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Interplay Targeted By Bioware-fare 215

Posted by michael
from the neverpublished-nights dept.
corby writes: "Bioware Corp., developer of the highly anticipated multiplayer Dungeons & Dragons game Neverwinter Nights, is escalating the conflict with their troubled publisher Interplay. In September, they filed a lawsuit against the publisher, and now they have terminated their contract with Interplay to distribute Neverwinter Nights. The problem is, these guys need each other. The loss of Neverwinter Nights means that Interplay will lose out on substantial revenue from a surefire hit, but Interplay is apparently the only company with rights to distribute games under the AD&D license."
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Interplay Targeted By Bioware-fare

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  • by rosewood (99925)
    ... yet another example of crappy headlines! That title was just used to feed off the current thoughts of bio-terrorism. Bah I say to yee.
    • I disaggree. I thought it was great, and being as I read the "Bioware" instead of biowar, like some ignorant fool with his head in the sand more worried about media hype, than actually learning to read, to me it made sense. My condolences fur your lack of proper schoolin'
  • Please, in these times of terrorists sending anthrax through the US Postal system, it is considered at least poor taste to joke about game developers being hit by biological warfare.
    • by Chasuk (62477)
      Another obvious and trite comment posted by the humorless, and modded up by the same.

      It took a quarter second for my eyes to move from the headline to the article, during which time I did not succumb to a panic attack or suffer overwhelming confusion.

      Should I infer from your post that you believe most Slashdot readers are thin-skinned and stupid?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        You didn't read the original headline. They changed it, which kind of invalidates the parent comment, but it's what affected the change. The original headline was:

        Interplay Targeted by Bio-warfare

        • I _did_ read the original headline. My comment wasn't flamebait.

          No one should have taken offence at the original version, which I what I was trying to point out. Hell, no one should have even drawn attention to the original version, as the alleged insensitive humor was too obvious to merit any comment at all. But, hey, anything for moderation points.
    • Humor is not in poor taste, it is one mechanism humans use for dealing with stress.
    • Well... to be fair, Bioware is a Canadian company. Hmmm... this was more funny when I was thinking of it. Oh well, Canada is always funny.
  • Surely it is legal to distribute an Open Source AD&D game?
    • Surely it's not. AD&D is a trademark owned by Wizards of the Coast (formerly TSR).
    • by Anonymous Coward
      As long as you don't call it AD&D and don't completely copy AD&D, yes. Then it's just another OS RPG.

      If you want to make an exact copy of AD&D and call it GNU/AD&D, expect to get sued. A lot.
      • Whatever happened to GURPS (bad acronym)?

        Sword & Sorcery covers it. Just swap with synonyms and you've got a lawsuit-free game system.

        Ergo:
        Blades & Magic
        Swords & Spells
        Knights & Summoning
        Kings & Casting
        Princess & Necromancy
        Might & Magic (oops, someone beat me to it).

        Legally, they CAN use "Based on the AD&D role-playing system" as a blurb. Heck, there's plenty of fantasy-play systems which could be used in place of the AD&D layout. The DIABLO play system is gaining rapid popularity and it's not the only one.
        • Whatever happened to GURPS (bad acronym)?

          It's around. They probably could get the rights to it. (Steve Jackson, owner of Steve Jackson Games, which publishes GURPS, has gone to the Computer Game Developer's conference wearing a shirt saying to ask him about licensing his games.) I personally consider it a vastly superior RPG to D&D.

          However, I don't really think it is a valid option for Neverwinter Nights. It would require a lot of changes. I can't see a game that wouldn't allow you to multi-class to more than three classes easily being changed to a classless system with hundreds of skills.

          Sword & Sorcery covers it. Just swap with synonyms and you've got a lawsuit-free game system.

          I really, really doubt it. Fallout originally had a GURPS license, and after they dropped the license I believe SJ Games sued them to keep them from releasing it as GURPS with the serial numbers filed off.
    • by DAldredge (2353)
      http://www.opengamingfoundation.org
      http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/srd.html

      The second link is to the SYSTEM REFERENCE DOCUMENT for D20/DnD. It contain's most of the content from the Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, Monsters Manual I, and the Psionics Handbook.
      • by taion (304184)
        To add to this, the license under which the D20 SRD has been released is the Open Gaming License, available here [opengamingfoundation.org] on the OGF site.

