Posts Tagged ‘ZeniMax’

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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