Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

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Husfar
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Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby Husfar » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:09 pm

Hello

I've been actively playing BoD since the game came out and it's without doubt one of my favorite video games of all time. For the past many years I have wanted to find out why the game mysteriously disappeared from GoG and became abandonware again. It is, and probably many of you can relate, a dream for me to see the game in a remastered or modern format. I am probably not the first to think of this idea but as a game developer I have seriously for years thought about acquiring the rights to the title. Problem is I don't know who owns the rights.

I have spoken to GoG and they couldn't help me unfortunately. I have tirelessly tried to contact Codemasters with various mails and phonecalls but they refuse to answer me. All I know is that they lost the publishing rights and they know who knowns the title. Frustrating!

By searching this forum I only recently found out that Rebel Act Studios had ties to the publishing company called Friendware in Spain, and Rebel was an off shoot of them apparently, though I have yet to find any contacts on them (their twitter hasn't been active since 2011 and their website domains are up for sale). If they still exist maybe they own it? Or maybe it's a handfull old Rebel employees who owns the rights?

I know that this forum isn't the most active but could anyone help me? Any hints, tips, theories would be much obligied!

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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby sfb » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:32 am

HI mate,

You could try https://www.mercurysteam.com and http://www.digital-legends.com as they were the two companies that Rebel act devs formed.

Otherwise, basing a game on BOD wouldn't be an issue. As long as the characters and story were different, everything else is fairly generic fantasy cannon.

Having just one character incorporating all "three" fighting styles would be one way to get around it. The environments could be inspired by Dark Souls or Skyrim etc.

Anyway, as we all know, the combat is the most important aspect. There's yet to be a game that truly captures what BOD does. Truthfully, I'd be happy with anything resembling BOD's combat in any setting.

In terms of popularity, Dark Souls has really reintroduced gamers to the 3rd person hack n slash genre. So another title with BODS' better combat would surely do well. I'd pre order no questions asked!

Anyway, I'll keep hoping and perhaps you'll start coding hehe.

Good luck mate,
cheers,
SFB

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cieply
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Postby cieply » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:32 am

If GoG couldn't help then I have no idea how to solve it. It is bizarre, after all they know where they got right from.
It seems you know more then we all do.


I also thought about redoing the game in new engine. Since Doom3 version had been abandoned by SirRandom there had not been any attempt to that. I personally thought that could be achieved by buying working engine (there are quite a few of them as I found) and build on that. Quite recently map format had been worked out so there would be a way to do old campaign (kinda remastered thing).
It's obviously not a job for one person but if it is to be a Blade with old fighting system and yet old maps (even if redone in new format) then you're right without rights it's going to be difficult.

There is also a twisted way to find out - release a game based on old maps and/or models/fighting system and wait who will claim royalties for "their" game. It is possible there would be more than one such entity. That could be amusing...
l'aria fresca,
vino puro, ...

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Husfar
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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby Husfar » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:28 pm

Hi SFB

Thank you for your reply and suggestions.

To be honest, I'd be mainly interested in having the opportunity to recreate the IP, without having to find ways going around the original, and of course, never go on a compromise with the original combat system and quality. My vision for it would be to retain, but at the same time, also update the original combat system to be more fluent and even more exciting if not nerve-wracking. While the setting of the game is very generic, I would still want to keep certain elements, like character design and some story elements for nostalgic reasons. As goes the same for certain level design elements and settings.

My mind has crossed to create a spiritual successor to BOD. But at the moment it's basically my second option for the future and something I am not ready to assemble a team for yet. I would estimate at least 3 years before I would be able to launch such a project due to current projects.

I will try to reach out to Mercury Steam and Digital Legends to see if they have any clues or information for me.

Cheers!

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Husfar
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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby Husfar » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:46 pm

Hi Cieply

Thanks for your reply.

I am not sure I am familiar with the Doom 3 project you're referring to. Also which engines are you talking about?

I am aware of the Blade Remake project by Alexander, and while it's quite the interesting project he's pulling off, as far as I can tell he's on a break or abandoned the project. Though I was very happy to see that the project is available on GitHub.

While it would be quite amusing to see who would crawl out of the shadows and claim their rights, I wouldn't want to waste my time or resources on such a project.

Cheers

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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby prospero » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:07 pm

Hi Husfar.

This has been discussed at length for the past 20 years very nearly.

The rights issue seems to be insoluble. At the time of the closing of RebelAct there was even an X-Box version in the
pipeline. As I remember there were big legal issues and a lot of debts. A lot of bad feeling.

No reason (as far as I can see) that anyone couldn't program a physics engine the same as BOD and call it their own.
As long as they didn't use the names. It one thing making stuff on an amateur basis and sharing with fellow players
but quite another matter if you want to market your work.

I agree that the combat system is like nothing else. I'm amazed that there aren't 100s of BOD clones on the market.
But I think I am correct in saying there has never been one like it.

If you chose to undertake this mission - Best of Luck. :D :D :D :D

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engine...

