Blood resurrection plan halted by Atari uninterest

Former Monolith CEO Jace Hall's campaign to resurrect the studio's first game, gory FPS Blood, has been shot down by current rights-holder Atari. Hall had spoken of revamping and updating Blood, like how fans have reworked the Doom engine, not only for PC but other platforms too, and cryptically teased further plans.

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Former Monolith CEO Jace Hall's campaign to resurrect the studio's first game, gory FPS Blood, has been shot down by current rights-holder Atari. Hall had spoken of revamping and updating Blood, like how fans have reworked the Doom engine, not only for PC but other platforms as well. He cryptically teased further plans too.

"I just got an unusually short, one sentence e-mail from Atari, letting me know that given the current set of circumstances, they are choosing to decline to proceed," Hall wrote on Blood fan forum The Postmortem last Thursday (via Polygon). "Obviously, I am disappointed. Particularly given Atari's continued encouragement along with the amount of time, effort and correspondence that I have put into this venture."

Started by 3D Realms but finished and released by Monolith in 1997, Blood was famous for its violence, Lovecraftian tinge, and weird and wonderful weapons. Former cultist cowboy Caleb was armed with a flare gun, voodoo doll, sawed-off shotgun, aerosol can flamethrower, and other novel ways to reduce men and monsters to piles of parts or ash. And, as was customary for 3D Realms games of the era, he'd spout quips and pop culture references. A sequel, Blood 2: The Chosen, followed in 1998; it was not as good.

Hall first revealed his plans in August, seeking community support. "I am thinking of bringing the ORIGINAL Blood game back as it was, with functionality alterations/enhancements that are similar but superior to ZDAEMON's. I would also make it work on all platforms, and not just PC," he wrote.

"There are other things as well..." he teased.

While Hall does already have a copy of the source code himself, he stated in August that he couldn't and wouldn't release or build upon it without approval. Which isn't coming.

He concluded on Thursday, "The only thing that can be done at this point is to wait and see what happens with Atari, and hope that they find themselves in a position and mindset to allow my efforts to continue on this matter at a future date." Oh dear.

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  • reply
    February 18, 2013 8:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Blood resurrection plan halted by Atari uninterest.

    Former Monolith CEO Jace Hall's campaign to resurrect the studio's first game, gory FPS Blood, has been shot down by current rights-holder Atari. Hall had spoken of revamping and updating Blood, like how fans have reworked the Doom engine, not only for PC but other platforms too, and cryptically teased further plans.

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      February 18, 2013 8:05 AM

      Blood's a rover. Up, Former Monolith CEO Jace Hall - when the resurrecting's over, there'll be time enough for sleep.

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      February 18, 2013 8:06 AM

      why do companies hold onto rights and then do nothing with them? you'd imagine they'd be interested in resurrecting an old IP.

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        February 18, 2013 8:49 AM

        To protect the integrity of the material until such a time as it is primed for peak public re-exploration. Can't let jokes or idealists get involved.

        Now, as to why they would care enough to squash an idealist's branching of the game just to sit on Blood, a series that basically no one cares about anymore? Because I think he was talking about releasing the game for free, which might chew into their GOG residuals.

        I mean, of course the easy fix is to not give away the full game. Just release the engine update with the shareware version, and set it up so that if you want the full one, you need to copy over the .grp or point to it. But I'm sure it's just easier for Atari to say, "Naw."

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        February 18, 2013 9:35 AM

        Probably because there is often work required to make sure that all the ownership rights are ironed.

        First off, the legal team probably doesn't want to go to the trouble to give away the company's IP because they don't want to make more work for themselves and who wants to make more work for themselves if they don't have to? And even if they did, it could be that the rights to the game are all tied up and the lawyers would have to spends lots of time to go through all the original contracts and the contracts from when the original company was sold and what rights some now defunct company that did a port or a multiplayer feature or whatever might have.

        Monolith didn't hold on to the rights of most of their stuff which is why Blood, Shogo, No One Lives Forever, and their other fondly remembered games are unlikely to be remade or rebooted any time soon.

