Activision shut down The Silver Lining
I always figured that Electronic Arts were the worst company in the gaming industry. I've been proven wrong. Activision Blizzard, the company that was created when Vivendi acquired Activision in 2008 have just shut down The Silver Lining, previously known as King's Quest IX, a fan-made game that was 8 years in the making.
Vivendi had previously acquired and butchered what remained of one of the oldest companies in computer gaming history, Sierra On-Line, a personal favourite of mine. I have spent many hour enjoying the Sierra adventure games such as King's Quest, Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. Sierra now lives on in name only and all its intellectual property has passed into the hands of Activision. They, as did Sierra's previous owners, have no desire to make any new adventure games, to the considerable disappointment of long time fans such as myself. Because of that, some fans have created their own adventure games, some of them based on the familiar world of these classic games. The Silver Lining was one such game.
Apart from having extraordinarily high production values for such a project, where TSL differed from most other fan projects was that they didn't just use the trademarked intellectual property without permission. They actively sought permission from the copyright holders and complied with any requests that were made. That is why, for instance, the name King's Quest IX was dropped. Still, they had secured permission from Vivendi to continue making the game, subject to Vivendi's approval prior to release. Now, Activision has reneged on the deal made prior to the merger and ordered TSL and all materials pertaining to it, including the forums, to be taken off-line. In doing so, they are crushing the tremendous amount of effort and love the developers have put into this project over the past 8 years thus giving them, and the fans, a big ol' "f*ck you".
Such breaches of agreements and blatant disregard for the fans fill me with disgust, even hatred for the company. Assuming they don't change their way, they've just lost me as a customer. Pity that that won't significantly reduce their bottom line. Oh well, a few hundred down, five billion to go.