Author Topic: Buying Sierra.  (Read 22979 times)

TheReturnofDMD

  • Guest
Buying Sierra.
« on: August 01, 2010, 06:57:53 PM »
DELETE THREAD PLEASE
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 10:46:54 PM by TheReturnofDMD »

Offline wilco64256

  • Omnipotent Being
  • *********
  • Posts: 3978
  • Gender: Male
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2010, 07:23:14 PM »
I don't think you can just buy the rights to a brand name without having to buy the IP that comes with it.  If that were the case, someone could buy the Sierra name and then force Activision to stop distributing the old Sierra games that were branded with that name.
Weldon Hathaway

TheReturnofDMD

  • Guest
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 07:30:07 PM »
I don't think you can just buy the rights to a brand name without having to buy the IP that comes with it.  If that were the case, someone could buy the Sierra name and then force Activision to stop distributing the old Sierra games that were branded with that name.

Sure you could. You can easily divest a brand name from it's products.
For example:

Davidson & Associates owned Blizzard. They also put out the games "Mathblaster", etc.
When CUC bought D & A, they also bought another educational company called "Knowledge Adventure." They folded Davidson as a company and transferred all of it's IP's to Knowledge Adventure.
However, Davidson & Associates, Inc., still legally exists--as a name. According to legal documents I've read,
Davidson & Associates, Inc. still exists--It's d/b/a (doing business as) Blizzard.

So the name Davidson was totally separated from all of it's IPs.

A similar thing could be done with Sierra. If someone just bought the name, Activision would simply sell the name and retain their own ownership (Remember, Activision owns the Sierra name now, which technically no longer exists in actuality, only the properties and IPs do) of the IPs.

It could be done.

Offline Baggins

  • Read-Only
  • Magical Genie
  • *
  • Posts: 2554
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 06:05:23 PM »
There are actually other "Sierra" brands, its not something that can be trademarked or copyrighted specifically, since its named after a place.

Now if those other Sierra brands were to use the Half Dome symbol they would have a problem ;).
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Haids1987

  • Phoenix Groupie
  • **********
  • Posts: 7515
  • Gender: Female
    • Pinterest page
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2010, 06:07:48 PM »
Or the sweet music and twinkle: "buh buh da DAAAAA...ding...ding."
STATUS:
-Drinking water
-Checking the forum. 

Perpetually. ;D
Erica Reed is Katie Hallahan.
Leader of the "I <3 Doon" Fanclub

TheReturnofDMD

  • Guest
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 06:21:21 PM »
There are actually other "Sierra" brands, its not something that can be trademarked or copyrighted specifically, since its named after a place.

Now if those other Sierra brands were to use the Half Dome symbol they would have a problem ;).

True but wouldn't "Sierra On-Line, Inc." or "Sierra Entertainment, Inc." be brand names?

Offline Baggins

  • Read-Only
  • Magical Genie
  • *
  • Posts: 2554
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 06:23:06 PM »
That would be the company name ya.
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

TheReturnofDMD

  • Guest
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 06:32:20 PM »
That would be the company name ya.

That's what I'm talking about someone potentially acquiring--the company name and logo, without the IPs attached. Basically starting Sierra 'afresh' without the baggage attached so that at least the company name and logo are out there.

Offline Baggins

  • Read-Only
  • Magical Genie
  • *
  • Posts: 2554
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2010, 06:43:59 PM »
I don't think the company name would mean much without its original IPs...

During its last few years under Vivendi when it was still creating the occasional new IP or games for other brands, it wasn't really doing well.

Had they chosen to make new games in the IPs they were historically known for maybe things would have been different :p... Sadly I think they shunned their best selling series...?
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

TheReturnofDMD

  • Guest
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2010, 07:19:49 PM »
I don't think the company name would mean much without its original IPs...

During its last few years under Vivendi when it was still creating the occasional new IP or games for other brands, it wasn't really doing well.

Had they chosen to make new games in the IPs they were historically known for maybe things would have been different :p... Sadly I think they shunned their best selling series...?

You could invent new names and new IPs using the name.
Trying to start off the bat by resurrecting the Sierra IPs--and making them pure adventure games--will get you nowhere. Adventure games don't sell that well in today's market, and haven't for over a decade. They are a niche market today, and you can't create a company solely around little selling products and hope to be one of the ''Big Boys.''

The problem was that Vivendi gutted most of Sierra's talent and put in their people--And their people had none of the heart of Sierra's people.

Blizzard (then a subsidiary of Davidson & Associates) was acquired by CUC on the same day as Sierra, but all of their management (including the company President and co-founder) and creative minds still work there--they were given more creative freedom because they had a contract with Davidson (which was grandfathered in when they were acquired by CUC) which stipulated that they have total creative autonomy.

Sierra didn't have any such contract, and Ken Williams left Sierra as CEO literally the day the sale closed (as part of his deal with CUC), and his successor--Michael Brochu (whom he had appointed as President in charge of Sierra's day to day management in 1995)-was focused more on buying up smaller companies than on following Ken's business model.

