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No One Lives Forever; or why rights issues in gaming kill preservation and modders save us all

VGEsoterica

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Remember all those old games from back in the day you loved and are surprised that they haven't been remade yet? Or gotten a sequel?

There's a good chance someone has tried reviving the series and been met with the licensing hell hole! Sega is usually a perfect example of losing licenses to properties in their games but it definitely happens to other devs too!

Perfect case in point : No One Lives Forever and it's sequel. Two amazing games from the early 2000's which instantly became classics and really modernized the FPS genre with some awesome new mechanics and a cheesy fun storyline. So you'd expect after two great games we'd eventually see a third game or at least a modern HD remake right?

Nope! and why? Because nobody is even 100% sure who OWNS the property. Is it Activision after they bought Vivendi? Is it Warner Brothers? Is it the original devs? The last official statement was apparently the Activision legal team saying "we dont think we own the rights".

So basically...nobody even knows who currently owns the IP to the NOLF franchise and any dev that wants to pitch a remake/new game doesn't even know how to talk to.

Thankfully some skilled modders came into the fold and modernized the game to run natively in Windows 10 with some great improvements but wow....a franchise that nobody knows who the owner even is!

It's such a bummer and seeming to get more and more common. It 100% blocks anyone doing anything with the properies due to fear of being sued even if nobody knows what direction the lawsuit would even be coming from. Plus it keeps people from getting new games in some of their favorite franchises as this is def not a one off experience.
 

Krappadizzle

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Oct 4, 2011
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PC Gaming is really the last bastion of hope for games preservation. Love that I can boot up my PC and play literally thousands of console games from my childhood. It's why backwards compatibility is so important.
 

TheCockatrice

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Jun 16, 2019
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I would love a remake of NOLF series. Maybe Bethesda should buy the rights and give it to Arkane or id. A spy FPS with some amazing level design is something we truly lack.
 
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BigBooper

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Feb 28, 2018
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Could have someone lure them out. Release the game for free download and use the copyright name and all in other advertising and website. See who sues. Any volunteers?
 

VGEsoterica

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I would love a remake of NOLF series. Maybe Bethesda should buy the rights and give it to Arkane or id. A spy FPS with some amazing level design is something we truly lack.
The thing is it seems they wouldn't even know who to buy it from. It's that confusing from what I've read
 
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DrAspirino

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Nov 19, 2018
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According to Wikipedia, it is Fox Interactive the company that holds the rights for PC version, but since Fox has been acquired by Disney, it should be Disney Interactive the ones with the right.

If that's the case, then it would be quite profitable for them to make a remake of that great game. I remember it was tons of fun.
 

Alright

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Mar 5, 2021
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PC Gaming is really the last bastion of hope for games preservation. Love that I can boot up my PC and play literally thousands of console games from my childhood. It's why Piracy is so important.
FTFY

I know it's frowned upon, but every game that gets cracked, gets downloaded by people. If every game was downloaded by a bunch of people, we shouldn't, in theory, ever lose those games.
 

VGEsoterica

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FTFY

I know it's frowned upon, but every game that gets cracked, gets downloaded by people. If every game was downloaded by a bunch of people, we shouldn't, in theory, ever lose those games.
Right? Consoles are such a different story. Especially with online stores shutting down for certain consoles and handhelds.
 

ACESHIGH

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This is why the sooner everyone ditches consoles the better. They are nothing but a nuisance for the medium. Hopefully folks can tell now that the ps legacy stores are to close.
 

graywolf323

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Jan 19, 2008
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According to Wikipedia, it is Fox Interactive the company that holds the rights for PC version, but since Fox has been acquired by Disney, it should be Disney Interactive the ones with the right.

