Who Owns Planescape Torment?

By Jim Rossignol on September 28th, 2009 at 6:57 pm.


And by “own” I mean the publishing rights. Come on, fess up. You need to tell Direct2Drive, or perhaps GoG.com. (Via Blues.) Then the mighty classic can be re-released. More important information below.

Why Planescape Torment should be re-released:

Best.

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136 Comments »

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  1. Gremmi says:

    I have a copy.

    They can take it from my cold dead hands.

  2. Jacques says:

    I wish they had some of those crazy spells in NwN.

  3. Knight Of Cydonia says:

    I have it. Piss off if you think I’m going to buy it again though. It’s the only reason I keep a Windows 2000 Pentium 3 around.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Why? I have it running on Windows 7, with resolution & widescreen mods + fixpack. Looks and runs like a charm.

  4. Pags says:

    Jim Rossignol: Didn’t know there was talking to be done. Used a multi-dimensional cannon on everything.

    • Azhrarn says:

      My personal favourite would be meteor storm bombardment, which is about as subtle. =)

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Planescape: Torment- the only western RPG to rival Final Fantasy for spell animations?

  5. Sprint says:

    There are so many reasons to re-release Planescape but surely Morte takes the lead?

  6. Dreamhacker says:

    I remember seeing this in a store and not buying it.

    I also remember a lifetime of regret.

  7. Okami says:

    I loved how that mighty steampunkmagicdimensionpiercingultrocannon only dealt 64 damage.

    • Premium User Badge

      Kelron says:

      It was made in the days before it was necessary to assign arbitrarily high numbers to everything to give the player a feeling of achievement.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      To be fair, this was a game where Cloudkill was a wide-area instadeath spell until you where about 2/3s of the way through.

  8. TNO says:

    I bet it’s Bethesda.

    Be VERY afraid.

    • Noc says:

      Honestly, I’m more frightened of it being Bioware at this point. I do not want the greasy, lecherous fingers of their current marketing department molesting poor little Plansecape.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      Just what would the Annah trailer be like?!

    • Nick says:

      Couldn’t be any worse than the original annah advertisment to be fair.

    • Nerd Rage says:

      Maybe the reason nobody can find out is because the IP is held up in court as Interplay and Bethesda argue over the “penalties” for Interplay allegedly defaulting on their Fallout agreement.

  9. Acosta says:

    I have it, but I would buy a digital copy from GoG (D2D can go to hell until they offer service to us, dirty continentals).

  10. Jonas says:

    I keep my copy in a vault, buried in rock, protected by proximity mines and laser grids hooked up to nerve gas emitters. If I thought any of the money would actually go to the original developers (even though they no longer exist as a company), I would buy it again. And maybe one more time after that.

  11. Grawl says:

    I have an Interplay box with Fallout 2, Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment.

  12. Po0py says:

    It’s on ebay but it’s way, way overpriced. Also, being one of the games that you hear a lot of people say very nice things about, I’d like to think some of the developers would get some of my money for it. After recently hearing that the devs of Vampire: Bloodlines don’t receive a penny for their efforts I happily picked up a copy for £3.50 at CEX the other day. Such a shame that all these talented devs can get fucked around so much when a company goes bust.

  13. Magnus says:

    I’d only want to see it from GOG, since they’ll make sure it’ll work on newer systems.

    Surely Atari should know who owns the rights, since they published it (as well as the Baldur’s Gate games) in Europe.

    I missed out on it, and will forever regret that, unless I can get a copy…

  14. Brett says:

    If you read the forums over at GoG apparently the main issue holding up the re-release is that the “license” to the game is owned by several companies, and getting them all to play nicely is an effort in patience.

    I know they want to get it done, it’s like the 2nd most popular “wanted” game after system shock over there. It’s just the people involved seem…difficult…to deal with.

    I also think there’s some issue with it being based on old editions of the planescape rule set, but that could just be happenstance in the whole thing.

    • Nick says:

      I thought they had killed off the Planescape setting?

    • BigJonno says:

      They kinda-sorta killed it. The Planescape name went the way of the dodo alongside AD&D 2nd edition, but the actual setting rolled forward with 3rd edition as it was the official version of the D&D cosmos. Now that 4th edition has come along and bastardised everything, I’m not sure where it stands, but a lot of the creatures and concepts are still around in some form or another.