And then Brochu's successor, David Grenewetzki, was focused on trying to save Sierra after most of it's profitability had been wiped out by the Cendant Scandal (CUC had been using Sierra's name to help illegally inflate their earnings, which crippled Sierra's own finances once the scandal broke) and had to ''tighten the belt'' by eliminating non-productive teams and groups, which included most of the adventure game groups.

My vision is for Sierra to once again be an ''empire.'' Ken himself said toward the end his vision was for Sierra to move away from adventure games, and that had he stayed on and Sierra been around today, Sierra probably wouldn't be doing adventure games at all. He proclaimed adventure games to be ''dead'' in 1996.

His dream was for Sierra to be 1/3rd Productivity software (Print Artist, Home Design software, Collier's Encyclopedia, Gardening Software), 1/3rd Educational games and software, and 1/3rd Perennial products (products which could be revamped every year like Caesar, NASCAR, Front Page Sports Football, etc.).

He also wanted to get Sierra to begin to focus on consoles and to have an intense focus on internet multiplayer gaming. If his vision had been followed--Particularly his insistence on focusing on internet MMO gaming and perennial franchises like NASCAR--Sierra would be HUGE today. I mean Sierra already in 1996 knew how to program games for a DVD drive.

I'd like to see the name back.

And, they did create two new LSL games, and both didn't do so well.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 07:31:02 PM by TheReturnofDMD »

Offline kindofdoon

  • Crystal Dragon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3807
  • Gender: Male
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2010, 07:45:59 PM »
Or the sweet music and twinkle: "buh buh da DAAAAA...ding...ding."

I cue those two "dings" with my hands every time I hear this.

Daniel Dichter, Production/PR
daniel.dichter@postudios.com

Offline Haids1987

  • Phoenix Groupie
  • **********
  • Posts: 7515
  • Gender: Female
    • Pinterest page
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 10:16:48 PM »
I tap my fingers on the table when I hear the dings too. :)
STATUS:
-Drinking water
-Checking the forum. 

Perpetually. ;D
Erica Reed is Katie Hallahan.
Leader of the "I <3 Doon" Fanclub

Offline wilco64256

  • Omnipotent Being
  • *********
  • Posts: 3978
  • Gender: Male
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2010, 11:15:30 PM »
I think the main reason adventure games don't do particularly well in the market these days is because (for the most part) they aren't very good.  The true spirit of proper adventure games has been torn into two pieces: the "action" adventure - Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, Lego Harry Potter, LittleBigPlanet, etc. and RPG's - Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, Demon's Souls (which is absolutely incredible BTW), things like that.

Think about it - what was the last real adventure game you played?  Heavy Rain came pretty close for me, but that game was so heavy (no pun intended) on QTE's that it didn't really fit into the point-and-click type of adventure game I'm thinking of.  Honestly I'd probably say that the last real adventure game (that wasn't just a remake) I played was Dreamfall.  And that game did fairly well, though not as well as it should have.

I think there's a market out there for adventure games still - a lot of the people with serious game-buying power these days are those of us who literally grew up on adventure games.  We know what a good adventure game looks and feels like and when they come along we're more than happy to grab a copy off the shelf and take it home.
Weldon Hathaway

Offline kindofdoon

  • Crystal Dragon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3807
  • Gender: Male
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2010, 11:19:00 PM »
I think the main reason adventure games don't do particularly well in the market these days is because (for the most part) they aren't very good.  The true spirit of proper adventure games has been torn into two pieces: the "action" adventure - Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, Lego Harry Potter, LittleBigPlanet, etc. and RPG's - Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, Demon's Souls (which is absolutely incredible BTW), things like that.

Woah, woah. Assassin's Creed is a great series. Though I wouldn't really classify it as an adventure game, despite the fact that it does have you travel quite a bit.

Daniel Dichter, Production/PR
daniel.dichter@postudios.com

TheReturnofDMD

  • Guest
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2010, 11:31:08 PM »
I personally think that in terms of mainstream success, Action-Adventures are the present, and the future. The earliest adventure games--Like Colossal Cave--had action and killing in them, it wasn't until Sierra came around that you couldn't really fight or kill things (And even in KQ1 and 2 you could kill things, though you were discouraged). Even in LucasArts games like the Indiana Jones adventures you could still fight characters.

I think the ''no action/violence whatsoever'' approach will only work for the cerebral gamer who is willing to spend hours solving puzzles or actually thinking---and that's a very small percentage of today's gamers.

Really Action-Adventures are a perfect marriage. I'm not a fan of pure Action games (FP Shooters), but really, outside of the Sierra adventure games, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Manhole and Myst, I've never been a big fan of pure Adventure Games either. I don't like LucasArts games really, and I've tried.

I actually love FMV games, like Phantasmagoria--I think THAT was the future--at one time. The format just needed refining, but they proved to be too costly to develop and fell off. With the technology of today, ''FMV'' or Interactive Movie games--with real actors, and with today's technology, no small screen--Could be awesome.

If Adventure Games (pure Adventure games) want to stay afloat, they should go the FMV route mixed with some action. I haven't played a good 'pure' adventure game that was released after 2001. The Longest Journey was good but didn't live up to the massive hype imo.

