Yeah yeah, Steam sale, but if you’re in the mood for Old Games (the ‘Good’ part is debatable), you might want to check out GOG’s Interplay sale. The retailer has discounted lots of classic/ancient PC games including MDK, Messiah, Stonekeep, Lionheart and….OK, so it’s not the best sale in the world. I mainly find it interesting because of what’s missing: namely, Descent 1, 2 and 3, which have mysteriously vanished from the store.
There’s a reason for that, as explained by Parallax Software’s Matt Toschlog & Mike Kulas, who hold the rights to the Descent series.
“Parallax Software still exists and still owns the copyrights to the Descent games. Under our 21-year-old agreement, Interplay has the exclusive rights to sell Descent and Descent II, and they have been doing so on Good Old Games and Steam.
“The problem is that Interplay has not paid to Parallax any royalties since 2007. We’ve talked to them about this numerous times over the years, and finally took action this fall. We served Interplay official notice that they were in breach of the contract, and when they still failed to pay we terminated the agreement.”
According to Toschlog and Kulas, Interplay has therefore lost the rights to sell the original Descent games online (this doesn’t apply to Descent: Freespace, which has no real connection to the series.) By rights, it seems the games should be removed from Steam too, so you might want to snap them up there if you’ve been jonesing for some 6DOF space combat.
“Interplay does, however, still own the Descent trademark,” the pair elaborate, “which they are free to use or license as they see fit (such as for Descent: Underground) as long as they don’t violate our copyrights.
“As for whether Descent and Descent II will be available for purchase again, we hope so. We’d be very happy to work things out with Interplay.” (Thanks, Reddit.)