    • damien says:

      didn’t kill off planescape, just gutted it when they made 4th ed. changes to the alignment system (from 9 to 5.)

      last i heard, the planes still existed, but not in the way we knew and loved them.

    • Vinraith says:

      Planescape itself was a bastardization of first edition’s outer planes material, though, altered in large part to avoid offending the religious types. They can have my first edition Manual of the Planes when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    • BigJonno says:

      Yeah, the whole concept dates back to AD&D, but I’d consider Planescape more “let’s craft an interesting and unique setting from the material we have” than a bastardisation. Though the 1st ed stuff was lovely, in a somewhat crude and beardy manner.

  15. Pace says:

    How about System Shock 2? That should get released somewhere.

    (Magnus; I wish my name was Magnus. I’d be so much cooler.)

    • Will Tomas says:

      Do you though? Then everyone would call you Maggie…

    • Magnus says:

      Now I feel special!

      But I am only Magnus through the power of the interwebs… far more common first name in real life, hence the need for an alias.

    • Pace says:

      Magnus Ver Magnusson is the coolest name ever. I doubt anybody ever called him Maggy.

  16. Roosterfeet says:

    Don’t forget the resolution mod referenced in the “related stories” section. Just saying…

  17. Mosh says:

    I carried a copy around half the world as it’s one of the few games that’ll run unhindered on my clanky old laptop. Wish my netbook would handle it, but without the CD drive and with weird screen dimensions it’s a no-goer!

  18. Ian says:

    I have a copy but, erm, *cough*, haven’t played it.

    Wanted to try to get the HD (or at least more up to date UI, whatever it is) mod installed amongst other things but couldn’t get the blessed thing working. I’ll soon try again before just getting it to whatever working state I can.

  19. Patrick says:

    This is probably a good time to plug the UI overhaul mod:
    http://www.spellholdstudios.net/ie/ghostdogs-pst-ui
    It’s a good bit improved over the simple widescreen mod from a year or two ago. The menus, and loading screens are all handled correctly now.

    Torment’s lead developer Chris Avellone has a new game coming out next month: Alpha Protocol. Not quite in the same boat, but I’m hoping that it has its own merits.

    • Garg says:

      Read a rumour that Alpha Protocol may have been delayed to next year :(. Share your hopes of it being good though.

    • Ansob. says:

      It’s delayed to June 2010 in order to make it not suck, which knowing Obsidian probably means it’s currently feature-locked but a mountain of bugs. That they’re fixing this is good.

    • Patrick says:

      Crap, you’re right. I stay off the Obsidian forums for two weeks and they delay the game for 8 months.

    • Naurgul says:

      Better yet, let’s plug this set of instructions to install Planescape Torment with all the good mods.

  20. Lamalo says:

    I remember my first(and only) time in the US, my first priority was finding a store to buy this game.

    That was the only good thing out of that vacation, ’cause honestly, who cares my brother got married.

  21. blah says:

    I remember seeing five NRFB copies at a computer fair years ago (before they turned into mobile phones and console fairs… like PC World…) going for £10 each. I should have bought them all up and put them on ebay, damn.

  22. Duncan says:

    I swear it used to be available on GameTap. Where’d it go?

    • Kanamit says:

      It definitely was. If Gametap could get the rights to it GoG or D2D should be able to as well.

    • Geoff says:

      Yes, I played it for about an hour on Gametap, back in 2006. Cancelled Gametap a few months later, but left a mental note to go back and get Planescape.

      I agree it’s strange that the rights question would be more complicated three years later…

  23. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I loved that cannon.

    I have a double pack thingamybob with . . . err . . I think it was called Soulbringer or something. Whatever it was I’ve never played it. I don’t know whether I should have or not but I doubt it will be as good as Planescape.

    Beyond a shadow of a doubt my favourite RPG out of the few that i’ve played.

  24. CogDissident says:

    Keep in mind, there is currently a project that allows you to mod planescape torment to run on up to 1600×1200 resolutions as well (which makes the game immensely prettier, actually, because you get to see more of the beautiful landscapes at once). And another set of mods that correct all the dialog in the game and trim some of the nonsensical conversation trees (well, the ones that arn’t “supposed” to be nonsensical).

  25. sfury says:

    Best indeed.

