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Anne Summers

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  1. Cool! And it was actually just a small portion in the middle/right of that diagram that I've been involved with so far. And that diagram doesn't even go into the details of groups/relationships like Ultimate, Rare, Gremlin, Psygnosis, Imagine...
  2. Actually I haven't got as far as looking into the PSX/ PC stuff yet - possibly that is more available than the 8/ 16-bit stuff has been, I will let you know! I would love to see that family tree if you know where it is - one thing I've been amazed about is how interwoven and incestuous the UK games industry was in the 80s and early 90s, and how closely related all of the different studios and publishers were, when I'd always sort of imagined them as arch rivals.
  3. This is a great and very interesting conversation by the way. I'm very happy that there's still a good amount of interest in this whole subject, because I think it's very important, not just because of my own business interests but in the interests of understanding and preserving video game history in general.
  4. Interesting but it's all actually irrelevant if the original contracts did simply state that the publisher was buying everything lock stock when they bought the game IP from the developers. Including the rights to do whatever they wanted with the code, re-use it, re-sell it and licence it to whoever they wanted, in perpetuity. Which they may well have done.
  5. I don't disagree with the idea it's a bit sad that the original creators aren't making money out of it. I just remain unconvinced that this means that there is anything intrinsically immoral or unethical about buying IP rights and then using them to make money, as some seem to be suggesting. If no one bought the IP rights and used them to make money, then the original creators still wouldn't be in any better position, after all. As has been demonstrated in this thread, as well as the rights holders, retrospec authors are being paid for their work, creating remakes now. And I can't go into details but I know for a fact a good number of emulator and retro gaming coders are being paid for what Antstream are doing. That's all money that's going into the retro community and helping to make it worth people's time to keep old games alive.
  6. This is broadly what I am trying to say. The IP owners (say Piko in this case) paid cold, hard cash for the IP rights - to say it is "unethical" of them to use those rights to make more money, doesn't make sense to me.
  7. You make some very good points there and I do agree with you on a lot of them - particularly the way creatives have traditionally got a poor deal from the industry when it comes to gaming, far different from how recording artists/ actors / screenwriters are treated. Perhaps this came about because traditionally they weren't even seen as creatives ? From reading a lot of books and articles about the games industry "back in the day", I get the impression that, particularly early on, they were more thought of as "engineers" - look at the way Atari famously denied its programmers and artists the right to credits on their work. But I also think there is a degree of naivety in what you are saying, eg That gamble is basically the foundation of all trading - if you are buying or selling something with the intention of selling it on for a profit, you take a gamble on what it's future value will be. Remember, in 90% of cases the creatives probably got it right - they gambled that their games would be worthless in 30 years' time, and in the vast majority of cases they were. A few games - perhaps Jon Ritman's, for example- may still have value today, but they are certainly in the minority. Again, I find this slightly naive. In order to "divide the royalties up" you're going to have to ask the rights' holders to accept a lesser share of the royalties, or you are going to have to ask the distributor to pay more out of their own pocket to cover the creator's cut - in effect a charitable donation. I agree that in an ideal world, yes, both of these would be laudable actions. But in reality, when we have to live and work within the confines of a capitalist system, I don't think it's right to consider it "unethical" if the corporate entities decide not to do this. It would be great if all sorts of businesses agreed to pay a greater share of their profits into ethical or charitable causes, sure ... and I would personally support any political party which proposed policy that would make this happen. But at the moment, that isn't the way things work. Businesses have to compete with other businesses in the capitalist system, and unless they are hugely profitable (i.e Microsoft) then any money they dedicate to charity/ethical considerations simply makes them less competitive - they have less money to spend on salaries, marketing, development, etc. Meaning they hand an advantage to their competition. One final point that I do think is worth bringing up is that I don't see Jon Ritman, or any of the other creatives whose games are popping up on these platforms, complaining about this - it seems to be people online taking offence on their behalf. Not saying you don't have a right to do so, of course. But have you considered that maybe they are happy that they got a fair deal back in the day, and are just pleased that a new audience is getting the chance to play their games again? TL;DR - I hate capitalism as much as you do. But I don't think it's fair to consider businesses which have to operate within the system "unethical". This is the system society as a whole has chosen and we have to live with it. It was never licensed from the movie. It just stole the name.
  8. That's kind of what I'm getting at - doesn't Ocean have the rights to sell the work on, if it has paid for it? You seem to be suggesting that IP-rights should be non-transferable. If this was the case, wouldn't it be reflected in their value and therefore the price paid for them? (i.e Ocean would presumably pay the creator less for them, if it wasn't for the fact they know they could sell them on at some point?) You're right that we don't know his contract, but isn't it likely that it was made clear to him that he was transferring all rights of ownership, and the buyer (Ocean) was buying the rights to do whatever they wanted with them, including selling them on? Still not convinced that this is unethical, but willing to be persuaded if anyone can put up a reasonable argument (and no, negging me or pos'ing people who disagree with me, without backing it up with reasoning, doesn't count as a reasonable argument ) What ethical principles do you think are broken in this situation?
  9. Yeah, it's the ethical aspect I'm actually interested in. Why is it automatically ethical that he should? Didn't he make the decision, when he sold the rights, that he was happy with the idea of a guaranteed one-off payment? The alternative would be to gamble on making future earnings from it depending on whether or not it was a success? Isn't this a decision that every creative person needs to make, when they make the choice between either working for someone else, and setting up in business for themselves? If this was generally considered to be unethical in some way - wouldn't it be right to restrict creatives' rights when it came to selling their work, to protect them from possibly being exploited at some point in the future? Are there many creative people who would get behind that idea? I don't wear a suit, and I'm not a capitalist by any means - my own idea of the ideal society would be where no one owned anything and everyone just took what they want, according to their needs. But considering we do live in a capitalist society, is it right to consider this sort of behaviour unethical?
  10. I know we have been over this issue in other threads ... but I don't think I've ever got a straight answer to the question: If Jon Ritman sold the rights to the game back in the 80s (presumably with the knowledge that whoever he was selling it to intended to use it to make money) should he really expect to get anything from it now?
  11. And now I own you. Forever.
  12. DeKay, if you go into options can you see a field called Region which tells you what geographical server region you are connected to? If it says auto, try manually selecting UK South. I wonder if it is automatically connecting to another one, perhaps the west Europe ones (which are in Amsterdam I think, perhaps closer to you than where the UK South ones are).
  13. There should be ... I see a category called New Games on the homepage ...
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