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Classic Games (Games) Entertainment Games

LucasArts To Re-Release Old Games Through Steam 147

LucasArts today announced that they will soon be releasing games from their back catalog through Steam. The releases begin this Wednesday with a group of eight games, including Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, The Dig, LOOM, and Star Wars: Battlefront II. This is apparently just "the first round of releases," so we can doubtless expect to see more of their old games before long. Joystiq spoke with LucasArts CEO Darrell Rodriguez, who said the company is considering updated versions of the old games, depending on how well next week's launch of Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition goes. He also hinted at the possibility that some games could be ported to mobile gaming devices, such as the PSP Go and the iPhone.
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LucasArts To Re-Release Old Games Through Steam

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  • Ballblazer? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:43PM (#28599359)
    What, no Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus, or Koronis RIft?
  • The Dig (Score:3, Interesting)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:43PM (#28599365)
    I loved that game. Wish they would port some of these over to consoles too.
  • ... AWESOME.

    Childhood memories, here I come.

    • by Dr Caleb ( 121505 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:57PM (#28599583) Homepage Journal

      "Childhood memories, here I come."

      Dude, no. If you value those memories, don't. I would love to play 'Full Throttle' again.

      But, I got Novalogic's old pack on Steam last week. I though it would be fun to revisit Armoured Fist 3 and Commanche. It's brutal. They didn't change a thing about the games. 640X480 - hardcoded keyboard commands - NO instructions!

      I should have saved my $20 and fond memories.

      • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @06:01PM (#28600377)

        >NO instructions!

        Thats really inexcusable. I find almost all the steam games I have bought dont have any instructions. How hard is it to load a pdf of the manual or deliver a real help file?

        Steam really has become a ghetto dumping ground for old borderline worthless titles.

      • by Gulthek ( 12570 )

        I just played through Full Throttle again last week. The game is still as awesome as the day it arrived in the mail straight from our Lucasarts pre-order.

        But nothing, nothing, beats Grim Fandango.

      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        Have they updated the executables though?

        The biggest issue I find with stuff like this is they just stick the old game on there, which is fucking useless because a lot of old DOS games wont work on anything from Windows 2000 up anyway. You can bodge them into work with DOSbox and stuff sometimes but it's not ideal.

        So have they updated these games from DOS executables using custom renderers and drivers to something that just works like a Win32 executable using DirectX?

  • For reminding Lucasarts that we were here all along, waiting to purchase more adventure games.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta ( 162192 ) *

      I'm here waiting to purchase more NEW adventure games. Thanks for the back catalog re-releases and all, but I still have my old disks and they work great in ScummVM. The new Sam & Max has done pretty well, so how about coming out with some new titles?

  • Worthless humans... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Verteiron ( 224042 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:44PM (#28599377) Homepage

    I'd love an updated version of Day of the Tentacle.

    That is all.

  • by seeker_1us ( 1203072 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:46PM (#28599415)
    Greedo will shoot first in the games.
  • If they aren't going to be releasing original stuff, this is the kind of games they need to be retreading.

  • by k_187 ( 61692 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:47PM (#28599433) Journal
    I'm still waiting on KOTOR to show up on steam. I missed it when it was new and the only way to get it now is in some bundle with 4 other games I don't care about. Seriously, it should be in the next round.
    • They probably have agreements with Microsoft that are a barrier to selling through a competitor. It was an xbox title first.
      Also, the pack you're talking about is like $35. One of the greatest RPGs ever made is worth that much.
      • It's true; KOTOR is worth it. But Bioware was just merged with Mythic Entertainment, owned by EA, who seem to like putting a few games on Steam now and then. Hopefully they could bang something out with Microsoft.
  • I have almost all of the old SCUMM games, and would gladly repurchase them all on Steam if the price is decent. Considering their extreme age, however, anything more than $5 is just insulting.
    • $5 is possible, but I'm expecting $10. (Which, at least for the talkies, I don't think is insulting if they did a decent job setting up whatever compatibility mode or VM they're using.)
      • Re:Excited, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:50PM (#28600255) Homepage

        Which, at least for the talkies, I don't think is insulting if they did a decent job setting up whatever compatibility mode or VM they're using.

        They'll probably just use DosBox like the other Dos-era Steam games do.

        I'll pick these things up for $2-$5 a pop on a bargain weekend. $10 is absurd--that's what they sold for in the bargain bin a couple years after they were released. This is many more years later, and they don't have to ship physical media. $5 is about right. Jesus, it's not like they're still trying to cover development costs on these old games--I don't think it's too much to ask that they not get greedy while taking their free money.

