I’ve had one or two emails from people wanting to stir up a fan-based buyout of the Sierra properties from Activision and while I generally won’t come right out and say so I don’t think many of them are really operating from a business perspective but instead from a avid fan viewpoint.
It’s total conjecture but based on what I know about business (MBA, working in a large corporation now) Activision isn’t going to want to break up the Sierra catalog and they aren’t going to be selling rights to titles for a couple of thousand bucks. If they do anything they will sell the entire Sierra brand, IP, etc to another business for many millions of dollars. Beyond this the deal will most likely be hammered out between lawyers, accountants and tons of corporate weenies who will figure out how much the entire slate of the deal is worth. If the overall bulk price offered for the Sierra property exceeds what Activision plans to get from it (and don’t forget there is most likely still a significant amount of money coming in from residual sales of the last few years worth of games, including World In Conflict which was Strategy Game of the Year a couple of years ago) they will sell it off. If they don’t they will maintain the value of the company (including the IP which, since they purchased instead of creating it can appear as an asset on their balance sheets according to GAAP) on their books and soak up what cash they can from continued sales and legal actions protecting the IP.
If there is a fan out there with several million bucks to spend I’d love to see all of that stuff end up in good hands that would develop it but I think getting too excited about the idea of “buying” the Sierra IP selectively like you would pick up items at Target is a bit unrealistic. Business does not work that way. If you don’t believe me give Activision a call (I would assume you would call the Customer Service line) and ask them what they want for the King’s Quest IP.