Over the weekend Activision Blizzard stirred up some controversy by sending a cease-and-desist order to a group of fans working on a fan-made King’s Quest sequel dubbed “The Silver Lining.”
It is important to note that this group of fans, working under the name Phoenix Online, has gotten into legal trouble before. Back in 2005, then owner of the King’s Quest franchise Vivendi sent Phoenix Online a cease-and-desist letter. After a few months on negotiating, Vivendi granted Phoenix a non-commercial fan license to use the King’s Quest settings.
According to Phoenix Online, “[Activision] have reached the decision that they are not interested in granting a non-commercial license. We must and will comply with this decision, as much as we may wish we could do otherwise.”
The Silver Lining has been in development since early 2002 and was suppose to consist of a five episodes. The first of which was slated to arrive this spring.
Personally this upsets me. As a kid I honed my adventure game skills on the first King’s Quest. It was without a doubt my favorite game, that is until I got my hands on Doom. What really irks me about this is that there hasn’t been a King’s Quest game since 1998 with King’s Quest: Mask of Eternity. What harm could it do to have some fans make a game in a series that Activision has essentially abandoned? If anything it would serve as a means of promoting the older King’s Quest titles (now on Good Old Games) while garnering interest in another possible .
What do you guys think? Is Activision merely protecting one of its franchises, or are they just being your typical corporate jerks?