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        February 18, 2013 11:13 AM

        we need to reform compulsory license laws so they're usable more frequently and with software and other things like that. then people can make their blood game or whatever without permission and then pay the rights owner

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_license

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      February 18, 2013 8:22 AM

      Was he saying he wanted to release the source code and/or upgrade the thing as a hobby? Or release it commercially? Because if he's talking commercially, of course Atari won't be interested.

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      February 18, 2013 9:37 AM

      I wish I even knew if Monolith was still alive. Did WB kill em? Are they working on the next gen consoles? When will I be able to find out?

      They were my favorite company, now I don't even know what's going on.

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        February 18, 2013 10:25 AM

        Last I heard they were doing the normal follow-up work on their MOBA, Lord of the Rings Guardians of Middle Earth, as well as working on their next generation development pipeline.

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        February 18, 2013 6:28 PM

        They alse made Gotham City Imposters, which is fun and free.

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          February 18, 2013 10:53 PM

          Yes, but I mean bigger projects. FEAR 3 was farmed out to Day 1...I don't even know if Lith was involved, though it'd be weird if they weren't. Is Condemned 3 coming at all?

          I'm sure some of it's just stuff that can't be announced before the consoles, but it's concerning.

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      February 18, 2013 9:48 AM

      Skip blood, bring back SHOGO.

      • gmd
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        February 18, 2013 9:48 AM

        humans vs mechs was so fun

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        February 18, 2013 11:43 AM

        hell yes

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        February 18, 2013 3:26 PM

        This. So much.

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        February 18, 2013 3:46 PM

        How have they not followed up on this? Did it bomb? We played the shit out of this in my awful college apartment.

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          February 18, 2013 4:05 PM

          stars weren't aligned correctly for shogo.

          came out in that unfortunate time right between quake 2 / unreal and quake 3 / unreal tournament

          • reply
            February 18, 2013 7:35 PM

            Who owns the IP to Shogo? It's listed as self-published in Wikipedia.

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        February 19, 2013 8:40 PM

        Wrong.

        Bring back The Operative. Bring back Kate Archer.

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      February 18, 2013 10:46 AM

      Why Blood and not No One Lives Forever? Was Blood more popular?

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        February 18, 2013 11:06 AM

        By a landslide, I'm afraid. Blood was a huge success and NOLF was a huge flop. The only reason Sierra took a chance on NOLF 2 was all the critical acclaim it got, but then the sequel undersold as well.

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          February 18, 2013 11:08 AM

          Indeed. And such sad news. Sharp female lead, quirky, different, charming, plot and levels... definitely one two of a kind. :(

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            February 18, 2013 2:53 PM

            They would give Cate big tits and a male sidekick. :(

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              February 18, 2013 3:02 PM

              you mean make cate your sidekick, and be able to romance her. also turn it into a cover shooter with just kinect for controls. also you can only get cate through day one dlc

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              February 18, 2013 7:36 PM

              NOLF 1 was a masterpiece, including Cates polygon big tits (she already had a rack dude!) - see the box art and a lot of the cutscenes.

              That game was mindblowingly good.

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            February 18, 2013 7:27 PM

            It was awesome. A perfect mashup between Bond and Austin Powers. I loved it

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          February 18, 2013 11:09 AM

          Well in today's market Blood (as it was then) wouldn't do well, but NOLF would.

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        February 18, 2013 11:15 AM

        I loved NOLF and NOLF 2.

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      February 18, 2013 11:15 AM

      Nolf2 was one of the funniest games I ever played. Nolf2 was a really great game. I beat it like 10 or more times. Shogo was awesome. I remember being a beta tester for blood, that game always reminded me of Rise of the Triad which is being updated and re released also.

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      February 18, 2013 1:53 PM

      This is shitty. BLOOD was so fantastic

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      February 18, 2013 6:29 PM

      Crudux Cruo!

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      February 19, 2013 8:42 PM

      While Hall does already have a copy of the source code himself, he stated in August that he couldn't and wouldn't release or build upon it without approval. Which isn't coming.

      Goddman Atari. Jace, just let 'something' happen to the source code. Wink wink, nudge nudge.