Activision Terminates Fan-Made King's Quest Extension

The team of King's Quest enthusiasts who had, since 2002, been working on an unofficial continuation of the seminal adventure game, have complied with a demand by Activision to cease all development of their game.

The Silver Lining has a long and unusual history, even for fan-built games. The final official installment of King's Quest came in 1998. Two years later, enthusiasts started their first attempt at coding their own sequel, starting over with the current development volunteers, Phoenix Online Studios, in 2002. From the beginning, the team asserted a right to the project under U.S. fair use copyright law.

In 2005, Phoenix Online survived its first cease-and-desist order from the rights holder at the time, Vivendi Universal. Outcry and backlash over the project's termination led to an extraordinary non-commercial "fan license" granted for The Silver Lining.

However, Sierra's intellectual property has since changed hands from Vivendi to Activision. And Activision is not interested in continuing this licence or crafting another non-commercial agreement. Says the developers:

After talks and negotiations in the last few months between ourselves and Activision, they have reached the decision that they are not interested in granting a non-commercial licence to The Silver Lining, and have asked that we cease production and take down all related materials on our website.

As before, we must and will comply with this decision, as much as we may wish we could do otherwise.

We cannot say enough how much we appreciate the support we have had over these years from our fans. Without you, we would never have gotten this far. There would be no game to develop, and no one to develop it for. You have been amazing and steadfast, and we will always remember that and appreciate it more than we can say.

Sadly, after eight years of dedicated work and even more dedicated fans, The Silver Lining project is closing down.

What's more, the C&D requires closure of most of the forums set up to support the project's development. Phoenix Online says it is building a new, empty forum so fans brought together by the project can stay in touch.

The Silver Lining [site]


    Well, hey... thanks for punishing a fanbase that would've definitely bought any future releases related to the IP. Activision just killed the franchise for good and made themselves look like pricks to their customers. Again.

      Activision are the new EA. so biog they have lost touch with gaming and only see dollars now. i doubt i'll buy another activision game anyway for the above reasons. they are the dairy farmers of the industry.

    That's some serious douchebaggery from Activision. Sure, I they certainly have a legal right to do so. It's still a bunch of crap though, especially since Activision won't do anything with the license themselves.

    Ugh, this just sits badly with me.

    You know, I've always been on the fence about my opinion of Activision, but this has just destroyed any sliver of respect I might have still held. What a disgusting move; I HIGHLY doubt they had or have any plans to bring back King's Quest, just like Mechwarrior (sat on it until selling the license recently) and Interstate '76.

    All were some the best games of their respective genres, and a reboot of MW and I76 with modern game engines could result in some incredible action games that would sell millions.

      MechWarrior is plagued with legal problems the original mechs were stolen back in the day from another series, and nothing new can occur until the licensing is sorted out.

      This doesn't lessen Activision's poor judgement here. Why not keep a franchise alive for free. Heck let them finish it and publish the thing, gotta be better than most of the crap Activision pumps out nowdays.

    Intellectual property.. when will peopel wake up and realise no matter how desperately you want it.. you cant own an idea.

    Especially once youve made it public.

      you are right. if i owned an original idea, or any idea really... i wouldnt want anyone to do anything with it without my consent.

    Wow... great move - needlessly stomp the life out of a lovingly crafted fan project based on an IP you had no intention of ever doing anything with and probably didn't even realise you owned until just now...

    If only Activision put nearly as much effort and attention into, you know, making games...

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