        This license gives fairly broad rights to most people willing to build upon the d20 ruleset, almost certainly including non-commercial games, but IANAL, so don't take my word on it.
    • Likely not. The opensource d20 license AFAIK doesn't extend to products like computer games.

      Big issue would be the setting anyway. The Forgotten Realms is not under the d20 license, so Wizards' lawyers could have a field day.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Right. Bioware is going to spend Millions of dollars on development and then just give it away for free. I'm glad to see everyone is living in the real world here.
    • How does releasing the product as a non-commercial, open source game, suddenly make it legal to violate the trademarks, and copyrights that Hasbro holds on the AD&D gaming system?

      Just because you're not charging for it, doesn't mean you can steal someone elses works to include. Just try and include some Metallica MP3's, in an open source projet of some sort, and see how well that flies.
  • D&D Nitpicking (Score:5, Informative)

    by taion (304184) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @07:55PM (#2642311) Homepage
    AD&D is generally taken to refer to the second edition Dungeons & Dragons Rules.

    Neverwinter Nights will be based on the 3rd edition D&D rules (D&D3e), which is different from AD&D.

    A link to the 3rd Edition System Reference Document with all the core rules released to the Open Gaming Foundation (including Psionics!) may be found here [opengamingfoundation.org].
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2001 @08:13PM (#2642382)
      You my friend will never ever have sex.
      • This thread reminded me of the Simpson's episode where Homer is in the fallout shelter when a nuetron bomb hits Sprinfield and at ground zero is the arrogantly cynical, obese, comics reading, DnD playing geek. At the last second the geek sighs and says "I've wasted my life." ***BOOM!!***
        • by Anonymous Coward
          your comment reminds me of all the simpsons fans who are in the same category as DnD fans.

          cheers
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Yes. Remember, folks: it is very uncool to like anything.

            Do you feel passion about anything? Do you ever laugh and have a good time with friends? Then you're not alive.

            Only nihilists are cool and living correctly, and despite that (or because of that) their lives are wasted on them. But I guess that's the whole point.

            • Yes. Remember, folks: it is very uncool to like anything.

              Do you feel passion about anything? Do you ever laugh and have a good time with friends? Then you're not alive.

              Only nihilists are cool and living correctly, and despite that (or because of that) their lives are wasted on them. But I guess that's the whole point.


              lol, nice nihilist definition. wish i had a mod point for ya.

      • Anyone can have sex, but the question is with whom?!!!
    • The reason they are commonly associated with the second edition rules is that the second edition rule set lasted so long. They still have claim over the third edition rule set as well.
    • I would say that AD&D refers to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, both first and second edition. Remember that Dungeons and Dragons usually refers to the D&D boxed sets edition, while theoretically some oldskoolers may use it to refer to the earlier pamphlets (I wouldn't call them "books" as such).

      I haven't actually played AD&D 2nd ed but a few times, but have spent a lot of time using D&D boxed set / AD&D 1st ed hybrids.. I'm not oldskool enough to have played D&D original - I started with the boxed set edition (red box: Basic Set (levels 1-3, dungeons only); blue box: Expert Set (levels 4-14, outdoors); cyan box: Companion Set (levels 15-25, castles and stuff); black box: Master Set (levels 26-36, kingdoms and stuff); and was it gold box: Immortal Set?).