        • Re:Excited, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by GMFTatsujin ( 239569 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @07:37PM (#28601473) Homepage

          I hope they *do* use DOSBox. It's practically guaranteed that you'll be able to run those DOS games without any of Steam's DRM sitting on top of it. Just point your own DOSBox at the data files. I run XCOM: UFO Defense this way.

          Whatever one might say about Steam's DRM scheme and how it's supposed to work or not, I appreciate that I can sidestep the issue completely by running it in my own DOSBox install.

  • Too bad the talent has withered away since they closed down their adventure division. Still got my Amiga and PC originals, but if they release all games in one box eventually, like the Orange Box, I'll get these enhanced versions.
  • Bring back... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maino82 ( 851720 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:52PM (#28599517)
    Tie Fighter! Or any of the same ilk. Updated graphics would be nice, but it would totally be worth going out and buying a joystick if they brought the space sims back even in their original form.
    • by Mordac ( 1009 )

      Tie Fighter is still one of my absolute favorite games of all time. Even as I upgraded my computer for years I'd make sure I could still play it somehow. Its also the only reason I have a joystick.

      So yes, I'd love to see it come back. I love Tie Fighters version of space combat.

      • Re:Bring back... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:39PM (#28600123)

        Tie Fighter is still one of my absolute favorite games of all time. Even as I upgraded my computer for years I'd make sure I could still play it somehow. Its also the only reason I have a joystick.

        So yes, I'd love to see it come back. I love Tie Fighters version of space combat.

        Get X-Wing Alliance. Seriously. It's the last of the Original Trilogy space games, or so LucasArts pledged when the nuTrilogy was coming out. All the yummy Tie Fighter goodness with a much better story! Worth playing.

        • ohhhh yeah i had forgotten about that one. *Great* game, I still say Id like all of them brought back with multiplayer support.

    • by Imagix ( 695350 )
      Absolutely yes! I sorely miss the age of the space combat sims. X-Wing, Descent Freespace.... those were the days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TrippTDF ( 513419 )
      I completely agree... it's been ten years since a Star Wars simulation was released, and that's just too long! There's been a fair amount of homebrew work at updating the models for X-Wing: Alliance [wikipedia.org], but I think it's time to see another game built from the ground up taking advantage of newer hardware and internet play. And there is a ton of unexplored room with the first three episode's.

      I think there's a lot of room for a MMORPG that is just around a Star Wars space sim.
      • Re:Bring back... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:31PM (#28600039) Homepage

        Careful what you wish for--a modern version would probably be released for consoles, too, and would therefor lack the deep controls that made those games what they were. Shield (and perhaps power management in general) would probably be totally gone, for one thing.

        • by Jim Hall ( 2985 )

          Careful what you wish for--a modern version would probably be released for consoles, too, and would therefor lack the deep controls that made those games what they were. Shield (and perhaps power management in general) would probably be totally gone, for one thing.

          I miss those dual "dot" monitors to show other craft. It was a really inventive way to give you an idea of what's around you, without cluttering the HUD. With a little practice, the dual monitors became like second nature to me - watching someone's replay [youtube.com] and I instantly know what other ships are around, where they are, and relative distance. And it took me years before I could no longer remember the keyboard layout. But I agree, you can't go home again on this one. Any new release would have to include the

          • by Jim Hall ( 2985 )

            Ok, I know it's bad form to reply to this, especially since no one is probably looking at comments on this story anymore, but ... I had an idea:

            I have thought about this, though. Maybe too much. Using the PS3 controller, I would pick:

            • L stick - flight control, with option to use sixaxis instead (L3 - lock onto target in reticle)
            • R stick - look around (R3 - center view)
            • R1/L1 - primary/secondary weaps
            • R2/L2 - throttle up/down (smooth increments, so player would have to manually match speed to other crafts)
            • left/
            • by Jim Hall ( 2985 )

              zOMG! I forgot "barrel roll". I think I'd assign this to X, and let triangle toggle between "nearest enemy" and "attacking enemy" (which may the same in a dogfight, anyway - very convenient.) The controls still make sense that way.

              Yes, I think about these things way too much.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nimey ( 114278 )

      Heh, that'd be the fourth rehash of TIE Fighter. First was the floppy MS-DOS version, then the CD-ROM MS-DOS "Collector's Edition", and then a Windows 9x version with 3D effects.

