Posts Tagged ‘ZeniMax’

Prey’s creative director and founder of Arkane Studios, Raphael Colantonio, steps down

Raphael Colantonio, the founder and president of Arkane Studios and creative director of recent fuzzy alien basher Prey, has stepped down from the studio after 18 years. “It is time for me to step out to spend some time with my son,” he wrote in a statement, “and reflect on what is important to me and my future.” Colantonio was also the co-creative director on Dishonored, and the man who once referred to us grubby journalists as “press sneak fucks”.
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Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind unlock times announced

If you’re of a certain age and disposition, one of your main concerns might be: when can I return to Morrowind and pretend the past fifteen years never happened? Steady on there, creaky clogs. You might know The Elder Scrolls Online [official site] will launch its Morrowind expansion on Tuesday June 6th and you might have seen ZeniMax Online muttering about launch times but wait! It’s essentially already out!

As of Monday, anyone who pre-orders Morrowind can play it now. You might want to wait until the 6th for reviews, and the larger number of players which should follow those, but if you really want to party like it’s 2002 you can. Read the rest of this entry »

ZeniMax’s legal war over Oculus Rift targets Gear VR

ZeniMax, the owners of studios including Bethesda and id Software, have sent their lawyers after Samsung over the Gear VR phone cybergoggles. Following their $500 million (partial) legal victory against Rift makers Oculus, where a jury agreed that Oculus folks had broken a non-disclosure agreement with ZeniMax and infringed upon their copyright, ZeniMax are trying to halt the Rift and going after related people and businesses. Seeing as Gear VR was made in collaboration with Oculus — marketing says it’s “Powered by Oculus” — ZeniMax think Samsung are using trade ZeniMax trade secrets, and so Samsung should pay them damages and royalties. Read the rest of this entry »

Prey trademark forces Prey for the Gods name change

Prey for the Gods [official site], the crowdfunded surive-o-action game heavily inspired by Shadow of the Colossus, is now named Praey for the Gods. It’s a rubbish name but it is a trademarkable one. Developers No Matter Studios have made this change because Zenimax, the owners of Bethesda, thought Prey for the Gods was too close to their trademark for Prey. Rather than spend their limited funds on battling Zenimax’s lawyers, No Matter agreed to change the name. The Suits didn’t object to Praey for the Gods, a title close to one No Matter had originally considered anyway, so here we are. Here ends the threat of people mistakenly thinking Prey for the Gods is, I don’t know, an ultra-exclusive limited edition of Prey reserved for religious leaders. Read the rest of this entry »

Carmack sues “bad faith” Zenimax for $22.5m

GIMME QUIDS

No-one’s coming out clean from the ongoing mud brawl between Bethesda owners Zenimax and Facebook subsidiary Oculus. After a court case in which the former alleged that the latter swiped trade secrets from them in order to create the Oculus Rift, Oculus ended up being told to fork out $500m for NDA breach. There’s also been an attempt to get the Rift pulled from sale, but in the meantime, a new challenger appears.

Former id Software ultro-brain and current Oculus mega-mind John Carmack, whose move between the two firms was at the centre of the case, is suing Zenimax for $22.5 million, citing “breach of its contractual obligations” resulting from its purchase of id. He alleges that they’ve not paid him because of “sour grapes” over the other case, while in response, Zenimax deem Carmack “lacking in remorse” and “faithless.” Gentlemen, please!
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ZeniMax seek injunction shutting down Oculus SDK

Following a partial victory (and partial defeat) in their legal battle with Oculus over cybergoggles, ZeniMax are trying to shut down a load of Oculus’s software. ZeniMax are owed $500 million in total over Oculus breaking an non-disclosure agreement which gave them insight into John Carmack and ZeniMax’s work on VR, and are now seeking an injunction to shut down anything that benefitted from that knowledge. Basically, they want Oculus to stop using anything built upon that knowledge, stopping the Rift SDK and other software. That’s a big ask which could have huge consequences for Oculus, if approved. Read the rest of this entry »

Bitter Rift: Oculus has to pay $500 million to ZeniMax over VR headset, rules court

A US court has ruled that Oculus must pay $500 million to software developers ZeniMax over the VR headset they’ve developed. The jury ruled that Palmer Luckey, who co-founded Oculus, failed to abide by a non-disclosure agreement he had signed while working with ZeniMax and id Software. However, the jury also found that neither Oculus nor its founders stole trade secrets. This is all part of a very messy saga that’s been thundering on since 2014 and has seen appearances in court not only of Luckey but also John Carmack and Mark Zuckerberg.
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Doom helpers Escalation Studios join ZeniMax

Don't let Alec near SnapMap.