      I have heard that the AD&D 3rd ed is pretty different from 2nd ed, though. But, AD&D 2nd ed definitely was not D&D second edition, as it's so that D&D still had Dave Arneson listed as authors, while AD&D first ed dropped him and had just Gygax. AD&D 2nd ed is considered by TSR (does the name still exist, or are they now WotC?) "a different game from the first edition" which allowed them to drop Gygax from the list of authors and, more importantly, stop paying royalties to Gygax as well as stop having to listen his whining. The same Gygax did to Arneson with AD&D originally..
      • Close.
        D&D was originally rules scattered through some war game magazines, then there was the D&D boxed set, which covered the rules up to third level.
        AD&D (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons) was next, rules up to level 11 in great detail with general rules that covered up to level 24 or so. AD&D consolidated the rules from D&D plus many articles in gaming magazines (Dragon mainly). AD&D second edition was an attempt to make the rules more 'sensible', and at the same time bowdlerise the game somewhat (this was at the height of the "moral majority's" power in the freedom loving USA). Most people consider AD&D second edition to be very lame. At this time TSR also released, Oriental Adventures (good add on), and SpellJammer (magic space faring ships) as well as a slew of other add on books all for AD&D (first and second edition).

        Just recently Wizards of the Coast (TSR is gone, due to real bad book sales one xmas goes one rumour) released "Dungeons and Dragons" - no mention of a third edition anywhere on the cover or inside, and its quite a different system from AD&D. Most people do call these current rules the "third edition". The new rules are more consistent, and just a little more intuitive. Being thoroughly 'old school' I still prefer to use the old AD&D rules, but my kids like the new books.
        Just in case some of you haven't figured out the link between the two things, I have had sex.

        so in brief:
        Dungeons and Dragons - boxed set
        AD&D - same rules, extended and all in one set of books.
        AD&D 2nd edition - sucky update
        D&D (un-officially the third edition) - good reworking of the game in three books.

        • Not quite. D&D and AD&D developed along similiar lines. Many players back in the early 80s started with D&D and made the move to AD&D. Others went straight to AD&D. However, not all did. Some of us preferred the simpler D&D rules over the more complex and more confining AD&D rules. We preferred not to have to carry massive tomes around that explained every little detail, but rather to use their own imaginations and play a more freewheeling game. In 1978/79, the AD&D Players and DM Guides were released. In 1980, the D&D 2nd ed. Basic and Expert guides were released. In 1993, the 3rd ed. B & E. 1994- D&D Companion. 1995 D&D Masters, 1996 Immortals. AD&D 2nd Ed wasn't released until 1998. So you see, D&D was not just the "forerunner" of AD&D, but rather a similar but separate line of gaming.

          I stopped playing D&D in 1994 and AD&D in 1996. By that time I'd moved on to Ultima and Bard's Tale. The big attraction was being able to play without having to coordinate everyone's schedule. It was easier when we were younger to get everyone together, but as people started dating, partying, and/or taking studies seriously, weekend-long sessions just didn't happen.

          We old farts try to get together now and then, but with work, wives, kids, kid's activities, vacations, it takes weeks of advance planning to get something organized, if your gaming buddies live within 50 miles. Online gaming has been a boon to us with lives, in that we can put the kids to sleep, tell the wives to go do the "girl" thing, then hack and slash again with our ol' buds be they on the other side of the country.

          I can't wait for NWN.
        • Okay, well, you are curiously wrong.

          D&D (the original) goes back, way back, before my time.

          AD&D originally consisted of three hardcover books: the Player's Handbook, the Dungeonmaster's Guide, and the Monster Manual. The theory was that players could buy the PH and get everything they needed from it, while DMs would buy the DMG and MM for the rest. In actual fact, most everyone bought all three.

          Slightly later, after the MM, the Fiend Folio was released. This was mostly a compilation of monsters from White Dwarf magazine. These four books made up AD&D as it was played in the early '80s.

          Some people also used a book called Deities & Demigods. It sucked (more than D&D generally did) though so even people who had a copy didn't make much use of it.

          In the mid-'80s, TSR started putting out more supplements. One of these supplements was Oriental Adventures. Another was Unearthed Arcana, which introduced a lot of rules changes; there were numerous others, like the Monster Manual II and plenty more I've forgotten (happily).

          Second edition AD&D wasn't released until right around the end of the '80s. I've never played it but from what I've seen of it, it's based on Unearthed Arcana, only more so. But by the time it was released, Oriental Adventures (probably the best D&D book ever published) had gone out of print.

