Regarding the cease-and-desist by Activision Blizzard on the King’s Quest TSL fan-game

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    • #25946 Reply

      Hi Ken,

      My names Matt Edwards and I’m a UK-based journalist who writes for a number of gaming magazines and websites.

      I’m currently putting together a feature for gamesTM magazine covering The Silver Lining King’s Quest fan-game, which I’m sure you’ve heard was sent a cease-and-desist by Activision after being in development for around eight years. And this is after they’d secured a limited license from the previous IP holder Vivendi.

      I’ve got pretty much everything I need for this interview led feature – including around 6500 words to condense down into 2400 from Cesar Bittar, Neil Rodrigues and Richard Flores – but I was also hoping I might be able to get a few words from you and your wife as well?

      If that’s okay then I’d just like to ask:

      1. Having created the King’s Quest series, how did you feel about The Silver Lining fan-game?

      2. Obviously Activision was well within their rights to send Phoenix Online the cease-and-desist, as they own the rights to the IP. How do you feel about the action Activision has taken? Was putting a stop to this long running project necessary?

      3. Videogaming fan-projects are increasingly becoming more ambitious and range from fan-games like TSL to fan translation patches that work on the Wii and professionally produced fan-fiction miniseries like There Will Be Brawl on The Escapist. How do you view these fan labour projects and do you feel they’re beneficial to the gaming industry?

      Sorry, that last one reads a bit cryptically, but mostly I’d just like to hear your thoughts on TSL and the team behind it 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to read this and I very much look forward to your response.

      All the best,

      Matt Edwards

    • #25947 Reply

      Greetings Matt.

      Many years ago, I advised the TSL team to obtain a license for their game, or not continue. I heard they had a license but hadn’t realized it could be pulled at any time. I’m surprised the license was pulled, but hope that it means Activision, or someone, is finally going to do something with Kings Quest.

      As to my feelings on fan games….

      Were I running a publishing company again, I’d do what I could to support the various fan projects. It seems paranoid to fear competition from games with no, or severely limited, budgets. That said, there is a serious issue with the need to police your trademarks and copyrights, or lose them. And, there is risk that someone will use your characters in an offensive manner. However, there can be ways to resolve this through a simple license agreement that spells out terms of use. 99% of the time the projects are harmless, and help generate enthusiasm around the brand, whereas efforts to shut the projects down tend to make the company look bad to the fans.

      I haven’t seen the TSL project and don’t know whether or not there really is a finished game or not, or what its’ quality is. I remember being told years ago it was months from completion (and doubting it.) If there is indeed a project, and a good one, they should simply change the name, the character names, and a few plot points, and launch their game. In other words, make it different enough that it is not a Kings Quest game, but retain the game play. If the game is fun to play it will do fine. Although they won’t have the Kings Quest name, they’ll have plenty of media attention, and name recognition (for The Silver Lining). If the game does exist, I doubt the team is just turning off the lights and going home.

      Good luck with your article!

      -Ken Williams

    • #25948 Reply

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for the response 🙂

      The articles coming along nicely and should be all finished by tomorrow.

      Was just wondering though, as I’m using your comments for a boxout, would it be okay to put a picture of you in the magazine? If it’s less hassle then I could just use the picture of you and your wife from the head page? Obviously with your permission?

      No worries if not though, but just thought it was worth asking.

      Thanks again,

      Matt Edwards

    • #25949 Reply

      Hello Matt and Ken,

           I saw that there was no update to this posting so I figured that I would add a bit of updated information for those that might not be aware. (I am guessing that Ken and Roberts are already aware.)   It would appear that Phoenix Online is releasing “The Silver Lining” game in episodes with the first two episodes already created.  (Users can find/learn more  information about the game at



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