ZeniMax Media have bought Escalation Studios, the texan mob who most recently chipped in on the cracking new Doom. Escalation join a lineup which includes, among others, the Elder Scrolls and Fallout mob of Bethesda, the Dishonored devs Arkane, the Doomlords and Quakers at id Software, nu-Wolfenstein gang MachineGames, Evil Within devs crew Tango Gameworks, and- strewth, that’s quite a stable! ZeniMax don’t mention any particular projects but coo, I wonder what they’re up to. Read the rest of this entry »

Oculus and Facebook facing ZeniMax in trial

The legal battle between Oculus Rift owners Facebook and Bethesda parent company ZeniMax, who allege that the cybergoggles are partially built on work ZeniMax own, has reached a jury trial. Turns out, real courtroom battles are nowhere near as fun as Judge Judy or Ally McBeal would have you believe. Still, this week sees folks including Facelord Mark Zuckerberg take the stand, and some of the testimony is interesting or, at least, bantermonious. For one thing, Facebook think VR needs another 5 or 10 years to get where they want it (them ruling the cyberworld?). Read the rest of this entry »

DoomRL becomes DRL and goes open source after legal warning from ZeniMax

The creator of hell-inspired roguelike DoomRL [official site] has changed the game’s name to DRL and shared its source code with the world after receiving a legal warning from ZeniMax, the owners of the Doom trademark, late last week. The letter had demanded the removal of “all ZeniMax trademarks from meta tags, keywords, media, and other visible or concealed text that are connected to [the] website”. And that’s why the website now looks like this.
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DoomRL dev receives legal letter from ZeniMax

Fan projects based on existing games are always at risk from publishers and other trademark holders who might decide to take legal action, removing a piece of media from distribution, or taking other less punitive measures. There’s a line of thought I see circulating among game journos whenever a decent fan project starts to receive attention: “Writing about this is worthwhile because it is great, but we would be summoning the Eye of Sauron.”

DoomRL [official site], the Doom-themed roguelike, has had press attention for years now, but ZeniMax hadn’t made any legal demands in relation to the Doom trademark until late last night. Now they have, but it doesn’t look like the end of the world.

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ZeniMax Vs. Oculus: Palmer Luckey Didn’t Develop Rift

I am sorry to bring you an update on ZeniMax’s lawsuit against Oculus, a dispute over how much ZeniMax and then-id Software technowizard John Carmack contributed to the Rift’s development. I’m sorry because courtroom drama is so dry. I’d much rather tell you about how Jessica Fletcher, Phryne Fisher, or equivalent amateur sleuth uncovered evidence, how they charmed their way into a high-society dinner, pumped a suspect for details with grace, then cracked their safe with a bobby pin.

No, instead all I can tell you is ZeniMax lawyers claim that the Rift only became the technological wonder we know today thanks to work by Carmack and other ZeniMax employees, not solely by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. Heck, they say Luckey “lacked the training, expertise, resources or know-how to create commercially viable VR technology, his computer programming skills were rudimentary, and he relied on ZeniMax’s computer program code and games to demonstrate the prototype Rift.” Oof.

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Bethesda Open New Development Studio In Montreal

Fallout and Elder Scrolls folks Bethesda have opened a second development studio up north in Canada’s fair city of Montreal, they’ve announced. While their parent company ZeniMax own a smattering of other studios, from Arkane to id Software, this new joint is specifically an arm of Bethesda Game Studios. They don’t say much of interest about the studio or what it’ll do, so hey, I’ll repeat my plea to Ubisoft: let these new people go wild with those big open worlds and other assets you already have sitting on hard drives to make weird new things with them. (They won’t, I’m sure. Boo!)

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ASA Rulings: Robot Dogs, Sugar Puffs And Time Team

Yes, a GIANT ROBOT DOG.