          I'm not sure when SpellJammer came out precisely; I think it did come out around the same time as 2nd ed. More goofy stuff.

          BTW, Wizards of the Coast is a division of Hasbro now. WotC bought TSR with the fortune they made from Magic: The Gathering, and then Hasbro swallowed them up.

          • BTW, Wizards of the Coast is a division of Hasbro now. WotC bought TSR with the fortune they made from Magic: The Gathering, and then Hasbro swallowed them up.

            oop. MTG didn't give too much money to wotc (not enough to buy the near-bankrupt TSR and survive with a chance of success). It was Pokemon and WotC's alliance with Nintendo that raked in the cash. It was Pokemon that Hasbro bought WOtC for. Magic and D&D were just "bonuses" ... Hasbro does that:

            Hasbro bought Microprose to get into the computer game industry, Avalon Hill was suing over the rights to the name of competing games called "Civilization" - so Hasbro just bought Avalon Hill rather than fight them. The entire development team at AH was scrapped as was almost the entire product line (except, of course, Diplomacy).

            here's a fun fact for ya: Wizards of the Coast made unofficial D&D accessories (and greetings cards) before picking up a certain Richard Garfield and introducing the world to Magic. ...WotC's staff have always been enamored with D Peter Adkinson, CEO, is supposedly a really good Dungeon Master. The world he created had a group of wizards who called themselves the "Wizards of the Coast."
    • Who modded this to this up to 5, and why?
    • I Floccinaucinihilipilificate the word Floccinaucinihilipilification.

    • corby stated that "Interplay is apparently the only company with rights to distribute games under the AD&D license" while this is only partially true.

      I'm pretty sure that Wizards of the Coast [wizards.com]/Hasbro [hasbro.com] split the Dungeons and Dragons lines into several different developers' hands. Interplay owns only Forgotten Realms [wizards.com] (which includes the Baldurs Gate games, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights) and Planescape.

      Due to a grandfather clause, SSI (the company to first publish D&D games, including Eye of the Beholder, Shattered Lands, Menzoberranzan, Strahd's Possession) can still produce Forgotten Realms games. They publish through Mattel, NOT Interplay. Take a look at the Pool of Radiance [poolofradiance.com] site for more information. Oh, and Pool of Radiance will also use the D&D 3rd Edition rules (and is the first and only video/computer game out currently to do so).

      I believe that other companies (not Interplay) have rights to other D&D worlds, such as Dark Sun, Ravenloft, Birthright (Sierra owned this one a few years ago but the line may be dead), and Greyhawk.
  • Just great (Score:4, Informative)

    by serps (517783) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @07:58PM (#2642324) Homepage
    When Hasbro bought out Wizards of the Coast and sold off their rights to D&D computer games, you could see something like this eventually happening. Wizards had a 'Mastertools' program under development which was designed to remove all the bookkeeping tedium of handling a campaign. Once the license was transferred to Interplay, WotC had to gut the project to ensure compliance. I wish them all the best against Interplay.
    • MasterTools has not been "gutted". It's still in active development, and seems to be on track for release in the first quarter of 2002.

      In fact, Ryan Dancey posted updated info [wizards.com] regarding the project just two days ago on the WotC Message Boards.
      • MasterTools HAS been gutted. They have removed the ability to play DnD online over the internet among other things (very limited prestige class support, no support at launch for anything other than the PHB, DMG and MM. I know they promise support for the add ons in the future but look how they support the Forgotten Realms Atlas, the have patch 3 for it but they haven't released it yet because the web team at WoTC won't be able to add a link to is before the end of the YEAR.)
        • They have removed the ability to play DnD online over the internet

          Whoopeedoo. MasterTools wasn't originally conceived as a game. It was only ever supposed to be a set of tools for F2F gaming management. Just because some yahoo at WotC thought it'd be "neat" if you could play online doesn't mean it was a good idea or even something Wizards/Fluid *ever* had any legal right to do.