Postby cieply » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:46 pm

I am not sure I am familiar with the Doom 3 project you're referring to. Also which engines are you talking about?
I meant this topic: Multiplayer BOD mod in a new engine.
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Husfar
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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby Husfar » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:18 pm

Hi Prospero

Thanks for your reply! If it's been discussed for almost 20 years, then surely someone must know something or have any leads. Throughout my research, I did come across the Xbox title which was in work (looked gorgeous for its time!). Been also reading post-Rebel Act Studios interviews while looking for clues and I am aware that things seemed to have ended badly and were emotionally exhausting for the involved parties.

But I just can't stop thinking about it - it's been turning into an obsession the past few years and I am dead set on finding out whatever reason Codemasters lost the publishing license and who owns the title to this day.

I'm not well into copyright and trademark law - but as far as I understand trademarks usually expire after 10 years and you have to renew them. So somebody is determined to keep it alive. So far the latest publication in EUIPO's database for the trademarks of Blade of Darkness was done in 2007 by Aspamar Asesores, a firm dealing in Intellectual Property rights (might be my next clue to dig into that a bit deeper). Currently can't find any trademarks registered in the European databases I've been looking into.

Maybe Cieply's suggestion of luring out the owning parties wasn't too mad at all - might be the only way to uncover the truth.

Anyhow, it would be a joy to create a spiritual successor to the game! With an updated physics engine, gorgeous animations, modern graphics and sweet post-processing. A campaign twice as long with a decent story and soundtrack to accompany it. Proper multiplayer support and tools for the fans to create their own mods. Getting myself hyped here. Sigh.

It will happen in time. Whether it will be labelled Blade of Darkness or not is the question.

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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby Husfar » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:19 pm

I am not sure I am familiar with the Doom 3 project you're referring to. Also which engines are you talking about?
I meant this topic: Multiplayer BOD mod in a new engine.
Thanks, Cieply. I'll go through the thread tomorrow :)

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Husfar
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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby Husfar » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:15 pm

Contacted Mercury Steam and currently awaiting a reply. I took a look on the GOG forum to see if I could find a lead and funnily enough someone else had mentioned Mercury Steam - so fingers crossed that they might know something.

Sidenote: the wishlist thread on GOG has over 3000 supports and a lot of comments yearning for it to come back on the store. That could be 3000 potential customers that someone is missing out on a 18 year old title. Small money but still money. Mad!

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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby MBK_MBK » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:57 pm


Anyhow, it would be a joy to create a spiritual successor to the game! With an updated physics engine, gorgeous animations, modern graphics and sweet post-processing. A campaign twice as long with a decent story and soundtrack to accompany it. Proper multiplayer support and tools for the fans to create their own mods. Getting myself hyped here. Sigh.

It will happen in time. Whether it will be labelled Blade of Darkness or not is the question.
Yes, great!! :D
It would be like my dream came true: Blade of Darkness Remake, also improved with the features of Hyperborean mod.
:mrgreen:

About copyright, I would also like to know what they are, to avoid legal conflicts. I am writing a lot of new dialogues and I have also added more secret texts such as: "History of Dal Gurak" and "Hierarchy of Gods, created worlds and mortal beings". I would like to know if a permission or something is necessary, to work improving a story or a script of another author (s); being a collaborator or freelance.
If the story that I have improved would be officially used by them, I would like to know how would be the cooperative process or the work alone; and that they mention me in the credits according to what I contributed.
Well, I have no experience in this, that's why I have such doubts.

And if there is a problem with copyright, change the name of the new product, mention that BoD has inspired this new work; to thank the authors of BoD ... and I suppose that it is already solved in part.

Greetings and thanks.
Loose your ghosts, because they chain suspiciously your freedom.
My Youtube channel, tests with Hyperborean Mod:
https://www.youtube.com/user/MBEASTKING1980
Web site of Hyperborean mod:
https://sites.google.com/view/bodhyperboreanmodbymbk

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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby MBK_MBK » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:18 pm

Here is a video of a big fan, aimed at the creators of BoD; done on the 18th anniversary.
There are many people looking forward to a Remake and a Second part ... If the creators of BoD could see so much expectation ... I guess the economic or technical issue or because they are working on other projects, maybe they are some of the main reasons that delay the development of a future BoD Remake and a BoD 2. The fan of the video is also waiting for an answer ...

https://youtu.be/bxuisoDD8AY

Note: The video is in spanish.
Loose your ghosts, because they chain suspiciously your freedom.
My Youtube channel, tests with Hyperborean Mod:
https://www.youtube.com/user/MBEASTKING1980
Web site of Hyperborean mod:
https://sites.google.com/view/bodhyperboreanmodbymbk

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Re: Looking for information regarding BoD rights and trademark

Postby James.c » Mon May 13, 2019 2:17 pm

Hi Husfar,

I am a fans of BoD and I bought it in 2002. I came from China and this game was the hot selling product in my country. We also have a forum and more than 100 active people to discuss the game mod.

We are confusing who owns the rights as well and contacted Codemasters (the publisher) and Rebel Act/Mercury Steam (the developer), but we haven't received a response.

I think one person may help you get more information regarding BoD. I know him in reddit game community and he was familiar with the developer team of BoD. You can send sms via reddit.

Here is the link: https://www.reddit.com/user/Chavaflyfree
Useful link: http://gamedustria.com/reportaje-de-bla ... -darkness/

Best of Luck~


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