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Activision To Allow  King's Quest  Fan Sequel
Activision To Allow King's Quest Fan Sequel
June 28, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

June 28, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

After some dispute, Activision has at last given the go-ahead to a long-running King's Quest fan group to release its labor of love, The Silver Lining, for free.

Phoenix Online Studios, devoted fans of the old-school Sierra adventure series to which Activision now owns the rights, have been at work on the imagined sequel for years, despite cease-and-desists from both Activision and Vivendi -- the latter, parent of Sierra, was rights-holder before Activision acquired it.

Vivendi eventually granted the fan game a non-commercial license, and now due to fan pressure in a time when it's beginning to focus more on a softer public image, Activision is doing the same, allowing The Silver Lining's first episode, What Is Decreed Must Be, to release on July 10.

"Phoenix Online Studios and Activision have worked together over the last few months to build a relationship that will enable The Silver Lining to be freely distributed to its eager fans," says the studio.

The King's Quest adventure games, of which there have been nine named installments, generally cover the adventures of King Graham and his family in fantasy-inspired lands. In The Silver Lining, players once again assume the role of Graham on a quest to save his children from a mysterious curse.

The group behind the sequel formed in 2004 and have since then been working on the ambitious fan project. Phoenix Online Studios says it's also currently at work on its first commercial project.

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Sean Parton
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@Robert Allen: Allowing this to go through can boost interest in the original or any new releases that are done (such as ports). Basically, free marketing, and also can be used to gauge interest for doing paid releases.

Jeremy Reaban
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Most big companies own a lot of old IP that was once valuable but nowdays do nothing with.

King's Quest could still have been used for adventure games, or adventure-like games, for relatively cheap in the casual game business. But I guess stuff like that is beneath most large companies.

On the other hand, you have EA, which recently turned Ultima, at one time the biggest name in Western CRPGs, and made it a browser game (an Evony clone).