Vancouver’s Liquid Media acquires rights to 65 classic Acclaim video game titles

#1
https://www.geekwire.com/2018/vanco...ssic-video-game-titles-opening-door-revivals/
Vancouver, B.C.-based production studio Liquid Media Group has announced that it has acquired 65 video game properties, many of which are long-abandoned favorites from the 1980s and ’90s, from Toronto-based Throwback Entertainment.

Acquiring the rights and interest in the games means Liquid Media may potentially be involved with the production of reissues, remakes, or sequels to these properties, including classic franchises such as Bust A Move, Bubble Bobble, Kwirk, and NBA Jam.

“Retro gaming is driving incredible success for the world’s largest players, like Sony and Nintendo,” said Charles Brezer, Liquid Media’s director, in a statement issued on Tuesday. “This title acquisition along with our studios’ proven 25+ year track record kicks off Liquid’s growth strategy.”

Recent releases of repackaged classic games, such as the NES Classic and SNES Classic, have proved to be sales successes in the United States, with the NES Classic in particular outselling all other entertainment hardware platforms in June of 2018. Liquid Media’s acquisition comes after last week’s announcement at the Tokyo Game Show of Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation Classic, which promises to open a new, retroactive chapter in the 1990s console wars.

Update, Friday, 11:00 a.m. PT: Liquid Media has clarified, through its CFO Daniel Cruz, that it now holds the rights to the specific stock-keeping units (SKUs) of titles that were formerly owned by Throwback and previously Acclaim. For example, Acclaim published the 1996 PC port of Bubble Bobble, and the rights to that specific version of the game have now passed to Liquid, while the overall franchise rights still remain with the original creator Taito.
 
#2
Yeah I was wondering about the Bubble Bobble bit, the update clarified it being just that one release and not the IP.

What about Wizards & Warriors though? That was passed to Throwback IIRC. It was one of the only actual Rareware creations that didn't end up in theirs, Nintendo's, or MS's hands. Personally Nintendo should've grabbed it when it must've been worth "pennies". David Wise even had a remix of its theme on his website, but it appears to be gone now.
 
#6
Yeah I was wondering about the Bubble Bobble bit, the update clarified it being just that one release and not the IP.

What about Wizards & Warriors though? That was passed to Throwback IIRC. It was one of the only actual Rareware creations that didn't end up in theirs, Nintendo's, or MS's hands. Personally Nintendo should've grabbed it when it must've been worth "pennies". David Wise even had a remix of its theme on his website, but it appears to be gone now.

 
#7
Is this a money-laundering play? They don't own the games, just the publishing rights to specific ports that won't ever come back.
 
#10
Oh, so Rare did retain the IP. Guess it was a similar "that specific release" like with Bubble Bobble. Thanks for the info! :)

Edit: Or it's the literal other way around... huh?! O_o
Think of it like Wonder Boy, where Sega owned certain trademarks pertaining to names and characters but the games themselves were owned by the original developer and could be re-released on various platforms by just tweaking the characters and changing the name.

That's pretty similar to what's happened here--Liquid Media bought the publishing rights to a whole bunch of ports but that doesn't give them the IP, nor does it necessarily give them the copyrights to any or every port, so they still have to license them from whoever owns them (as well as pay the licenses for sporting leagues, characters, etc) and if those owners tell them to fuck off there's not a lot they can do about it. There are quite a few impressive names in the list but there's also a reason why they got 65 titles for $1m, they don't actually amount to much.
 

Krejlooc

Dreamcast Porno Party
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#11
Here's to hoping this leads to a new NBA Jam, or rereleases of the old games. But that could be a nightmare licensing wise?
This does not include the licenses for the NBA Jam games you are thinking of. They have obtained the rights to very specific NBA Jam titles, ones you definitely don't care about. Specifically:

NBA Jam 1999
NBA Jam 2000
NBA Jam 2001
NBA Jam 2002
NBA Jam Extreme

Reminder: Around 1996, Acclaim acquired the rights to the trademark NBA Jam while Midway kept the rights to the game code. Hence why the REAL NBA Jam series changed names, to NBA Showtime and NBA Hangtime. Meanwhile Acclaim started pumping out straight garbage.

The NBA Jam games you want, are a legal mess of ownership rights between Warner Bros an EA.
 
#14
This does not include the licenses for the NBA Jam games you are thinking of. They have obtained the rights to very specific NBA Jam titles, ones you definitely don't care about. Specifically:

NBA Jam 1999
NBA Jam 2000
NBA Jam 2001
NBA Jam 2002
NBA Jam Extreme

Reminder: Around 1996, Acclaim acquired the rights to the trademark NBA Jam while Midway kept the rights to the game code. Hence why the REAL NBA Jam series changed names, to NBA Showtime and NBA Hangtime. Meanwhile Acclaim started pumping out straight garbage.

The NBA Jam games you want, are a legal mess of ownership rights between Warner Bros an EA.
I see, well then I was partly right. It's a mess but not in the sense I thought.
 
#18
Why wouldn't the ports come back?
Because Liquid Media doesn't actually own most of the games and would still have to cut a deal with the companies that do own them in order to reissue them, and those companies aren't going to play ball, not least of all because a lot of the ports they bought are crap.
 
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