          As far as the functionality of the program being so limited, chalk that one up to the yahoos at WotC wasting Fluid's time with feature bloat. Now they've come too far to scrap the project, but Hasbro isn't going to budget any more money for development unless and until they see this as a profitable endeavor. *IF* and only if people actually buy MT, then it'll be supported and expanded. As it is, they're way late on delivering this to the marketplace.

          Had they focused on the original concept, not only would the thing be out by now, it'd be an awesome utility.
          • I am not talking about playing the computer I am talking about the original stated goal of having the ability to pay DnD 3e over the net with a Human DM and Human players.

            Something like OpenRPG (OpenRpg.Org) but with better graphics.

            • I am not talking about playing the computer

              No! Really?

              I am talking about the original stated goal of having the ability to pay DnD 3e over the net with a Human DM and Human players.

              That was NEVER supposed to be what MasterTools was for. Wizards never had the rights to develop that sort of program.

              Besides, there's no reason why you couldn't do 3e over the net with MT the way it was originally conceived and IRC.
              • They why was that feature green lighted, developed and advertised as a feature???

                As to playing it over the net as is, no you cant. The combat features will not be network aware.
                • They why was that feature green lighted, developed and advertised as a feature???

                  Like I said in my previous post, some yahoo at WotC thought it'd be "neat".
                  Ain't you never heard of mission creep?
            • by taion (304184)
              The correct address for OpenRPG is http://www.openrpg.com [openrpg.com], not openrpg.org. In any event, OpenRPG is a generalized Roleplaying system, not something specially tailored to D&D 3e, so its capacities for D&D3e are less than what MT possibly would have had.
    • Re:Just great (Score:2, Informative)

      by cnladd (97597)
      Sorry, bud, but first NWN is NOT an AD&D game. The AD&D game is a completely separate line from the D&D (3e) game, and electronic rights for D&D were negotiated separately.

      Also, Infogrames owns the rights to all computer-based tools and games. Interplay may have a license to publish D&D games, but then again, so does SSI (remember Pools of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor? Released just a month or so ago...), and probably one or two other publishers. Owning the rights to something altogether and owning a license to something are two completely different things.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2001 @07:59PM (#2642329)
    If you haven't heard, the editing tools (the part of NWN most people thought was nifty) were already stripped from the Non-Windowes versions. Talk was made of including them later, but...


    Stated reason was difficulty breaking them from an MS framework. Seems like a designer fubared by choosing that framework to begin with, huh?

    • by LMCBoy (185365) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @09:25PM (#2642540) Homepage Journal
      As I understand it, they designed the Toolset with Borland C++ Builder. They were expecting Borland to have a Linux version of this product (not Kylix), but it never materialized. However, the fact that they used BCB means a Mac version was never in the works...
      • Just because they use a cross-platform compiler does not mean they are not developing platform specific code. They are probably heavilly using Win32 based components, which makes the code very un-portable. If they had decided to use Qt or some other cross-platform library, this would not have been a problem.

        It sucks, but a bad decision early in the design product makes some things impossible. The fact that the game itself is playable on Linux, Windows, and Mac is a huge thing, however, and IMHO much more important than the toolkit. That shows good design from the beginning.
  • by loraksus (171574)
    They need each other, they don't want to play with each other.
    What are we gonna say?
    Fuck 'em - they deserve each other, though it would be nice to see the game come out. I hate it when adults act like children, damn....
  • Was this agreement maid pre-Wizard or back in the TSR days? If it was made back with TSR, then it makes sense (TSR was having troubles finacaliy if I recall). But nowadays, I don't see why Wizards couldn't just publish it themselves. I'd be very suprised if they didn't already have a few published titles and more so if they couldn't handle this one.
  • by hiryuu (125210) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @08:05PM (#2642358)
    Here. [penny-arcade.com]

    I got a giggle out of it, at least...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Aw, man - that's a pretty shitty state of affairs. But I suppose it does graphically illustrate why developing products based on licenced properties is generally a Bad Thing (or at least something to be done with extreme care) for any game developer. (Being someone who has been bitten by having a licence holder [psygnosis.com] suddenly refuse to let us release our finished game [ign.com] because of Sony's [scea.com] attitude to all things not Playstation 2).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2001 @08:06PM (#2642361)
    Who cares, those games are for nerds and satanists [chick.com].
  • Whoa there! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HunterZ (20035) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @08:11PM (#2642378) Journal
    Back that truck up, slick! Check this out:
    http://www.poolofradiance.com/ [poolofradiance.com]

    I don't see any mention of Interplay or Bioware there, yet it's an AD&D computer game. Would anyone care to explain?