The Advertising Standards Agency publishes rulings every Wednesday on everything from psychic hotlines to videogames. I’m incredibly fond of their rulings. I think it’s mostly because of the language the companies use to defend themselves, breaking videogame concepts down and presenting them in what’s intended to be a neutral manner.

The upheld complaints are generally less entertaining for obvious reasons – the concerns have been, in some sense, valid. But the *not upheld* complaints often have an air of the ridiculous about them. Through the formal structure of the rulings you get a sense of raised eyebrows or rolled eyes, of overblown sincerity. I’ve also learned some unexpected things, like how many sugar puffs are in a portion…

Here are some of my favourites from the last few years:

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The Zenimax And Oculus VR Lawsuit Is Moving Ahead

It’s an interesting turn of events in the life of Oculus VR. Earlier this week The New York Times confirmed that the lawsuit accusing Oculus VR of stealing trade secrets and code for the development of the headset would not be thrown out.

So what the heck is going on here, exactly? More after the jump.

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Doom 4 Reveal Will Not Leave QuakeCon, Apparently

NO DON'T LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEE, I'M NOT READY YETTTTT

So the new Doom game will emerge from its eons-long hellsleep at QuakeCon later this month. That much is known. I don’t think it was unreasonable for people to assume that any and all footage would make its way onto the Internet in short order, given that this is the year 2014. That, however, apparently isn’t the plan. Bethesda and id want to make this reveal special for QuakeCon attendees, so it’s for their eyes only. I guess that means press folks like me will just have to settle for writing about it. Yuck, writing about videogames? It’ll never catch on.

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So This Is Happening: Zenimax Sues Oculus

Given the way things have been going, I suppose this was basically inevitable. In the wake of some very serious John Carmack hardware-related allegations from ZeniMax, the Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Wolfenstein publisher has dropped a megaton legal bomb. It’s suing virtual reality kingpin (and recent Facebook acquisition) Oculus Rift for “illegally misappropriating ZeniMax trade secrets relating to virtual reality technology, and infringing ZeniMax copyrights and trademarks.” Oculus, meanwhile, continues to claim ZeniMax’s claims are entirely without merit. Claim claim claim clamber clams. Now there’s an idea. Instead of duking it out in a legal cagefight, maybe everyone should just sit down around a nice, fresh plate of clams. Talk things out nice and civil-like while loudly slurping the precious flesh meats of a lowly sea creature.

But no, this is probably gonna be terrible.

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Virtual Duality: Oculus Declares All Of Zenimax’s Claims False

Batten down the hatches and/or anything else you frequently batten down in times of crisis; we’ve got yet another titanic clash of gaming companies on our hands. Last week Bethesda/id Software parent company Zenimax claimed that virtual reality giant Oculus Rift owes it some sort of licensing deal because of the VR tech and code John Carmack developed while working for both companies. At the time, Oculus issued a curt statement essentially saying it disagreed. Now, however, it’s decided to put together a fighting word sundae of individual claims, with a few fighting words sprinkled on top.

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Zenimax Accuses Carmack Of Theft In Move To Oculus

This man? A thief and a brigand, apparently. Also an un-aging tech warlock, but that's a discussion for another day.

Today in the zany world of gaming news, John Carmack is a dirty rotten scoundrel – that is, if you subscribe to Bethesda parent company Zenimax’s side of the story. The Elder Scrolls and Fallout publisher has laid claim to Oculus-related tech/code Carmack whipped up while still under Zenimax’s umbrella at Doom dev id Software. Oculus and Carmack, of course, think it’s a load of hogwash, but that hasn’t stopped Zenimax from threatening to sue if Oculus doesn’t sign on to some sort of licensing agreement. Hoo boy.

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TESO Superstore: The Elder Scrolls Online’s Marketplace

There is no hammer time in The Elder Scrolls Online, unless you count the mashing of monster-skulls with war-mallets. If you want to sell your ill-gotten gains though, you’ll notice that there’s no auction house in Tamriel. To trade goods and equipment, players have to work within guild stores, although exchanges can now operate through a newly opened fan-created Marketplace. I quite like the idea of the guild stores, which allow members to barter with one another. Theoretically, they will prevent destabilisation of the economy by creating pockets of value and could also lead to guilds with specialised commercial outlooks. More details on the marketplace under the counter, below.

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