Descent Games Pulled From Sale, Dev Claims It Hasn't Been Paid Royalties in Years [UPDATE]

Descent designer claims Interplay owes him "tens of thousands of dollars."

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The headline of this post has been updated to better reflect the story.

[UPDATE; January 7, 2016] Descent co-creator Matt Toschlog and his partner Mike Kulas tell Kotaku that Interplay owes them "tens of thousands of dollars" in royalties from sales of Descent and Descent II. They are now considering taking legal action.

Check out the full story at Kotaku for lots more.

The original story is below.

DRM-free PC game platform GOG.com has removed a series of Descent games amid controversy regarding royalty payments reportedly not being paid to the game's original developer.

Descent, Descent II, and Descent III: Mercenary were removed from the store on December 18. They were pulled "due to changing hands and in-flux legal agreements," a GOG representative said in a statement (via Polygon).

No Caption Provided

"We do want to apologize for not being able to give everyone more of a heads-up, and we will be doing our best to bring them back," GOG explained.

Representatives for Descent developer Parallax Software explained in their own statement that the games were yanked from GOG because rights-holder Interplay reportedly has not paid any royalties since 2007.

"We've talked to them about this numerous times over the years, and finally took action this fall," the Parallax representatives, Matt Toschlog and Mike Kulas, explained. "We served Interplay official notice that they were in breach of the contract, and when they still failed to pay we terminated the agreement."

Here's more from their statement:

"This means that Interplay has lost the right to sell the Descent games, which is why they came down from GOG. (We're not sure why they're still on Steam; they shouldn't be.)

"Interplay does, however, still own the Descent trademark, which they are free to use or license as they see fit (such as for Descent: Underground) as long as they don't violate our copyrights."

Toschlog and Kulas said they are hopeful the Descent games can be restored on GOG in the future and are open to talking with Interplay to sort things out.

Descent: Freespace Battle Pack is still available to buy on GOG.com. Interplay bought the Freespace IP as part of the THQ bankruptcy auction for just $7,500.

The first new Descent game in more than 15 years, the Interplay-licensed Descent Underground, was successfully funded on Kickstarter earlier this year. It aims to be a reinvention of the classic PC game "with a 21st century, AAA upgrade."

We'll have more details on this story as they become available.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Glowhyena

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Edited By Glowhyena

It is sad... Descent is the best 6DoF game all time.

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JustinGoSka

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I miss Descent. I remember having the awesome anniversary edition with all the extra levels. It was way ahead of its time in my opinion.

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PrickPear

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Edited By PrickPear

CDPR has enough money to buy Interplay, their staff, their entire families, and possibly their souls. This is scrap change for CDPR, so I highly doubt that they're avoiding paying royalties which mean nothing to them.... this sounds more like broke and busted ass Interplay trying to get some sugar off of CDPR..... wait nevermind, I misread that... this is one busted company beefing with another busted company, it's making sense now.

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Golden_Gonads

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@prickpear: You misread the article. GOG paid the appropriate moneys to Interplay as standard, who then did not pass on the royalties to the developers.

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Zodiac_sign

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Edited By Zodiac_sign

This is all happening after Brian Fargo left, right?

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Golden_Gonads

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@Zodiac_sign: Fargo left Interplay in 2000. So yes, after.

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SyntaxKT

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I never knew this but if you go to interplay's wiki, it seems that they are in incredibly shady company that's been through many lawsuits before. This is especially disappointing because I loved fallout 1 and 2. I also think it's pretty sad that they only finished 1k over their kickstarer goal for their descent prequel of 600k, which leads me to believe that they secretly funded a certain amount through a fake account(s) to make sure it doesn't fail.

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Mr_Mark_Legion

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this is a trip down memory lane. i remember a kid in middle school bringing it for me to borrow and was blown away by how it looked at the time.

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hvd2222

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Edited By hvd2222

they havent paid any royalties to anyone..lol

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DraconisRex

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Interplay not paying royalties. Again. It's really sad to see how far they've fallen.

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Golden_Gonads

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@DraconisRex: Its Interplay in name only. It was bought out by a couple of companies, then some shady dealing went on and Herve Caen bought the company for peanuts and sold off or shut down just about everything of value.

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Yams1980

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I think i may have played the demo very briefly because it looks familar. but i remember it being really clunky. this game any good?

