Activision Gives Fan Site Permission To Emulate Classic Adventure Games

by on February 1, 2011

Classic Adventure Gamers and retro gaming fans alike rejoice. Activision have back-tracked on a recent cease and decist order they issued to Sierra fan site Sarien.net and have decided to give them permission to host some of their back-catalogue games. The site used to supply browser-based emulation of classic Sierra Adventure Game titles, such as the Kings Quest and Space Quest adventures. Activision – who have held the rights to previous Sierra games since 2008, had put their foot down last week and told Sarien to take down all games which infringed their copyright.

Much to the surprise of gamers and the website owner himself, Activision came back with an offer that could see the site continue, albeit in an altered form. “Activision proposed to officially authorise Sarien.net to publish the first game of any series in its multiplayer HTML5 form,” explained the creator of Sarien.net – Martin Kool. The deal will be an attempt to create interest in each series, without giving away the whole back catalogue for free. Kool will provide links to outlets such as Steam where players can then go pay to download the rest of the series.

Unfortunately, Sarien had been releasing iPad-enabled versions of the games which would run through the iBook App – effectively cutting the App store out of the games supply chain. Activision have stamped down on this, citing they “may (or may not) choose to provide official releases of these games through the App Store”. Wouldn’t want to miss out on those potential profits from potential releases which might be planned in the future.

Whilst this resolves the issues for Police Quest and the other aforementioned titles, the Leisure Suit Larry series now belongs to Codemasters – so Kool and Sarien.net are awaiting a response as to whether a similar, mutually beneficial deal can be struck with them.

Sarien.net provide classic Sierra Adventures Games, playable through your web browser. The site is currently still partially down following the Activision cease and decist order, but expect a new site – optimised towards the new deal – to be live soon.

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