    • Interplay's license is not exclusive. From Gamespot's history of AD&D ( http://www.gamespot.com/features/history_add/ )

      At this year's E3, it was announced that Mindscape, the parent company of SSI and now a division of Mattel, had reclaimed the license, and that the original developers of Pool of Radiance would now develop a sequel.


      Note that this was written years ago.
    • Just means that Interplay is not the only company to hold license for AD&D computer games.

      Pool of Radiance is a kind of a sequel to the old SSI gold box series (Pool of Radiance, Secret of the Silver Blades, Pools of Darkness) which was set in Phlan, then the surroundings, in the end covering the Moonsea area with visits to Myth Drannor, outer planes, thwarting plots to revive a god and so on. The whole SSI series, including other AD&D licensed games like the Eye of Beholder series, are available as "The Forgotten Realms Archive", in three boxes. The games look pretty awful by current standards, but were important milestones on the CRPG timeline.
    • D&D is not enough (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fm6 (162816)
      D&D software in itself is not that big a thing. Been around for years. Rogue [classicgaming.com] (the original version of Nethack) was an early example. Though Michael Toy had to change the names of the monsters after TSR reminded him that he didn't have a license to use them.

      Put Baldur's Gate and Rogue side by side, and you see that Bioware has done more than just computerize D&D. They've greatly enhanced the user experience with sophisticated interaction, simulation, and non-player character engine. And they've also created a story that is sophisticated enough to engage but simple enough to be managed by a "Dungeon Master" that's just a piece of software, and thus has no ability to improvise. That last is not technically sophisticated, but it's what impresses me the most.

      • I had thought Rogue was around before TSR was. My feeling is that they had someone copyright or trademark them (the monsters, the games), and then went after those who were already using the terms. That's certainly the story of things that I heard in the --- was it the 70's? (It was certainly before personal computers were big, and I think it was during the time of the Apple ][, but that leaves a lot of vagueness. Still, I heard of it as something that had been happening (in sourthern California). Though I admit that I didn't know about Rogue then. And though Wizardry was doing well, the story was basically about how they were pre-empting the material from the un-organized D&D players. Many people were quite conflicted ... happy to have it in published books, but quite upset that the right to the monsters had been copyrighted by someone who hadn't been at all involved in the creation of the beasts.

        Be ye warned! This has happened before. This will happen again. This is why the GPL is important. Analogous licenses should be created for other fields, whereever people start group creations. If they are not created, then some (you choose the perjorative term) will steal them. And then forbid the original creators from using their own creations. Sometimes I feel that such folk deserve neither mercy nor life. But acknowledging that they exist is the first step toward dealing with them. The GPL attempts to eliminate their habitat, which is certainly the preferred approach.
        .
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2001 @08:11PM (#2642379)
    Once again slashdot amazes me with the ability not to be able to post reliable or good information.

    Bioware CAN publish titles under AD&D license, interplay has been rideing the "bioware" wave for over a year now. Bioware has every damn right to terminate their contract, especially since Interplay VIOLATED the terms of it.

    The game is slated to be released Mar 2002, and on another note, I submited this story on wednesday.

    I have posted anonymusly in order to protect myself and other sources.
  • by AlterEd (67760) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @08:21PM (#2642403) Homepage
    Infogrames bought [infogrames.com] Hasbro Interactive and now has publishing rights to all present and future Hasbro electronic games. Previous agreements notwithstanding, natch.

    If Bioware can't hash things out with Interplay, I'm sure they can get a deal with Infogrames.

