hire re-encrypted releases... I could sue... I and John would probably win... but we wont. Not because we don't believe that we should defend our rights but because there is simply ZERO money in retro-publishing. Mike knows I respect him for what he has done just as he knows he was also wrong in some of the things he did. At the end of the day it simply isn't worth our time and I would rather see him and others he may inspire like he did me at one time succeed for without people like him and Joe Santulli this scene would surely be dead."
[Thanks, RW Bivins, Digit Press]