  26. Klaus says:

    7000 xp! Holy shit!
    I’ve never finished this, I always get bored at the very beginning. And I dislike Morte.

  27. Daniel says:

    I too had the experience of seeing it in a bargain bin one day and walking away. I’m still upset about that particular decision.

    Find a way to bring it back!

  28. Martin Coxall says:

    What PS:T needs is a Special Edition release. It would consist of PS:T, bug-fixed, with a shiny new UI and packed in with a version of the Hi-res mod.

    Replaying PS:T in 1900×1200 was one of the simple joys of my existence, but the UI needs to be redone to work just as well at the same resolution.

  29. spinks says:

    I still have my old copy, in its box. <3

  30. ilves says:

    Yea, the awesomeness:damage ratio of that spell was really high. 64 is really not that much. Planescape is game that requires patience early on until it gets good. The mortuary and the first few hours are a little draggy, but it gets better.

  31. ilves says:

    also, for some reason I can’t get the widescreen mods to work on my XP system for any of the games (PS:T, Baldurs 1 or 2). very annoying

  32. Vinraith says:

    I sold mine for VERY good money last year, figuring that it would show up on the direct download services soon and crash the market. My timing wasn’t perfect, but it sounds like it may have been good enough. I didn’t much care for it as a game, but it worked out to be a halfway decent investment.

    • Subject 706 says:

      “I didn’t much care for it as a game”

      BURN THE HERETIC!

    • Vinraith says:

      And that, right there, is why I consider Planescape: Torment the single most overrated game in the history of the medium.

    • Voice of the Majority says:

      You can’t squeeze the cold bits to your chest when they pry it from your cold dead fingers. On the other hand, I have the box, which is an entirely different story.

    • Caleb says:

      “Vinraith says:
      September 28, 2009 at 8:43 pm

      And that, right there, is why I consider Planescape: Torment the single most overrated game in the history of the medium.”

      MAIM! KILL! BURN!
      MAIM! KILL! BURN!

    • Wooly says:

      Obviously, you sir, have not heard of “Final Fantasy 7″ if you are calling PST the most overrated game ever.

    • Spoon says:

      I love the game to death. This and the two first Fallouts always find their way on any laptop I own. That said, I agree with Vinraith on it being way overrated. It seems like as more and more RPGs have gone cross platform, the die hards and the codex trolls put this game on a higher and higher pedestal.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wooly

      You may be right. I recoil reflexively from JRPG’s, so I don’t consider myself objectively capable of assessing their quality. Planescape, on the other hand, is very much of a genre I enjoy, I just didn’t think it was very good. It’s got brilliant environment design and I’m told the plot is marvelous, but the mechanics and gameplay just didn’t work for me at all, and neither did the characters (at least those you start with). I’ve tried over a dozen times to play through the thing, but I always sputtered out after a few hours. It’s a matter of taste, obviously, but the near universal praise still trips a “WTF is with you people?” kind of reflex in my head to this day.

  33. Axiin says:

    I have a copy, I’ve kept all my old PC games, even ones I know I’ll never play again.

    For example: 7th guest, It was the first PC game I owned, spooky as hell for a 12 year old. I never beat it but man I STILL hear that music in my head at times!
    Rebel Assault, Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis, Battlechess etc. you get the idea.

    Of course I had to keep planescape!

    The funny thing is when I first picked it up, I never really got all that into it. I was really confused by it. I picked it up again like two or three years ago and finally understood why there was all this love about it.

  34. Rei Onryou says:

    I bought mine last year/earlier this year from eBay for very extortionate (but well worth it) amounts. Around £30-35. But its old-school-cardboard-boxed-mint-conditioned-awesomesauce. Still only played the first section, but its a good first section. I’ve only got it on my EEE atm for travel playing, but haven’t done any travelling.

    At least I own it. And yes, I’d buy it again on Steam/GoG if reasonably priced.

  35. skyturnedred says:

    I have the box. I have the manual. I don’t have the cds.

    My own fault, I borrowed it to my cousin about 6-7 years ago, never saw it again. And I never got to finish the game either, so I would buy it from GoG asap.

  36. CJohnson03 says:

    This game works fantastically on XP, with all the patches and upgrades and mods installed. Running it right now at 1280×1024, looks pretty decent actually. Looks way better than a game from 1999 has any right to look.

