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. Carra says:

    I’ve already voted for it on the gog.com wishlist.

    And yes: gog.com, not direct2drive! Cheap prices in actual dollars, not pounds. No DRM, no messing around with serials. Guaranteed to work on my vista 64 bit machine. And with a great community who will be glad to point me out to the best mods for the game. Oh, no bloody restrictions either. I can only imagine d2d putting it up for their US customers only.

    Replaying the game in widescreen, that sure sounds attractive.

    • Cooper says:

      The resolution mod for Planescape is great, and it looks amazing on widescreen. Thing is, it doesn’t change the size of the font, and for a game that relies so heavily upon written text, having difficulty reading the text is not good. So you end up having to play low res anyway.

  2. Namos says:

    Own it, sits opposite the Baldur’s Gate 2 disks in my disk folder.

    I’ve never actually finished it – obsessive completionism meant I drove myself to read every bit of description text – rather wearying after a while. Also, I developed myself as a mage and found myself in a no rest zone, full of shadows, and my spells exhausted – and I wasn’t very good at managing my saves. I do remember an absurdly long fetch quest, though (Evercold Beer Stein of Styx River Water).

    I highly doubt anyone would want to release such a text heavy title in this day and age. Although if you go over to the evil console realm, there is Atlus…

  3. Sunjammer says:

    I love this game. That is all.

  4. Aphotique says:

    Ps:T was the first game that ever really made me appreciate the medium that is video gaming. I believe I played it through three times when I bought it and I’ve always had it installed on one machine or another ready to play should I feel the urge since then. It was like playing through a really well written ever evolving novel as with each play through I would notice something I hadn’t noticed before that would cause me to see things in a whole new light.

    A few years after its release, I bought 10 of the cheap bundle copies from a Wal-Mart (the ones with Soulbringer, which was pretty rubbish) and distributed them to my friends. Roughly half of them hated it, and those became my FPS mates, and the other half loved it becoming my RPG mates. I only wish I had bought more copies.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      “Soulbringer, wish was pretty rubbish”

      Glad you said thatl makes me feel less guilty for never actually installing it!

      The only two bad bits in Planescape in my view were Under Sigil; which seemed like a grind fest which I completely ignored (which was why i couldn’t access some of hte mosst powerful spells in the game) and the bloody Mmodron pitl which started out as an amusing parody before quickly becoming the very thing it was parodying.

      The rest of the game was brilliant and was a rare RPG where I felt I could rely on dialogue to solve my issues almost the whole way through and rely on my companions for the brute force.

  5. Zanthox says:

    I actually have had a copy for years… and it is perhaps my greatest shame to say I’ve never completed it…

  6. CthulhuRlyeh says:

    Wow, great timing! I’ve been playing this for the past week, Just finished Ravel’s Maze.

  7. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Well, I would buy it, anyway. Yes, Baldur’s Gate is the first of that subtype of rpg I own. It probably wasn’t released for the mac, but now I can has windows on my mac.

  8. Guto says:

    Best game of all time.

  9. AW says:

    Still playing it, had it when it came out, never finished it, read the RPS retrospective on it a year ago, got it back out and made a lot of progress, then went on vacation and that broke the spell.

    I’m going to find GOG wishlist, why doesn’t Steam have a wishlist? Every vendor pushing downloadable content needs one, there’s a ton of games that deserve a vote.

  10. drewski says:

    One of the games I’m proudest of owning and loving.

  11. Ted says:

    Can’t D2D just ask the people at GameTap? They had it on their service for a while.

  12. Archonsod says:

    I still have the original. One thing I loved about it pre-patch was the Nameless One continued to regenerate during those lengthy spell animations. I remember on some of the tougher areas deliberately wasting some of the top quality spells on nondescript beasties purely to let my health top up.

  13. AngryInternetman says:

    If I ever die, I want a copy of this game to be buried with me.

  14. Oddity says:

    It seems I’m far too dumb to use html tags properly.

  15. Blather Blob says:

    According to GameTap, it was owned by Sierra (along with BG and Icewind Dale) for the last several years, but got sold off as part of the great Blizzivision “I don’t see WOW in the title” shedding of games. They don’t say who the new owners are, just that they don’t have a deal with whoever they are.

  16. Andrew Wade says:

    I would love a chance to play this game, this legend!

    Come on, there must be a legal option beyond 50$ on ebay!

  17. Army of None says:

    I’d pay real money for this, given that when I played it, I, uh… acquired it from… completely legitimate and legal means. *cough*.

    That being said, who would the proceeds go to?

  18. autarch says:

    The part of the game where you explore the memory library is one of my favorite moments in video gaming of all time. Truly a classic.

  19. JonFitt says:

    I own it. When I last went back to Blighty I remembered to dig it out so I could play it with the hi-res mod.
    Mmmmmm, res.

  20. LintMan says:

    Wow, what a coincidence. I just started reading the Planescape Torment online novelization this past week. It’s surprisingly good and I was trying to find a copy of the game, which I have unfortunately never played. Of course, I couldn’t find it anywhere, and this article conveniently explains why. I’d buy it in an instant if it showed up on GoG or Steam.

  21. coupsan says:

    I have been waiting so fucking long to buy this game. I never had a chance to play it.

