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vprette

Tales from ELEKTRONITE Labs: TETRIS

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All you good friends of Elektronite know the games that we have achieved or we are working on.

But there are incomplete games and fascinating projects that (maybe) will never see the light for a variety of economic or legal reasons, and which would be a shame to lose any information.

I then decided to share some information so far internal to Elektronite that tell the story of some hits that we tried to carry on Intellivision with love, persistence and bad luck...

 

The first title I will reveal to you is:

 

TETRIS the Official Game!

Edited by vprette

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This is a real on screen picture from Intellivision hardware. The title screen is in hires.

 

We sent this picture to Tetris Company that asked me to prove we were able to make good graphic on this console.

They were positively impressed

 

Tetris Title Screen Intellivision

Edited by vprette

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Tetris Company was very concerned about any conversion of Tetris already done for intellivision and intimate Elektronite not to proceed with development without a trade agreement.

The negotiation was started, and Tetris Company was apparently very interested to explore the retrogaming market...

We speak about June 2012.

 

The plan was to put 2 player option in the game, and Tetris Company would provide original gameplay routine + original music.

Also the boxart has to be original from Tetris Company archive and the final box approved by them.

Edited by vprette
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Tetris would be nice....but we already have 4tris.........well, some of us do!

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Perhaps Valter's English doesn't convey what he is saying very well.

 

This title screen represents the shattered dream of bringing Tetris officially to the Intellivision.

 

After a long negotiation, we thought we had a deal, but unfortunately, the terms were changed at the last minute and the deal fell apart.

 

So, nobody is working on it. Yes, it was going to be official, but we could not ultimately come to an agreement. It isn't going to happen.

 

It was going to be really cool, and have a two player mode, and official game play. As you can see, the title screen was cracking! (As Wallace says)

 

Without going into too many details, it is unfortunate when a company is so large, that it can't take the time to pick up a few thousand bucks off of the floor.

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Bummer. :( I guess I'll go play some 4 Tris in protest of their less than wise decision.

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Boulder Dash is the only lincesed game for a retro console that I know of. And it is for Atari 2600.

 

Hover Bovver seems to be the first Intellivision Game licensed by an old company. :thumbsup:

 

No. There is another..... :jango:

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Defender of the Crown is a licensed game.

The Lost Caves of Kroz is a licensed game.

I know you're working with licensing all your releases.

It's great to see this happening in Intellivison! But I believe Boulder Dash is the only already released game (or the other Cmart is referring to??)

Congratulations, I can imagine how difficult it can be to get licenses for a 30 years old console.

 

Interesting that I'm truly happy to see licensed games even beeing a FSF member...

Yes, if you ask me, the ideal was to license all software using a free software license. ;)

Of course, I understand the need to use proprietary software sometimes and it's always good to respect other's work.

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Could the negotiations be reopened if you guys could show that there is interest within the Intellivision community?

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After several months of negotiation, during which we have been asked to get an official statement from Intellivision Production that says we are allowed to produce games for the Intellivision console (which is a good think since Elektronite is the only company in the world to benefit from this status now), Tetris Company agreed for a licence payment model and put us on hold to get a Contract to be signed.

Time was march 2013... we kept waiting for a while longer, and finally Tetris Company declined the licence in May 2013, without a clear explanation. It appears that the money in place for a retrogaming license is too little for them...

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After several months of negotiation, during which we have been asked to get an official statement from Intellivision Production that says we are allowed to produce games for the Intellivision console (...)

I wonder if we could get more from Intellivision Production.

Maybe an Elektronite game in a future Intellivision Lives?

That would be awesome, it would show Intellivision really lives!

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Disappointing, but not surprising. The Tetris Company is pretty vigilant about protecting their brand, and one can't exactly blame them: it seems to be a sort of "rite of initiation" among many game programmers that one of the first games they create is a bad ripoff of Tetris, and some of them even get the mistaken idea that they should subsequently try to make money with it.

 

There is so much work involved for TTC in forming a licensing agreement, even for a relatively obscure platform like the Intellivision, that any licensing revenue they could possibly collect from it wouldn't be enough to cover their legal expenses. Even if every active Intellivision player in the world bought two copies, it would still be tiny compared to the numbers they would get on a mainstream platform, so it probably wouldn't make economic sense for them.

 

Fortunately, some recent lawsuits have helped to clarify what constitutes infringement among Tetris clones and what does not. If we really want to see a falling-puzzle game on the Intellivision, it should be possible to create one which would appeal to Tetris players without infringing on TTC's copyright and trade dress. Remember also that Tetris was derived from several earlier polyomino puzzle games, so it isn't even necessary to look to Tetris for direct inspiration; just go back to the original sources that inspired Tetris itself.

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