If that's the case, then it would be quite profitable for them to make a remake of that great game. I remember it was tons of fun.
if you read the section on the possible re-release, it's a LOT messier than you make it out to be


Disney now owns 20th Century Fox yes but it's believed at least part of the rights also belong to WB & Activision but no one is really sure and sadly the companies involved don't seem to care enough to actually figure it out
 
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Alright

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Right? Consoles are such a different story. Especially with online stores shutting down for certain consoles and handhelds.
I've got every 'console' game ever made from Gen 1 all the way through to PSX/N64 gen (4?) all thanks to EverDrive. Those games are protected and safe, ready to be played any time I/anyone wants.

I sure as shit hope the same happens for the other 4 gens worth of console games.
 

VGEsoterica

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if you read the section on the possible re-release, it's a LOT messier than you make it out to be


Disney now owns 20th Century Fox yes but it's believed at least part of the rights also belong to WB & Activision but no one is really sure and sadly the companies involved seem to care enough to actually figure it out
It's the weirdest situation ever. How do you not know what you own? You think companies would have internal google style search engines. Just type in a name and it tells you if you own the damn thing lolol
 
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Futaleufu

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Disney now owns 20th Century Fox yes but it's believed at least part of the rights also belong to WB & Activision but no one is really sure and sadly the companies involved don't seem to care enough to actually figure it out
The easiest way to figure it out would be to create www.noonelivesforever.com and put the game there for download. Whoever sues you is the owner of the game.
 

Kuranghi

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Apr 17, 2015
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I have nearly as fond memories of this as HL tbh, its not breaking many boundries but it really elevated cutscene cinematography compared to what was around at the time, it also had great sound design in general but the sound design of the cutscenes was part of what made it because they made prodiguous use of split edits and sometimes J/L cuts to make it way more cinematic than most everything else at the time, which were mostly doing OTS shots or talking heads, if they even attempted cutscenes.

You're also a bastard though Ed/Al, because now I have to replay this wonderful game and further delay the playing of my modern games roster! :messenger_tears_of_joy:

I just checked out your Patreon and you only have 7 patrons and you deserve more for the content you release. Thats an actual crime so I've rectified it, others should chuck VGEsoterica VGEsoterica some pennies if you can, he deserves it:


Also, obligatory:

 

Reality Czar

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Feb 16, 2021
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Wow hah what an ironic title for a franchise lost to time due to licensing madness.

I’ve always said the Netflix of Gaming with every title from all console generations will never happen because companies are just too greedy and copyright law is absurd.
 
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intbal

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Apr 19, 2019
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I actually preferred Contract Jack to both NOLF games.
Not by much, but enough. C:J was pretty much just a straight shooter. Not really any spy stuff or cinematic set pieces. It was the Doom of NOLF games. That was the mood I was in back when I played those games, so it fit.
 
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VGEsoterica

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I have nearly as fond memories of this as HL tbh, its not breaking many boundries but it really elevated cutscene cinematography compared to what was around at the time, it also had great sound design in general but the sound design of the cutscenes was part of what made it because they made prodiguous use of split edits and sometimes J/L cuts to make it way more cinematic than most everything else at the time, which were mostly doing OTS shots or talking heads, if they even attempted cutscenes.

You're also a bastard though Ed/Al, because now I have to replay this wonderful game and further delay the playing of my modern games roster! :messenger_tears_of_joy:

I just checked out your Patreon and you only have 7 patrons and you deserve more for the content you release. Thats an actual crime so I've rectified it, others should chuck VGEsoterica VGEsoterica some pennies if you can, he deserves it:


Also, obligatory:

Haha so that was you? Thanks :messenger_sunglasses:

The cutscenes are legit. You can tell someone clearly cared a ton about it.

Even in modern AAA games so many cutscenes really don't adhere to most standard editing / cinematography rules. They aren't bad in the least but I swear each game studio should have a filmmaker on staff for these exact reasons.

Plus then I could apply to them :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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Yerd

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Indie dev try to make money selling a remake or something like a heavily modded version and I bet the owners will magically find themselves.
 

Kuranghi

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Haha so that was you? Thanks :messenger_sunglasses:

The cutscenes are legit. You can tell someone clearly cared a ton about it.

