Author Topic: SSI Gold-Box License  (Read 4571 times)

Offline ProphetSword

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SSI Gold-Box License
« on: June 12, 2013, 04:05:52 PM »
Does anyone know who currently owns the rights to the SSI Gold-Box engine?  I assume that the company was bought out by someone or the rights were purchased by someone.  I'm just curious which company, if any, owns Unlimited Adventures.
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Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 04:11:05 PM »
It seems the only way to find oou would be to try to sell them and see whose lawyers crawl out of the woodwork.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 04:30:16 PM »
Some Internet research shows that before discontinuing the brand, SSI became a part of Ubisoft, which explains why that company attempted to "reinvent" the Gold-Box franchise with their botched attempt: "Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor."  Since Ubisoft is still around, I assume that they are the current owners of Unlimited Adventures and all the Gold-Box games.
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Offline Orgetorix

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 07:56:21 PM »
Ubisoft would have the IP rights to the Goldbox engine. The AD&D IP rights would be WoC.

SSI was acquired by Mindscape in 1994, spent time as part of Mattel, and finally became part of Ubisoft (in March 2001), which has since retired the brand name.
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Offline ProphetSword

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 08:19:26 PM »
There was never any question about who owned the D&D license, which is why I didn't ask about it.  That part was obvious.  I wanted to know who owned the engine and UA. 

Thanks for the info, even if I did already find it.  :)
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Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 08:29:19 PM »
Out of curiosity, why do you want to know?

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 09:07:44 PM »
Just to find out who might currently own UA.  I doubt they have the source code, but I wonder if it would be worth pursuing.  And being as turn-based combat in RPGs seems to be making a huge comeback on the indie-scene, I wondered who might try to cash in on it.  That's all.
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Offline sunwukong

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 12:01:34 AM »
Just to find out who might currently own UA.  I doubt they have the source code, but I wonder if it would be worth pursuing.  And being as turn-based combat in RPGs seems to be making a huge comeback on the indie-scene, I wondered who might try to cash in on it.  That's all.

With the source code you could create an android / iOS version of UA  (no DOS emulator needed). that would be pretty cool.  8)

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 02:23:55 AM »
I was wondering the same lately, but making a game is not an easy thing it seems, especialy RPG, though before i never thought it possible :)

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 04:57:35 AM »
And being as turn-based combat in RPGs seems to be making a huge comeback on the indie-scene, I wondered who might try to cash in on it. 

I wish they would, but I assume the AD&D IP being owned by someone else is making the licensing complicated. Other classic RPGs currently owned by Ubisoft (Might and Magic series, Anvil of Dawn) are already sold on GOG.com and the SSI games are very sought after by its customerbase. And they would be easy to set up for modern systems by using DOSBox, so without serious licensing issues involved I'm pretty sure the SSI games would have been re-released as digital downloads by now, in both Ubisoft's and GOG.com's interest. It's a shame, really.  :(

Offline SilentThief

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2013, 06:34:56 AM »
not to mention WoC has had the trend of changing adnd rules versions more often then microsoft puts out new windows, makes it unlikely we will see any comeback. Thank god for the independent developer and opensource!

ST

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 07:18:33 AM »
not to mention WoC has had the trend of changing adnd rules versions more often then microsoft puts out new windows, makes it unlikely we will see any comeback. Thank god for the independent developer and opensource!



Last I checked, WotC hadn't changed the AD&D ruleset at all.   ;)   In fact, they seem to have gone back to embracing those old systems and releasing them again for people to enjoy (which is not something I expected them to do).


And, not to get off topic, but the newest version of D&D (right now called "D&D Next") seems promising.  As one person said in his review:  D&D Next is like 2nd Edition with a couple of smart things taken from 3rd Edition, but the best thing about it is that it's the first version of D&D in years where the rules don't seem to get in the way.  They are planning for it to be modular with a Basic version and an Advanced version.


As far as the Gold-Box engine, there's no reason why it couldn't be revived.  No one said that it had to use the AD&D licensing, though with the OGL, it's not like they would need their permission to use the system anyway...just for the settings (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, etc).


In fact, if you want to see a game that's being developed using the 3.5 D&D rules via the OGL, but utilizing it's own setting, you don't have to look any further than "Chaos Chronicles," which is what I imagine an updated "Gold-Box" game would look like (in fact, this game looks like a cross between Baldur's Gate with Gold-Box style combat).


Video here:  [size=78%]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDhcrgBSM2U[/size]


Information here:  [size=78%]http://www.chaos-chronicles.com/[/size]






« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 07:22:53 AM by ProphetSword »
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Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2013, 12:02:16 PM »
Chaos Chronicles looks good and for Gold box style of games  i think so too. I like Baldur's gate style of games but lately i like Gold box even more, NWN is ok and Eberron DDO i like a lot too though not that much as BG or GB. I hope 5e will be good, but i probably will not play it :(
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 12:04:09 PM by Rainbower »

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 04:16:17 PM »
I wish they would, but I assume the AD&D IP being owned by someone else is making the licensing complicated. Other classic RPGs currently owned by Ubisoft (Might and Magic series, Anvil of Dawn) are already sold on GOG.com and the SSI games are very sought after by its customerbase. And they would be easy to set up for modern systems by using DOSBox, so without serious licensing issues involved I'm pretty sure the SSI games would have been re-released as digital downloads by now, in both Ubisoft's and GOG.com's interest. It's a shame, really.  :(

The D&D IP is owned by Hasbro, the parent company of WotC.

Atari, the publisher of NWN 1 and NWN 2, purchased Cryptic Studios in 2008. Cyptic is the developer of City Of Heroes, Champions Online, Star Trek Online and the soon-to-be-released Neverwinter Online. Hasbro sued Atari over the ability to use the D&D IP in 2009. Hasbro essentially won the law suit.

Cryptic was purchased by Perfect World in 2011. Perfect World is licensing the D&D IP from Hasbro. Ubisoft would need to have a license from Hasbro in order to release any game with D&D content in it. Activision, Blizzard, and Massive are divisions of Ubisoft.

Ubisoft owns the soucre code for the Gold Box games, presumably. But Hasbro has a licensing agreement for D&D video games with Perfect World, a rival of Ubisoft. Separating the Gold Box engine from its D&D content would be close to impossible to do.

In other words, it's a legal mess.
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Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: SSI Gold-Box License
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 04:47:09 PM »
Thanks for the info :) good to know all that