what I understand, id didn't shut down the project, but rather,
made it somewhat difficult to continue its original development
plan. Could you elaborate?
is the part that virtually no one, outside of the Generations
team and id Software, understands. Between my explanation of the
current state of Generations and Todd H.'s explanation of the
legal restrictions, I came to realize that the current version
of Generations--as well as virtually every public version we've
released--was rather illegal to distribute freely. The biggest
concerns were direct map conversions, use of files extracted from
the original games (which constituted virtually all of our Quake
I adaptations), and use of the trademarked and copyrighted names.
The first two would require the removal of all troublesome items,
with legally acceptable replacements created from scratch--no
small task, and a huge setback for a Quake2 mod, especially with
Quake3Arena looming so close on the horizon. The trademark and
copyright use, however, was something we would have trouble removing.
After all, how does Generations unite Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake,
and Quake II, if we cannot use any of those terms?
made no ultimatum, made no recommendations, and certainly did
not fox the project. However, they had to make the restrictions
known. These restrictions were not so much their choice as their
legal responsibility. Quake II and Wolfenstein were published
by Activision; Quake and Doom were published by GT Interactive.
If we used files from the previous games in a Quake II mod--items
that the publishers were contractually given exclusive distribution
rights to--and put them in a Quake II mod freely available for
download, then id Software could find itself sued by its publishers.
As for the trademarks and copyrights, id has a legal responsibility
to protect them, or they risk losing them. Although using such
terms to reference the original games is acceptable, using them
to refer specifically to features in one's own work is not. Thus,
with the Quake2:Generations mod, we could not call our classes
"Quake Guy", "Doom Marine", "B.J. Blazcowicz", and so on. id was
forced into their decision; we had some choices for ours. We could
take the time to make the necessary changes, and remove all direct
reference to the trademarks from the game. However, this posed
two problems; one, the team would be faced with the daunting task
of recreating the necessary work from scratch, and two, removal
of the names of the original games removed Generations from its
original purpose. The other choice was to simply quit, remove
the current Generations files, and end the Quake2 mod project.
After discussing the alternatives with the team, the decision
was universal. So, Monday afternoon, June 16, the Quake2:Generations
project officially ended.
the question may be a bit personal, is there any bad blood or
bitter feelings between the Generations team and id Software,
or was the mod's dissolution done on good terms with them?
I can't say
I'm bitter at all towards id. In fact, in the current backlash
against them, I am one of their biggest supporters. I understand
their legal situation fully, and I know that they have no other
choice. The decision to end the project was ours, not theirs.
Todd H. liked the idea, but he had to make us play by the rules.
Most of all,
I keep in mind that this started by my email, asking for clarification
of the legal situation. Even then, I knew the risk existed that
we were working in violation, and that we might have to stop.
But I accepted that, and I did not want the project to continue
if we were violating id's legal rights and responsibilities.
what I've seen, a tremendous portion of fan reaction has been
negative - fans have all been expressing their anger towards what
has happened, and have even spoke of boycotting id altogether.
What is your response to this?
do I have to say to them? Stop. Slow down. Go back and read the
final news post--especially if you never even read it in the first
place. If you only read the beginning, read it through this time.
Listen to me, and listen to id Software. They're not trying to
cover their tracks, and they're certainly not trying to find a
scapegoat. In this case, many of you have made THEM the scapegoat.
Like it or
not, id Software is a corporation. As much as the people of id
may like the idea of a tribute to them, id itself has to protect
its rights. If something is brought to their attention that is
in clear violation of their legal responsibilities, they must
Most of all,
please keep in mind that the decision to end the project was ours,
not id's. We cared about this mod more than anyone. If we are
not mad, not yelling, not anti-id... why should you be? Please,
don't let your emotions cloud your judgment. Take a couple of
days off of this issue, and give it some thought. Understand id's
viewpoint, and our viewpoint, before you start pointing fingers
and waving accusations.
the final period of Generations, many fans openly voiced their
support for the mod, even creating support buttons in an attempt
to save it. Was there any hope, or were the coming events already
clear to you?
these efforts early on, but I warned all groups not to take any
action until I received final word from id on our legal situation.
I didn't want any "Save Generations" efforts to swing into action
if there was no way we could be saved.
first email, I knew we were in trouble. I spent that weekend thinking
long and hard about our situation. All of our work had been based
on that original agreement. I tried to think of what we'd be doing
wrong if there had been NO original agreement. I took a look at
how much of Generations would be legally troubling, and considered
what alternatives we had. As a result, by the time id defined
their legal obligations, they had only clarified what I already
knew, and I knew it was time to make a decision.
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