Who Owns The Rights To No One Lives Forever? No One Seems To Know

When it comes to shooters, Monolith had a good run -- Blood, FEAR, Shogo, Condemned... just to name a few. Then there's No One Lives Forever with its compelling protagonist Cate Archer. So, uh, why haven't we seen a reboot, or even a re-release of the original games? It might be because no one's sure who owns the IP.

It seems like an odd situation: the rights to a game, especially one that saw a good chunk of critical and commercial success like NOLF, would be hard to misplace, surely? But as Activision social media manager Dan Amrich discovered, tracking down the franchise's owner was not an easy task... or a fruitful one.

Amrich retells his attempts to uncover the truth, as it were, in his One Of Swords podcast. Here's a snippet, courtesy of Blue's News:

The person that I normally talk to [at Activision] about this stuff does not believe that we currently [own] the rights ... that leaves the question if Activision no longer has the rights to No One Lives Forever, who does?

Monolith was the developer that handled those games, and they are now part of WB. So I thought, maybe at the time when Activision was saying 'we'll keep these, we'll leave these, we'll sell these, whatever,' maybe Monolith stepped up and took their IP back. So I contacted a friend at Monolith... and he doesn't know.

I had a quick poke around and discovered Monolith's own site lists "Fox Interactive" as the original publisher of the game -- it's possible it ended up with the rights somehow. That said, Sierra (now Activision Blizzard) was responsible for the sequel.

Kind of a shame this great IP has been misplaced. I'm sure a modern do-over would be much appreciated.

One of Swords TV: No One Lives Forever rights [One Of Swords, via Blue's News]

Image: Monolith / Activision

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    They both actually still play pretty well! Highly recommended with a few .ini changes. Good community used to be on a great site called nolfgirl which seems to have lapsed...

      Here you go: Anyone interested should check out UNITY HQ. Mods, fixes etc etc.


    I'd love to see HD remakes of NOLF1+2 (maybe even 3 as well). Some of the best FPS games of all time! The characters, story, settings, stealth mechanics and gunplay were all top quality. Cate Archer is up there with Jo Dark and a few others in terms of the respect I have for her as a video game character!

    For anyone interested (and if they do sort the above issues out), vote for a re-release of NOLF 1 + 2 on GOG: http://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/no_one_lives_forever_1_2

      Good point although it barely needs it, just go into your videocard settings, find the game profile and MAX everything out. It looks pretty damn great, even today.

      GOG would need the rights holder's permission before being able to distribute it. If those rights are as murky as this article makes out, then it will take a bit more than a petition to get it up there.

    Bring back Blood!!

      There was someone doing just that, until Atari said "No, stop that".

        See, people should just STFU until they've finished and released whatever copyright infringing project they happen to be working on. Once it's on the web, it's on the web forever!! mwaahahahaaaaaaa

    I nobody owns the rights then I patent the franchise right here and now!

    It's a shame because the games were a rare type of excellence. Contract JACK was merely mediocre, however...

    Yet if anyone starts to make their own re-make (fanbased or otherwise), "owers" will come out of the wood work like the Finding Nemo seagulls going "mineminemineminemine..."

    Simply announce a AAA release of a new NOLF game... You'll discover who owns the rights pretty damn quick then.

    Interesting story, though i'm not sure that it's misplaced so much as nobody seems to care. Even to that end, it may be in their best interest to not even inform anyone if they own it.. someone makes a game, you threaten to sue them but make an agreement where you will be the games "publisher" and take x% of the revenue.

    These games ruled, I remember NOLF2 especially used to take like four hours to load a level on my old Pentium 4 though..

    Last edited 07/04/13 8:58 pm

    Id love a modern version but let's be realistic - it'd be poisoned by the influence of meddling feminists who'd want to make the lead character less sexy, less appealing (probably because they're bitter that no man will ever marry them) and even after all of that, it would still get criticised for sexism or something retarded like that.

    Shogo HD... need it, want it.
    Now listen to it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-j94S-br9E
    ... memories...

      My memory of Shogo was it really being a better idea than it was a game. There was loads of fun to be had, but it didn't quite realise its potential. A sequel or modern reimagining could be amazing though.

    Hmm..I like NOLF2...would love to see a HD Remake of NOLF, NOLF2 and Contract J.A.C.K. again. It's seems like a mess on who owns the IP and a NOLF3 would be good because there is a lot plot lines that remain unresolved

    Last edited 08/04/13 12:25 pm

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