      I think X-Wing had the same number and types of re-releases.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xSauronx ( 608805 )

      another vote for TIE Fighter, or X vs T. I played the bejesus out of TIE Fighter, X wing was good, but broadband wasnt quite available enough for me to enjoy X vs T

      I dont have a copy of any of those anymore, but Id gladly buy them if they got a revamp and were available as a set for a decent price

  • Nostalga (Score:3, Informative)

    by AdamBv1 ( 1382569 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:55PM (#28599551)
    while everyone is feeling nostalgic about their old favorite LucasArts games i would like to point out http://www.gog.com/ [gog.com] for everyones old game pleasure. Lots of our old classic favorites at great prices, DRM free and even works on vista/7.
    • Hehe, there's some good ones on there! I just picked up Septerra Core and Disciples II. I can live with the hard-coded resolutions of the past; these games are still fun!

    • Here's what might be a stupid question, but do you know if those games run on parallels/fusion/virtual box, or crossover games on OS X?

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Crossover games will run the newer stuff, scummvm for the older.

        All the new Sam & Max games run fine in crossover/wine.

    • Amen to this. I was actually a little disappointed to hear that LucasArts would be going with Steam as I only buy DRM-free versions via GOG.

      I know, I know. Steam has minimal intrusion and they promise they'll release patches to remove the DRM if they go out of business. I, however, much prefer the no-intrusion system where I don't have take any promises on faith.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Chyeld ( 713439 )

        In the case of most of these 'old' games, there is zero DRM. You install the game and you can launch it from it's folder just as you could back in the old days. DRM, for the most part, is reserved for modern games.

      • Re:Nostalga (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @08:06PM (#28601833) Homepage Journal

        The only DRM for dosbox games over steam is the encryption used to send your CC# to Valve. You can take your /dosboxgame directory and play it in linux under dosbox there and it works just fine. Also all of Valve's games work just fine in offline mode. (i.e. Valve auth servers destroyed in a nuclear attack or---heaven forbid the internet goes down for a day). Steam has gone down repeatedly recently with all their steamcloud updates (particularly during major TF2 updates) and nobody notices that steam's not working until they stop getting random unlocks for an hour or two.
        So yes, Virginia, you can backup your precious $2.99 dosbox steam-bought games.

    • Yes, this. Put them on GOG.com and I'll buy them. I want Grim Fandango myself as I missed that one when it first came out. But I'm not touching Steam.
  • I demand a re-release of Full Throttle to be included in this.

  • Grim Fandango? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by obarel ( 670863 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @04:55PM (#28599559)
    How can they not give this game the credit it deserves? One of the few games I almost cried when I finished it - it was the perfect game, I just didn't want it to end.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by scubamage ( 727538 )
      Same thoughts here. Grim Fandango is an AMAZING game, quite possibly one of the greatest games ever made. Plus it was one of the very first games to use any sort of hardware acceleration, a pretty big deal in its time. I really hope they consider it.
  • I wonder if this is now a trend. GOG and now Lucasarts are putting abandonware titles back on the market.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CarAnalogy ( 1191053 )

      The titles you see appearing in places like GOG and Steam are almost all well-known big titles by companies that still exist. This is only a very small part of what most abandonware websites offer. There's a huge number of great games that never gained any real following due to various reasons, or are owned by companies which no longer exist now.

      In short, the real meaning of "abandonware" is exactly what its name implies: software which can be considered abandoned, preferably because there is no
      • I wish the US government would clarify abandonware in some fashion. Either grant the right to anybody that wishes to use it or start a sort of lost and found for abandoned software registry to license it out. It's completely against the intent of IP for it to be locked up and essentially owned by nobody while simultaneously preventing people from making use of it either.

        I mean really, it's supposed to spur innovation and the creation of more, neither of which is furthered by protecting outfits that are n
        • by Anonymous Coward

          There is nothing to clarify. No matter the tales you have heard - distributing abandonware is no less illegal than any other copyright violation. There is no gray area. It doesn't' matter if the game is available commercially or not.

          Abandonware means old software, nothing more. Plenty of companies still search for copyright violations of their "abandonware" (LucasArts and Cyan come to mind). There has never been a legal definition of abandonware and hopefully there never will be (it's time we stop the copy

    • It's not Abandonware if the company owning the rights is still selling it through some venue.

      • It's not abandonware until the goddamn copyright has expired. Does it look like 2079 to you?


    • Now if only there were more of a focus on emulation of the platforms these games play on. I tried playing Fallout 2 on one of my computers a little while back, and even though it should run on Windows XP, it kept crashing because of a conflict with my video card. I've tried playing some old DOS games in an emulator on my Mac, and some worked, but they took a fair amount of mucking around and lots of things just didn't work.

      It'd be nice if some company like GOG were to release (or endorse) an open source

      • Steam just uses DosBox, which works great.

