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Telltale King's Quest timeline

posted by BagginsKQ on - last edited - Viewed by 7.7K users
For those keeping count, first announcement was exactly two years on February 17, 2013, and last confirmed information was given about 1 1/2 years ago on June 2011 (from 01/23/2013).

The last major production/development information was made in an interview on May 2011.

It has now been confirmed that the game was cancelled.


Note (miscellaneous):
We also know that this year in 2013 that Telltale is expanding in size, to make more games. No idea what they are expanding to make though.

Paul Trowe/Replay (3rd party)
  • April 10, 2012: "The remaining issue, as with King’s Quest, would be licensing the games from owners Activision. Trowe explained that Activision had been a touch unrealistic when he first approached them. Activision told us that they wanted $500,000 up front,” he explained. “And greater than 50% revenue share for those properties. I told them ‘good luck on getting that’, because I don’t think anybody’s going to pay that fee. I can tell you that they changed their tune about six months after that.” But since then Space Quest has been licensed elsewhere, and Replay are currently in negotiations over getting the rights for themselves. “I want to say it’s looking good,” said Trowe, “but right now I’d give us 50/50.”

    RPS: So also with King’s Quest, they’ve been uncharacteristically generous in allowing fan projects. Have you seen the project the Silver Lining?
    Paul: The Silver Lining wasn’t available for sale…
    RPS: That’s right, yes.
    Paul:And in addition it wasn’t really a King’s Quest. In my opinion they did an injustice to the King’s Quest franchise.
    RPS: That’s interesting, why do you think that?
    Paul: I just don’t think it held true to Roberta’s vision, just like I don’t think the Leisure Suit Larrys that have come out after Al wasn’t involved held true to Al’s vision. And that’s why I refuse to work on a Leisure Suit Larry game if Al wasn’t involved. I refuse to work on a King’s Quest game if Roberta’s not involved.
    RPS: Would Roberta be willing to be involved, she’s been out of the industry for a while hasn’t she?
    Paul: I can’t speak for Roberta, but I can tell you that we’re currently talking to her and Ken.

  • April 12, 2012: "I love the Sierra classics!! Can you bring back King's Quest, Space Quest, or Police Quest? Our good friends over at Tell Tale have licensed King's Quest from Activision. If we do our job right then maybe, just MAYBE we'll be able to partner with them and ruinite the Space Quest team, King's Quest team (go Roberta!!!!) and Police Quest team for re-makes or new versions of those (Space Quest 7 anybody?)."
  • June 5, 2012: Trowe related Kickstarter sabotage controversy (false claims/smears about several other competing projects, and sockpuppetry). He later apologies. However it is unclear how much the duplicity affected any previous claims made before it was discovered by MixnMojo and others.

  • April 1, 2013: “They had [the King's Quest rights], and we were going to license it from them to make the remakes. I wouldn’t do a King’s Quest without Roberta. [Telltale senior VP of publishing] Steve Allison told me that they have the rights but they don’t have the bandwidth.” Allison offered to look into sub-licensing King’s Quest out to Replay, but Trowe hit a dead end when he brought the conversation over to Activision. ”I talked to the guys at Activision and they were like, ‘No, we’re pulling it [from Telltale] because we’re going to do it ourselves.’

    “Activision’s probably not going to give us the King’s Quest rights,” Trowe told us. “[Telltale] had it, and we were going to license it from them to make the remakes.” Telltale senior VP of publishing Steve Allison told Trowe that it was an issue of bandwidth; the studio behind 2012′s*The Walking Dead simply did not have the resources to handle*King’s Quest, what with a second season and the launch of*Fables both in the works.*

    “Then I talked to the guys at Activision and they were like, ‘No, we’re pulling it because we’re going to do it ourselves,’” Trowe revealed. He doesn’t know what the publisher’s plans are for*King’s Quest, but they don’t seem to include either Telltale or Replay. We’ve reached out to Activision for comment and will update this post accordingly when we hear back. Be sure to check out our full interview with Trowe, and to head back here tomorrow for our extensive GDC chat with Telltale CEO Dan Connors."

Josh Mandel comments (3rd party)
  • March 8, 2011: "Telltale and I have spoken a bit lately, but there's nothing more I can (or should) say about it! But I would love to be King Graham for Telltale, and I trust them completely with the property."
  • Jan 19, 2013: Josh Mandel comments & Chat Log:
    "And Activision would be foolish to say, "Here, we're renting you the license to King's Quest. Do nothing with it in perpetuity...Telltale seems to be going in another direction anyway. Walking Dead was a hugely popular license and a big success for them, I think. King's Quest would be a big step backwards, a far less well-known and far less popular license...I think it's been safely reported that Activision and/or the Sierra licenses (except Larry) are up for sale...they *had* the KQ license and did nothing with it, opting instead to pick up a license of a national television show that certainly didn't need Telltale's help."
63 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style

    This one is tangentially interesting as in April 2012 the month before the Siliconer article, apparently according to Replay they had attempted to try to get the licenses from Activision for KQ and SQ. But probably got turned down, due to Telltale's involvement. It mentions it was Space Quest was already licensed 'elsewhere'. They were hoping to also be able to get a license themselves, but only had a 50/50 chance at it.

