HOME › Forums › Ken Williams Questions and answers / Thanks Forum › Question for Ken: Who owns classic Sierra IP now?
- This topic has 3 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 13 years, 11 months ago by Unknown,Unknown.
This was posted in a previous topic but never got a response. I’m starting a new topic in hopes of getting a reply (from Ken or anyone else who may have some info.). Thanks -Sameer
I was just wondering whether you know who owns Sierra now. I know Vivendi merged with Activision, but it seems like this new mega-publisher has been letting many of its studios go (e.g. Massive Entertainment was sold to Ubisoft).
I would imagine that most of the people using these forums would like to know who ended up with classic Sierra IP after the merger (i.e. King’s Quest, Gabriel Knight, Quest for Glory, ect.). Do you have any idea? Also, I know the new Leisure Suit Larry was picked up by Codemasters… does this mean Codemasters now owns the entire LSL property?
It would be interesting to see who picked up Sierra’s popular franchises…. if it was by a company interested in properly reviving our favorite Sierra series, we fans may actually have something to look forward to.
I think I can answer you question without having to do any specific research (pulling from my experience/knowledge of finance merger/acquisitions). From the nature of the deal (i.e., merger) in which perhaps stock is swapped there is no actual transaction of assets, rather an exchange of ownership (i.e., equity). Typically all the assets (including intangible assets (aka IP) would remain with the newly formed merged company. Now if this had been an acquisition of assets (asset deal vs. stock deal) then the IP could have or could have not been transferred. one would think if certain IP would not have been sold in this case the seller would later use this IP or sell it to a 3rd party.
I think we would have heard something by now if the IP was sold to any other 3rd parties.
Of course I could be wrong, but i think this is the more likely scenario.
EDIT: Sorry i read your other post and did some further research, I didn’t find anything about any selling off of t Sierra IP in the filling by Blizzard Activision. Being a public company i beleive a transaction of this nature would have to be disclosed unless it was not considered material.
I believe Leisure Suit Larry may have been sold, as the latest LSL (“Box Office Bust”) was recently published by Codemasters (http://www.codemasters.com/games/?pid=347).
I’m not sure your comment about Activision-Blizzard legally being obligated to announce any sales is necessarily true. This may in fact be up to the new owner’s discretion, not Activision-Blizzard. Case and point: Codemasters (not Activision) announced that it would be publishing the new Leisure Suit Larry game. To give you another example, when Ubisoft picked up the Might and Magic franchise from 3DO a few years ago, Ubisoft made the announcement (and at its convenience), not 3DO.
Why I think Sierra’s other IP may have been sold: before (and shortly after) the big merger, http://www.questforglory.com and http://www.gabrielknight.com both redirected to http://www.sierra.com (and eventually http://www.activision.com). However if you type-in these addresses now, neither website redirects to anything anymore.
From ATVI 10k filling for the CYE 12/31/2008
‘As part of our restructuring and integration efforts,
we have exited or are winding down several of Vivendi Games’ legacy
studios or businesses, including Vivendi Games Mobile, and Sierra
Online, to achieve synergies and form the streamlined organization of
Activision Blizzard. Our goal is to substantially exit or wind
down these divisions by June 2009 to maximize synergies.’
Considering what Ken said about being offered the Company recently, it seems to me that ATVI might still have the bulk of the Sierra Online properties. I would think the IP rights for the original Quest adventure games could go for pretty cheap considering they haven’t done anything with them for years.
You are right it doesn’ seem that they announce any agreements with the individual titles, its unclear to me if they actually sold the Larry IP to codemasters (makes sense that they would since it is clear they have no interest in the franchise). Looks like the new LSL is a total disaster, which is great news! I’m saying this because maybe this will drive down the value on the IP so much that Al Lowe could get it back (thats if he would be interested).
Nice investigating with the Gabriel Knight and Quest for Glory, you could be on to something, I hope! Like you said it probably is up to the buyer and in this industry discretion seems to be important. I can totally see Quest for Glory being valuable given todays RPG market. I guess we can only wait and see.