        Sorry to hear about F2. One of my favorite games of all time. If you haven't tried it, I recommend giving the Fallout 2 Restoration Project mod a whirl.

        Also, if you haven't played Arcanum, you need to. Didn't discover it 'till years after Fallout 2, but it's a very similar game engine (set the battle mode to turn-based rather than real-time--which you'll pretty much have to do if you don't want to die a whole bunch--and it's basically identical) and has a great s

        • I think I tried the F2RP and it didn't help. It seemed to be a particular problem with recent ATI cards. But whatever, really my point is that, at some point, none of us will have a system that will play these old games anymore. Microsoft will drop support for something the game requires, or you won't be using Windows anymore. That may be 5-10 years from now, but that day is coming. When it does, it'd be nice to know that you'll still be able to play those games somehow.

          And yes, I've played Arcanum.

          • I'm counting on emulators. The pure DOS games are already there, and I'd bet early Win95/Win98 games are playable in VMWare or something similar (when they're not playable in the latest MS OS, that is)

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        gog just uses dosbox for damn near everything.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        GOG just uses DOSBOX and SCUMMVM.

      • Virtual PC is free; just run Windows 98 and play in that.

        • And if I don't have Windows 98?
          • Given that this is Slashdot, I'm surprised you don't have 4 or 5 copies in your closet. But, also given this is Slashdot, somehow I think you can come u wig a way to get it. Pretty petty of that's all that is holding you back.

  • I'm looking forward to these releases... and like many others here, there are some jewels I look forward to even more than the rest.

    Day of the Tentacle was the best of all their adventures... the jokes, the plot, the characters - and even the voice acting - were unsurpassed. I was lucky enough to get the CD edition in the mid-nineties, and it's one of the gaming experiences that are burned into my mind - like the Baldur's Gate series and Gabriel Knight: Sins Of the Fathers.

    Tie Fighter... X-Wing was g

    • by deek ( 22697 )

      I've also got a CD of Day of the Tentacle. I would buy a new version updated with hires graphics. It's one of those classic games that everyone should play once.

  • Sounds like vaporware.
  • What I dont get... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Drakin020 ( 980931 ) on Monday July 06, 2009 @05:18PM (#28599857)

    Why not create games based on older models? I mean...Megaman 9 showed us that even legacy games are still desired by older generations.

    Rather that put thought into graphics and such, you could focus your minds on what makes the game fun, and such...

    Me personally, I'd LOVE to see another old school RPG game involving sprites and such.

    There is a market out there, and developers should take advantage of it.

    • by Chyeld ( 713439 )

      Check out Cave Story. Though it might not be RPGy enough (more platformer now that I think back).

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      I would easily pay $60-70 for some sort of sequel to FF6 (US 3 for SNES). In that 16 bit style. I've played most of the translated 16 bit RPGs and there's a certain charm there, the sweet spot for RPGs that really made the SNES the console to beat. I bought/played FF3 (Jap3) for the DS but there's a certian appeal for that legend of zelda a link to the past style overhead view and blocky graphics :) In other news, upon further googling, it looks like they're releasing another DS FF RPG. I really wish they'

  • PLEASE!!!!! There havn't been any good space combat sims since this game.
    • Tachyon: The Fringe is pretty freakin' good, but it's the last good one I'm aware of.

      X-Wing: Alliance is good, too--it has the X-Wing/Tie Fighter feel, unlike that (IMO) crappy X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter game. Not up to the level of the original two games, but pretty good.

  • I still have my copy of Tie Fighter, but I'd love to be able to get my hands on Full Throttle again.
  • Because if there is one thing I've always wanted it's those old school awesome, completely single player, Lucasarts adventure games that to play require a constant internet connection or at least loading through a top-heavy DRM platform that's unlikely to properly support them anyway.

    My next wish will be that all the boxed copies of those games that I've got and have been meaning to sell on Ebay for the last 6 months will now be worth a lot less. Oh, wait. Shit.

    • As your last wish has been granted, I'll gladly take them off your hands for the princely sum of 1/100th of a penny per unique game (rounding prices down) :)

  • I played that first in a 6-pack of games (came with ultima I-VI, stellar 7, spear of Destiny, etc) then bought it again a few years ago for .99 at Goodwill. DOSBox FTW.

  • Please!

    Absolutely loved those games and I would love to mix it up on XvT on my FiOS connection after playing it on dial-up back in the day

  • That's all well and good, but what about those of us who don't want to rent our retro games through some "must be connected to the Net" DRM system and want a real copy? My brother managed to find a copy of Monkey Island 3 for me a year or two back, but most of the Monkey Island games are difficult to get hold of (or severely over-priced) in the UK.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?