  • Exclusive Rights? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mESSDan (302670)
    BALDUR'S GATE: © 1998 BioWare Corp. All Rights Reserved. Baldur's Gate, Forgotten Realms, the Forgotten Realms logo, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, the AD&D logo, and the TSR logo are trademarks of TSR, Inc., a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast, Inc, and are used by Interplay under license. All Rights Reserved. Interplay, the Interplay logo, Black Isle Studios, the Black Isle Studios logo, and "By Gamers, For Gamers." are trademarks of Interplay Productions. All Rights Reserved. The BioWare logo is the trademark of BioWare Corp. All Rights Reserved. Dolby, the Dolby Surround Logo and the double-D symbols are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Exclusively licensed and distributed by Interplay Productions. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
    I stole this from the link in the article. The problem is, the second to last line is all that indicates "Exclusively licensed" (Emphasis mine), and it doesn't indicate what it pertains to.

    The part that does mention AD&D indicates that it is being used under license, no mention of exclusivity.

    Can anyone clear this up?
  • I hope they can find a good pub. because I've been waiting for Neverwinter Nights for a hella long time. Oh, and Bioware, if you don't get this game published, damn you.
  • According to Gamespot [gamespot.com] [gamespot.com] "Despite the announcement, the developer plans to release the Dungeons & Dragons game on schedule in early 2002." Still, I'm a bit worried. I think NWN has a huge potential, as it allows players to both play a fun MMORPG and allow the more hardcore players to create and play their own D&D adventure - like these [nwdl.net] [www.nwdl.net] people. I think a NWN Dragonlance will be great, so I really hope Bioware can finish it.
  • You'll see a few intresting titles / names, does anyone know what these were licensed for?
    * Bill Watterson - Calvin and Hobbes - This one I really don't understand, Bill didn't license anyone C&H...

    * Peter Townhend - Tommy
    * Mario, Luigi, The Princess, Yoshi and Koopa are trademarks of Nintendo of America, Inc
    * Rodney Dangerfield Copyright © 1997 Dangerfield Entertainment
    * Statistics provided by STATS, Inc. © 1998. All rights reserved

    Makes you wonder what these chacters are used in / licensed for...
  • Infogrames(a french company) owns the rights to D&D computer games. Once Interplay was bought by Titus (another french company) it was obivous things were going to get ugly. I still think NWN will get released.
  • I hope Bioware and Interplay can make friends out of this and get the game out. The remake of Pool of Radiance sucked because of it's technical problems. Damn big business software!
  • The legalese merely states that D&D, the D&D logo, etc. are property of Wizards and Hasbro blah blah and Interplay is using them under license from the trademark owners. Interplay absolutely does NOT have exclusive rights to publish D&D electronic games.

    Derek
  • by Drakin (415182) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @10:37PM (#2642691)
    Regarding our recent announcement of Neverwinter Nights contract termination with Interplay, we can't comment on this, except to say that BioWare is looking forward to releasing Neverwinter Nights on schedule, early in 2002. Development at BioWare is continuing on both Neverwinter Nights and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic as well as on other as yet unannounced projects."

    I'm thinking people are jumping the gun.
  • Everybody's complaining and, dare I say it, whining about the headline being misleading...

    Thank (insert favorite deity here) it isn't! Something interesting for a change! Had enough of this terrorism business.

    On a more related note, can't wait for NWN! :)
  • My solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Y-Crate (540566)
    How about makers of MMORPGs come up with something remotely new and inventive? Stop dragging out the Dungeons and Dragons license for the 50,000th time. You know, there are some rather interesting things you could come up with.
  • No, this isn't flamebait. I'm glad that they might get out of the AD&D business, and back to writing original, interesting, and easy-to-use adventures. Baldur's Gate was ok, but it was too tied to what it tried to reproduce -- AD&D, without going all the way.

    Fallout was excellent because it was a role-playing game, but it wasn't any RPG you'd ever seen, short of pen-and-paper. What made Fallout great were the multiple conversation paths and the options you'd get, based on how knowledable or personable you were. It also helped that it was structured, but not overwhelmingly linear.

    Yes, it had flaws, but the gameplay more than made up for it, and that's what I want to see more of.

FORTH IF HONK THEN

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