Blood franchise could be revived with crowdfunding support

IP rights would need to be taken care of first.

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Blood was an interesting first person shooter for developer Monolith back in 1997. Now, the man behind the game is wondering if the franchise could be revived, with the right team and crowdfunding.

Jace Hall, who founded Monolith in 1994, pondered the idea of bringing the franchise back to life after finding a mockup of the game box for the original. Unfortunately, the IP is now in a somewhat convoluted state. Monolith sold the rights to both games to publisher GT Interactive, who was later bought out by Infogrames, and then renamed Atari. Atari has gone through numerous revamps and reorganizations with parts bought and sold at various times. Monoloth itself was purchased by Warner Bros. Entertainment in 2004. Hall said he thinks the trademark and IP are still with Monolith, but "the truth is that the rights status and the entire history are a bit complex and basically there are around 3 people on Earth who truly understand that complexity, none of which are currently at Atari or WB." 

So what does he envision for a crowdfunding campaign for the game? Since anyone starting the campaign would not have the rights, they would not be able to even use any assets to create a proof of concept for a proper crowdfunding push. Hall said the crowdfunding would need to start with a "Stage 1" effort to clear up the IP rights, and then find the right developer to begin the basics for a remake of Blood using state of the art technology.

"Essentially a flawless 'remastering' of Blood with an absolute focus on getting it to play and 'feel' exactly like the original," Hall told Shacknews. "Same story, same everything. So - a proof of concept is not necessary in this type of circumstance, and a lot of cost reduction can take place for the first effort because what you are making is already clearly defined."

If the interest was there and enough money was raised, Hall feels that "something could be worked out with everyone. I think I am in a unique position to help facilitate that conversation." 

Hall said he is too busy to spearhead any crowdfunding effort on his own at the moment. He is currently president of HD Films, and recently signed on with ex-NBA player Rick Fox as CEO of Echo Fox, an eSports team. He also is curator of the Twin Galaxies site. "I simply do not have the time to run a crowdfunding campaign. Someone else in the universe will need to take the lead and initiative."  

The game was rather popular when released, starting as shareware, but later becoming a full release. The game even prompted a Blood 2 sequel. To this day, the community is still making levels for the game, something that Hall is well aware of. He said he would love to see the community involved in any remaster, but in the end it wouldn't be his call. "Whomever led that process would be in the driver's seat and making those decisions," he said. "While I would love to see the community as involved as possible, all I can really do is help to provide guidance and access to key assets."

In the end, it all comes down to whether there is enough interest in bringing the franchise back to life. "Blood is the title that I constantly receive messages about. It's that simple," he said when asked why Blood and not other Monolith titles like No One Lives Forever or F.E.A.R. "So I am willing to step forward and help a community effort, if it is large enough. Unfortunately I don't have enough time to personally drive this one forward, but if a well-funded effort emerges from somewhere to make Blood a reality, I will help as I uniquely can."

 

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 6, 2016 7:15 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Blood franchise could be revived with crowdfunding support

    • reply
      June 6, 2016 7:19 AM

      Wow, what non-news. "We don't know who the IP holders are or how much it would cost but if someone made a Kickstarter which was successful maybe we could get it back but I'm not doing it because I'm too busy but if someone else did it I'd be okay with that."

      • reply
        June 6, 2016 7:53 AM

        Aren't the rights to NOLF tied up in a similar cluster-fuck? I feel bad for Monolith - all the games I want them to re-release, reboot or revisit are tied up in legal quagmires.

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          June 6, 2016 8:53 AM

          NOLF publishing rights are probably owned by Fox (it was published by Fox Interactive, which has since been dissolved by Fox). And Monolith is now owned by Warner Brothers.

          Good luck getting Fox and WB to collaborate to make money for each other.

          • reply
            June 6, 2016 8:56 AM

            Fox Interactive was bought by Vivendi then shuttered. So maybe Activision/Blizzard would have to play nice with WB. Also not likely to happen.

            But... System Shock 2 got rescued, and it was tied up between EA and whoever ended up owning the corpse of Looking Glass for a long time.

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        June 6, 2016 8:13 AM

        I disagree; this is an interesting case of IP ownership that's bound to come up more often as crowdfunding games becomes more prevalent.

        • rms
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          June 6, 2016 10:10 AM

          Jace has put this forward before, but without him spearheading it, will likely again come to nothing. If the wonderful Rick Fox can bankroll his other gaming venture, why not this one? Setting himself up as the hands-off middleman, who has all the 'assets' but wants none of the responsibility, is very irritating to hear.