    Apparently they also tried get the license earlier, but Activision offered only if they could pay $500,000 up front to them.

    There is a reference in the article that things changed at Activision 'six months later', maybe that's a reference to Telltale first aquiering the Sierra license? It's a little unclear maybe Telltale was big enough company and was willing to pay the upfront cost?

    Replay explains a bit more, about the situation with Tell Tale on their faq updated about April 12, 2012 (a few days after the other report);
    Our good friends over at Tell Tale have licensed King's Quest from Activision. If we do our job right then maybe, just MAYBE we'll be able to partner with them and ruinite the Space Quest team, King's Quest team (go Roberta!!!!) and Police Quest team for re-makes or new versions of those (Space Quest 7 anybody?).

    So apparently there may have been an option to 'share' development and the license with Telltale.|
  • Wow, very nice! Beautiful work.

    Attn Moderators: Maybe this thread could be "sticky" and kept at the top of this category.
  • Hmm, if Telltale misses/missed out on the KQ option, it would be possible that Replay Games picks it up?
  • Sticky, I like that. I'll just update it, "if" there are more 'updates', as we go, LOL.
    Hmm, if Telltale misses/missed out on the KQ option, it would be possible that Replay Games picks it up?

    I think they got turned down, twice...and there is that other issue... That won't be named in this thread. I'm not sure Activisions lawyers hvae much love for 'outsiders'.

    Edit: E3 2012, based on what I could find about the only other thing mentioned besides Walking Dead, and maybe a bit of Fables, was a HD port of Monkey Island Tales for the IOS apparently. As mentioned I haven't found any confirmed references to KQ during the event or not.

    Although there was an article or two from the month before or just days before E3, that mentioned that they "have the King's Quest license" and/or mentioned it had been 'delayed' to late 2012 or so. I'm not going to bother with those links as I put in plenty of example of 'confirmed' references instead.
  • Hey, thanks for the sticky!
  • BagginsKQ wrote: »
    Hey, thanks for the sticky!

    That's what...somebody...said.
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    It may be worth noting that over at Replay games, Paul Trowe has an odd ego about him in that he believe s they are essentially Sierra 2.0. When the two guys from andromeda got back together and ran a kickstarter for their new game, Paul trolled their site and sent several disparaging remarks to the guy working with them (Chris Pope). The gist of it was - who are you and why aren't Scott and Mark working with me on this? Paul got so much heat from his antics that Josh Mandell replaced him as the "voice" of replay games, and now runs all the project updates and answers questions in the forums.

    Paul is a trip. In his interviews with Al Lowe (and anywhere else for that matter), he repeatedly states he was the youngest employee at Sierra and talks about himself as much or if not more than he asks questions of others.

    When Al Lowe worked with another group on their kickstarter game, Sam Suede, Paul sent them legal threats for claiming that Al was involved on their project... as though he had some sort of contract that prevented Al from working with anyone else. When Al made it clear he *was working with them (maybe Paul shoulda asked before all the very public legal threats?), Paul backed off... but not before permanently damaging the Sam Suede kickstarter and causing quite a bit of confusion among adventure game fans as to who was in the wrong.

    All those attempts to get licenses from Activision were just part of his intention to get all the Sierra licenses again, and remake all the games (not produce new ones). Not that it changes anything in this timeline, but it gives some background on what exactly was going on there.

    Nice work on the timeline Baggins.
  • ^ Good post, exo.

    Yea, it was quite unsettling reading about the things Trowe did. It's funny, the last thing I want is a "New Sierra". It's better that each developer can hopefully get the rights to their games. All signs point to Jane Jensen having worked out something for Gabriel Knight (Mystery Game X), so maybe Activision will let up a bit in the future.

    But yea, just seeing all of Trowe's comments and forming a picture of what he's like...keep that guy the hell away from these other IPs.
  • Exo, I actually had a bit of the stuff you mentioned in the timeline, well actually in an addendum post (I had come across it by researching for the timeline)! I was quite shocked by it, and never even knew about it before! I edited the material out though, after I got jumped on by MusicallyInspired for drudging up water under the bridge. The conservation concerning Trowe situation you can find a link to it where it was moved to the telltale general forum.

    Blah... the last thing I want to see is a remake of every Sierra game... Quite a few towards the end are already hiresolution... and besides I like the old VGA anyways. Talk about trying to milk the franchises...

    That and I actually like to see the series evolve from early simpler days, and become more sophisticated over time. That's not to say I wouldn't mind seeing a VGA KQ2 remake that remains more faithful to the original subject manner, in the way KQ1SCI updated KQ1AGI.
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