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deactivated-5a0b0bf0c8fa5

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@Yams1980: It's not clunky at all, takes a lot of getting used to but when you get decent, Descent is one of the funnest games around.

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ZmanBarzel

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One thing I did notice about the pulled titles in my GOG library: while they are still downloadable, the "More" pulldown menu you get when you click on an individual title no longer includes a link to the store page and reviews. This applies not only to Descent 1-3 but also the newly-departed Duke Nukem games as well as the "Classics" versions of Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics.

(Those three Fallout games were pulled from GOG at the end of 2013; GOG even gave them away for free as a gift/celebration. When Bethesda signed a new deal and the games were returned to the service in August 2015, they were treated as different SKUs with different links/store pages. Sadly, they also had far fewer goodies than the Classics versions.)

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Thanatos2k

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Interplay is one of the worst. They've been holding several old licenses hostage even though they don't make a damn thing anymore.

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PrickPear

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No cash, no sn@tch.

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jcharp

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If the games were decent, then why did they remove them?

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TheWatcher000

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@jcharp: You win Gamespot. :)

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@jcharp: Hey-oh!

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Metallinatus

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@jcharp: If you clicked on the article, why didn't you read it?

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RogerioFM

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@metallinatus: Boy, aren't you clueless.

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ughz

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Edited By ughz

@RogerioFM: Considering descent and decent aren't homonyms, no, you're dumb. Unless you intentionally pronounce words wrong. And for that matter, dissent.

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RogerioFM

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@ughz: What? was your other comment deleted? Soooooo saaad. loool

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RogerioFM

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Edited By RogerioFM

@ughz: lol

Another clueless one.

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Metallinatus

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@RogerioFM: No, I ain't.

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PeeFarts

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@metallinatus: whoosh

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

Funnily enough, GoG has the entire Interplay catalog 60% off today. : p

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eva02langley

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By reading the headline, I was thinking GOG was not paying back the dev their due by selling their games... a little misleading gamespot... do you even read what you post before doing it...?

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jenovaschilld

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@eva02langley: That is why Eddie is the click bait troll King.

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ZmanBarzel

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@eva02langley: Not really that confusing if you know that what GOG pays to publishers aren't considered or called "royalties."

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crunchb3rry

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@eva02langley: Honestly, Eddie just posts dumb s**t, while hoping nobody from the parent company notices that he's basically just a reblogger employed as a news editor. He even had the nerve to turn Lemmy from Motorhead's death into a "gaming story."

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PS2fweak

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@eva02langley: I somewhat agree, but think about what you typed "I was thinking GOG was not paying back the dev their due by selling their games".

Sometimes we need to take responsibility for how we interpret headlines. No matter what you initially thought, once you read the article, the headline still works. No harm, no foul.

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LTJohnnyRico

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@PS2fweak: Great point !! Shame I have only just read this !!

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RogerioFM

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"Series of Descent games yanked from Witcher dev's PC game store; here's the story of what happened."

What?1 I didn't understand.

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PS2fweak

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@RogerioFM: Interplay had the exclusive rights to sell those Descent games at places like Steam and GOG. The developer is Parallax and they own the copyrights and have an agreement that guarantees them royalties. This of course goes through Interplay since they own the rights to sell. GOG doesn't handle the agreement between Interplay and Parallax, so it's up to Interplay to pay up. They haven't been doing that, so Parallax finally took action and terminated the agreement with Interplay.

*Parallax owns the copyrights for the Descent games

*Interplay had the exclusive rights to sell the Descent games and they own the Descent trademark(name).

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drumjod

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@PS2fweak: Thanks for explaining that. I don't think the original article explained it very clearly either.

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UnrealPro

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Edited By UnrealPro

Thank God I picked them up when I did...

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InYourMouf

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Edited By InYourMouf

@UnrealPro: Thank God? You bought some old games. It's not like you were miraculously saved from a catastrophic event or something.

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UnrealPro

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Edited By UnrealPro

@InYourMouf: Actually I was saved from cancer. Does that count?

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Adam802

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good thing I already own all 3 on steam. amazing game series, btw.

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BDKMat

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At first, I thought that headline said "Decent Games Removed From GOG," and I was like, "Well that sucks."

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