Even in modern AAA games so many cutscenes really don't adhere to most standard editing / cinematography rules. They aren't bad in the least but I swear each game studio should have a filmmaker on staff for these exact reasons.

Plus then I could apply to them
:messenger_tears_of_joy:

Me too mate, I looked into it, cutscene director is a job nowadays for many titles and you even have to get/create assets you need yourself, so its quite involved. You can definitely tell its being done by another member of the team a lot of the time.
 

VGEsoterica

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Me too mate, I looked into it, cutscene director is a job nowadays for many titles and you even have to get/create assets you need yourself, so its quite involved. You can definitely tell its being done by another member of the team a lot of the time.
I'd be interested if these people are filmmakers who learned how to make assets, or artists who got made to direct cutscenes.

I feel like it's the latter of the two options
 
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Kuranghi

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I'd be interested if these people are filmmakers who learned how to make assets, or artists who got made to direct cutscenes.

I feel like it's the latter of the two options

All the job listings I saw said "background in TV or film making" so you are probably right, people who studied to become old media guys but decided to pivot. I'm in that camp, have basic qualifications for making tv/film media but I'm starting to think I care more about games media.

edit - I just realised you were responding to the 2nd part of what I wrote probably, yeah definitely the latter.
 
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VGEsoterica

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All the job listings I saw said "background in TV or film making" so you are probably right, people who studied to become old media guys but decided to pivot. I'm in that camp, have basic qualifications for making tv/film media but I'm starting to think I care more about games media.

edit - I just realised you were responding to the 2nd part of what I wrote probably, yeah definitely the latter.
and I am the total opposite. Filmmaker for...wow 18 years now (I had to count) with a Fine Art degree in cinematography and Direction plus I taught (till the pandemic) college film courses.

I love making films, but I hate the job hunt. Such a drag
 
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VGEsoterica

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Wow hah what an ironic title for a franchise lost to time due to licensing madness.

I’ve always said the Netflix of Gaming with every title from all console generations will never happen because companies are just too greedy and copyright law is absurd.
It is wild how many games will never see rerelease due to rights issues and confusion as to who even owns certain things
 
J

JeremyEtcetera

Unconfirmed Member
NOLF and Timesplitters made me hopeful that Goldeneye/Perfect Dark was going to inspire a generation of shooters. Then Halo came along. Then CoD did the same to Halo in the very next gen.
 

VGEsoterica

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NOLF and Timesplitters made me hopeful that Goldeneye/Perfect Dark was going to inspire a generation of shooters. Then Halo came along. Then CoD did the same to Halo in the very next gen.

I wish we could go back to those days. Nothing wrong with COD but there must be space for more than just military shooters with an emphasis on multiplayer.
 
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Kuranghi

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Apr 17, 2015
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NOLF and Timesplitters made me hopeful that Goldeneye/Perfect Dark was going to inspire a generation of shooters. Then Halo came along. Then CoD did the same to Halo in the very next gen.

I remember just repeating those levels over and over on harder difficulties trying to do all the challenges, I remember it being very hard back then but it might've just been that I had the reaction skills but not the reasoning skills to work out how to do them efficiently.

I remember the animation where you blew their head off and they kept running for a few meters before falling, loved that as a boy lol.
 

nerdface

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Mar 22, 2021
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You could make an argument that modding and piracy kill re-release and remake sales, ultimately removing the demand for games in a capitalist society.

...but keep peddling the reverse narrative that stealing is honorable, and is preserving the industry. You aren’t projecting, like, at all. 😂

If these guys had anything new to bring to the table, they’d just make a new game. But they don’t. They have an idea already done before. An idea trademarked, copyrighted and in every other way owned by the people with real ideas.
 
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BigLee74

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Mar 14, 2014
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NOLF/NOLF2 were amazing games, and Cate Archer was hot!

I remember a level in the snow, and being blown away with the ice effect on frozen bit of water. It was easy to please in those days. 😂