  22. bill says:

    If a game exists in total limbo, with the copyright/rights split among so many companies that none of them know who owns it, and it can’t ever be released…. should it still be protected by copyright at all?

    It essentially is abandoned. none of the owners seem to have any interest in it. Most of the people who made it have long since moved on. Maybe it’s worse than abandoned… it’s neglect.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    Surely this should be “who wants to own a re-release of Planescape Torment?” and not “who owns Planescape Torment?” … no?

    As a game re-publisher, I’d certainly be interested in how popular a title once was, but I’d be looking for people’s interest in buying it, not their status in owning it.

    • MD says:

      @ Wisq: He meant ‘owns’ as in ‘owns the rights to’. Which isn’t clear until you click the Twitter link, and certainly isn’t clear from reading most of these comments :p

      In other news, thanks to that video I’m now tempted to give P:T another go. Fuck the ‘brilliant writing’ and ‘intellectual depth’, that was hilarious.

  24. Daniel says:

    I went to the store in 2000 and saw PS:T sitting beside Icewind Dale on the shelf, not really knowing anything about either (though I’d played and loved BG1). Decided to go for IWD. Worst decision ever.

    • Vinraith says:

      IWD had the best soundtrack I’d ever encountered in a game at the time. I enjoyed the hell out of it as a game, as well, but that soundtrack stands out to this day IMO.

  25. -Spooky- says:

    @Topic

    Atari hold all licences of (A)D&D yet. – >

  26. Tomhet says:

    Oh great, now i have to replay it. Thanks so much RPS!

  27. JZ says:

    I bought the game many years ago in a branch of Dixons of all places, and it remains one of my proudest gaming processions. I think I will re-play it at the end of the year to celebrate 10 years of PS:T.

    I am still faithfully waiting for the game’s main writer Chris Avellone to scale similar heights again, though I think current industry trends means Torment’s writiness will remain one-of-a-kind.

  28. lumpi says:

    So if nobody claims ownership… doesn’t it go into public domain?

  29. Ginger Yellow says:

    One of the best things about PT is that it runs fine on netbooks. I’ve been slowly playing through it on plane and train journeys for the last few months.

  30. MD says:

    If there really is any genuine confusion as to who owns the rights:
    1) do something blatantly and publicly copyright-violatory
    2) wait for the inevitable team of rabid lawyers to hunt you down
    3) ‘take me to your leader, rabid lawyers’
    4) buy the rights
    5) ?????? sell the game to thousands upon thousands of customers
    6) profit!

  31. Barts says:

    Yay, another Planescape Torment post on RockPaperShotgun. I have actually canabalized the previous three into a lengthy post in which I am raving about the game myself .

  32. Luís Magalhães says:

    Not only do I have it, I would buy it again if it was released on GoG.
    Not on Direct 2 Drive, tough. I am weary of having my digital content spread around too many services, makes it harder to keep track of.

  33. mattwombat says:

    I kinda missed all the Black Isle games when they first arrived. I went back and purchased Fallout 2 prior to the release of FO3 and loved it.

    Then I heard about Planescape (how do you pronounce that anyway? I’ve always said Plan Escape..) and following a bunch of searches online for it I concluded that only the big box version of it was in circulation. As much as I love those big boxes though I just couldn’t justify spending 30 squid on one to get the game. Digi download would be poifect for this.

    • Jad says:

      I’m pretty sure its Plane-Scape. As in the D&D “planes” of existence, and “-scape” like in “landscape”.

    • MD says:

      Until fairly recently I thought there was a ‘t’ there — ‘Planetscape’

  34. deanimate says:

    Arrggghhhhh! I really need to play this game. Absolutely LOVED Fallout 2 and keep hearing that I would probably enjoy PT too. Must find the time! :D

  35. Lucas says:

    This summer I was trying to figure out who owned the rights to Startopia. It’s only available to download on GameTap, who still list Eidos as the publisher. My interest was in getting it open sourced or acquiring the rights to do so, but I stopped short of contacting Eidos (who are now a part of Square-Enix). I’d still love to see it be updated and get the exposure it deserves.

  36. dancingcrab says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    Then I heard about Planescape (how do you pronounce that anyway? I’ve always said Plan Escape..)

    It's definitely 'Plane-scape', as the Jad above points out. Torment is the game's title proper, however, as Planescape is more like a brand. Like how Baldur's Gate has Forgotten Realms on the box (albeit a lot small than Planescape on Torment's box).

  37. FallsFromDRM says:

    I don’t normally encourage piracy, but those of you who haven’t played it and are waiting for it to be “legitimately” released, I would suggest torrenting this right away because it will never satisfy the wait and expectation that you have built up thus ruining the game for you. Just reading all of the comments on every gamig forum about how good the game is will have already set your expectations too high.

    (And if you feel bad, just send a $20 check to Obsidian).

  38. Vando says:

    I think the issue lies with the rights to publish the game being held by one party, but the rights to use the D&D license and the rights to the Infinity Engine license are held by others (I think Interplay, Atari and Bioware, respectively). So to sell the game anywhere, Interplay would probably have to pay both Atari and EA for the privilege.

    In short: don’t hold your breath.

  39. MacQ says:

    Played it, loved it, but to play it again – no thanks. It was a good story, but less good of a game.
    And as someone already mentioned, it was pretty hard to read all that text. If they record audio for it, i’d love to give it another try. XD