    • CJohnson03 says:

      Fourth playthrough in the last few years, by the way. THIS is how you make a game.

  37. Mesmertron says:

    If no one knows who owns the rights anymore, then I hereby declare that I own them and I challenge Atari, Interplay, or any other ‘interested parties’ to prove otherwise.

  38. negativedge says:

    I have this game but I haven’t played it because it sucks

    die planescape

  39. JamesOf83 says:

    Love Planescape Torment. Easily in my Top 5 games of all time. Yet oddly, I’ve only ever played it once. I loved that I could shun most of the combat and use lovely, well crafted, witty words to win the day.

  40. Horatius says:

    Planescape has held a #2 position on the GOG ‘Wishlist’ for a looooooong time now, just behind System Shock 2.

    http://www.gog.com/en/wanted/

  41. Heliocentric says:

    I first got Planescape in a pound shop in a double pack with some awful interplay 3d but isometric rpg.

    I also got messiah+sac together and kabuto+evolva, £3 well spent.

    • Earl_of_Josh says:

      Actually, I bought the original game probably a year after it had been released (boxed copy, had the box for forever, until the moving life of a student made it disappear. Along with a bunch of my socks.)

      But anyway, I raved about the game so much to my friend he made me lend it to him. However, by the time he finished playing it, the disks were too scratched to play anymore. He felt so bad that he bought me the same double pack thing I think you got (which I still have and is in working condition!) I think the other game it was bundled with was Spellforce? Whatever it was, it stood no chance. Why would I play Spellforce when I could play PS:T which was RIGHT THERE??

  42. Caleb says:

    I have one too and i’m not going to let it leave my domain. EVER.

    And besides, if it’s Bethesda, i’d cheer. They actually have some brains and some love for this stuff, and let Horse Armor DLC bygones be bygones. I’d rather fear Electronic Arts getting their sweaty greedy paws on it.

    Now that I think of it, I want Torment remade with the Oblivion engine.
    Sweetness.
    And awesomeness.

  43. Premium User Badge

    James G says:

    I have a boxed copy, brought on eBay a couple of years back for £15.30. I was quite fortunate in that about six copies went up for sale at once, so it was a lot cheaper than it usually is.

  44. dancingcrab says:

    I bought it back in the day, when I used to buy games from actual high street shops as a teen in the late nineties. Still got it, although right now it’s with my entire collection on a boat somewhere, as I’ve just moved from the UK to the USA. Thinking about it makes me sweat about the thought of it sinking or being dropped or something. That container also have System Shock and SS2 in it, as well as all the Ultimas (well, U1-6 Series, UW1/2 Compilation, Savage Empire and Martian Dreams, Ultima 7/Serpent Isle, Ultima 8, Ultima 9, and that rubbish Ultima Collection boxset), plus every other Black Isle game (I love the original Falout manuals).

    Torment is amazing. I would probably buy it again on GOG as a transferable back up of the optical media, but I don’t think I’d bother with Steam or D2D.

  45. jsutcliffe says:

    I never finished Torment — I got stuck in an area with too few healing materials to survive and no way to exit to a safer area to collect my thoughts. Naturally, I’d managed to fail to make a save point before I’d gone into that location, too.

    I tried it again a few years ago but couldn’t get back into it again. If I can find my copy (or a new one) I might try it again — I didn’t know there were mods to let you play it at a higher resolution.

  46. Miker says:

    I didn’t start PC gaming until after the golden age of D&D RPGs, so I’m eagerly awaiting a digital distribution release of some old Bioware and Black Isle games.

  47. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    Well, I think I’ve already told GOG that I want Planescape: Torment, along with some others, such as System Shock 2 (got a copy elsewhere) and Blade Runner.

    If they haven’t got it yet with it being number 2 on the most wished for list, I doubt they ever will get it. I’m sure they aren’t just sitting on the wish list information.

  48. Tom says:

    I have it. I keep a completely modded version on my harddrive, no need to install that 4-cd behemoth anymore. Still have to sit down to play it seriously though. And I also bought it second hand for a mere €10.

  49. bhlaab says:

    Forget system shock 2, when is GoG going to put out system shock 1?

  50. Cosmosium says:

    Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale 1 & 2 were all removed from Gametap this summer due to rights issues. Whoever owns the rights is leaving money on the table. Ptosh.

    -g