For now, I'll take RPGs and Action Adventure games as my modern games of choice.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 11:35:12 PM by TheReturnofDMD »

Offline wilco64256

  • Omnipotent Being
  • *********
  • Posts: 3978
  • Gender: Male
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2010, 11:42:57 PM »
I think the main reason adventure games don't do particularly well in the market these days is because (for the most part) they aren't very good.  The true spirit of proper adventure games has been torn into two pieces: the "action" adventure - Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, Lego Harry Potter, LittleBigPlanet, etc. and RPG's - Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, Demon's Souls (which is absolutely incredible BTW), things like that.

Woah, woah. Assassin's Creed is a great series. Though I wouldn't really classify it as an adventure game, despite the fact that it does have you travel quite a bit.

Oh don't get me wrong - I love all of the games mentioned here, I just don't think they qualify as "adventure" games the same way games like King's Quest or Space Quest do.
Weldon Hathaway

Offline wilco64256

  • Omnipotent Being
  • *********
  • Posts: 3978
  • Gender: Male
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2010, 11:51:16 PM »
I think the ''no action/violence whatsoever'' approach will only work for the cerebral gamer who is willing to spend hours solving puzzles or actually thinking---and that's a very small percentage of today's gamers.

Wasn't Portal basically just that, and didn't it do extremely well the year it came out?  Also take a look at how popular games like Flower and LittleBigPlanet are.  Isn't the number of levels created for LBP into the millions these days?  I think gamers are more than happy to spend hours working on puzzles and very little violence as long as the game is good enough to manage that.  I've played my share of games where violence seemed to be the creators' main goal, and honestly for me that gets old after a while.

Even in games that offer multiple paths to a goal that include either violence or puzzle-solving, many gamers will take the puzzle route if it's adequately rewarding.  The Deus Ex games are an excellent example of this.
Weldon Hathaway

Offline Baggins

  • Read-Only
  • Magical Genie
  • *
  • Posts: 2554
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2010, 08:09:00 AM »
Portal is full of action, :p... You can be injured in that game by guns, and you have a boss battle at the end.

Granted you can't directly attack the "enemies", have to find other ways to disable them.

For the most part it plays like a straight forward FPS (and was popular to that crowd because of it). It also got its big sells since because was attached to the Orange Box (Half Life II, Episode I, Episode II and Team Fortress II), for an incredible deal.

However, people are forgetting that traditional adventure games are alive and well in Tell Tale's market. Some of the best selling adventure  games in years. What makes them work and not traditional long adventure game? They broke up the long form adventure into multiple pieces, that each last 4-6 hours each.

All episodes together for each game is about equal a single adventure game of yesteryear, 20-30 hours.

Tales of Monkey Island even felt like old monkey island games (which were originally split into 4-5 chapters).

For some reason the Nancy Drew has a huge cult following... Not my cup of tea though. But they are popular, classic style myst type games.

Adventure games have been pretty popular on the Nintendo DS as well.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 08:18:18 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline kindofdoon

  • Crystal Dragon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3807
  • Gender: Male
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2010, 03:11:18 PM »
I personally think that in terms of mainstream success, Action-Adventures are the present, and the future. The earliest adventure games--Like Colossal Cave--had action and killing in them, it wasn't until Sierra came around that you couldn't really fight or kill things (And even in KQ1 and 2 you could kill things, though you were discouraged). Even in LucasArts games like the Indiana Jones adventures you could still fight characters.

I think the ''no action/violence whatsoever'' approach will only work for the cerebral gamer who is willing to spend hours solving puzzles or actually thinking---and that's a very small percentage of today's gamers.

Really Action-Adventures are a perfect marriage. I'm not a fan of pure Action games (FP Shooters), but really, outside of the Sierra adventure games, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Manhole and Myst, I've never been a big fan of pure Adventure Games either. I don't like LucasArts games really, and I've tried.

I actually love FMV games, like Phantasmagoria--I think THAT was the future--at one time. The format just needed refining, but they proved to be too costly to develop and fell off. With the technology of today, ''FMV'' or Interactive Movie games--with real actors, and with today's technology, no small screen--Could be awesome.

If Adventure Games (pure Adventure games) want to stay afloat, they should go the FMV route mixed with some action. I haven't played a good 'pure' adventure game that was released after 2001. The Longest Journey was good but didn't live up to the massive hype imo.

For now, I'll take RPGs and Action Adventure games as my modern games of choice.

You've made a good argument here, though I personally don't like FMV games. Games without combat/action do feel a bit flat to me, and games that are just action craziness (CounterStrike, for example) are unplayable to me.

I recall that in "The Making of The Silver Lining" video, they alluded to a "full magic system" and "boss battles". I don't really see how either of these could be implemented without some action, so I think we'll see both action and adventure in TSL.

Daniel Dichter, Production/PR
daniel.dichter@postudios.com

Offline B'rrr

  • Phoenix Groupie
  • **********
  • Posts: 11058
  • Gender: Male
Re: Buying Sierra.
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2010, 03:20:12 PM »
you could argue that the end of KQ3 was a boss battle aswell  ::)
~Mary Jane supporter~
~Legend~