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Songbird acquires classic gaming properties

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SONGBIRD ACQUIRES CLASSIC GAMING PROPERTIES

 

For immediate release:

 

ROCHESTER, MN -- Songbird Productions is pleased to announce the acquisition of multiple classic gaming properties, including:

 

  • The entire HandMade Software library, except for Kasumi Ninja, including games such as Awesome Golf and Battlezone 2000
  • Battlemorph by ATD
  • Gordo 106 by Tenth Planet Software
  • Lynx Super Skweek by Loriciel
  • Othello by Harry Dodgson

 

"Songbird has enjoyed two decades of supporting diehard Atari fans with new games for old systems," said Carl Forhan, founder of Songbird. "I look forward to a new wave of products that can incorporate these incredible games for the benefit of all gamers worldwide."

 

Songbird Productions is a premier game developer and publisher for the Atari Lynx and Jaguar. To keep up to date with the latest news at Songbird Productions, be sure to visit the company web site at http://songbird-productions.com . This message may be reprinted in its entirety.

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Posted (edited)

Many congratulations. 

 

Looking forward to hearing more of what this will mean for the community. 

Edited by Lost Dragon

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Wow that sounds great indeed! Does that mean potential new release of those games or even, let be crazy, sequels?!?

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1 hour ago, LordKraken said:

Wow that sounds great indeed! Does that mean potential new release of those games or even, let be crazy, sequels?!?

Not necessarily crazy.

 

I can totally imagine (ab)using my Lynx 3D engine for something like BattleZone 2.

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I hope this will NOT result in any re-releasing of already existing games. But a release of the hidden version of Battle Zone 2000 would be nice. It deserves to be relesed in it's own glory, of course with some nice box art and a fat instruction manual explaining the complexity of this game.

 

Also I would be interesting to know if some code of the Dracula the Undead's missing parts still exists and is included in this deal ? :D

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Awesome news. Congratulations Carl.

 

Are there other Hand Made Software games besides Awesome Golf and Battlezone 2000? What is the reason that Kasumi Ninja was not included.

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Some clarifications and answers:

 

Some game rights contractually returned to the developers over time, even though Atari was the original publisher of the games. Other games (such as Battlemorph) were acquired from Atari. Kasumi Ninja was not available.

 

Rebellion owns the Battlezone IP nowadays. Since I have a history with Rebellion (Skyhammer, anyone?), they have kindly agreed to provide a limited license to me for Battlezone on older Atari systems. In the same way, the Super Skweek IP is still owned by Loricel, but I have been able to acquire a limited license for the Lynx version.

 

HandMade Software produced additional games for the Lynx including MB Volleyball, JC Tennis, Loopz, and Power Factor. They also had a golf game in development for the Jaguar, not to mention Total Carnage.

 

I did not receive any new source code as part of these deals. Now that we are 25-30 years removed from the original publication of these games, it's becoming more and more unlikely that source code would be retained by anyone. Only slightly unhinged people like me hang on to source code for 20+ years so I can revisit old projects like Protector from time to time. ;) 

 

I don't have imminent plans for most of these games, but thought it was worthwhile to build my IP library when the opportunities came.

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Appreciate the clarification here.

 

Very decent of Rebellion and great to hear you worked something out with Loricel. 

 

Rob Nicholson admitted he had lost the majority of his Lynx source code disks many years ago.

 

I know of one other high profile HMS coder who said everything was backed up onto datatapes back then and he was doubtful much, if anything had survived.

 

Jim Gregory did approach me at the time of being interviewed, with a view to selling off whatever old development systems he still had in his garage. 

 

I had a buyer lined up..good friend of mine, but Jim never responded to any emails after that point. 

 

There was clearly some bad blood within HMS in the final months, so finding more information might prove tricky.

 

 

Can I assume that nothing in your deal to aquire the properties from HMS could even help confirm Dracula and Battlezone 2000 were ever even planned for the Jaguar? .

 

Everything so far suggests both were just idle speculation.

 

HMS was a small studio and one facing financial challenges from the start.

 

Jim said the only Jaguar projects they were working on towards the end were:Kasumi Ninja 2 and Jack Nicholson Cyber Golf..both for Jaguar CD and had spent (and thus lost) close to £700,000 on both.

 

Having hired actors as well as creating a new 3D Engine for the former and having obtained expensive aerial footage of a golf course and hiring a top TV commentator for the latter.

 

I always viewed the Total Carnage conversion as merely something being done to generate revenue to keep company afloat and pay staff, whilst the 2 flagship titles were being developed. 

 

 

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Would that be Jack Nicklaus Golf on the Jag? I know B&C has been selling copies of the last beta for awhile. Any plans to finish it up?

 

Mitch

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4 hours ago, Songbird said:

Some clarifications and answers:

 

Some game rights contractually returned to the developers over time, even though Atari was the original publisher of the games. Other games (such as Battlemorph) were acquired from Atari. Kasumi Ninja was not available.

 

Rebellion owns the Battlezone IP nowadays. Since I have a history with Rebellion (Skyhammer, anyone?), they have kindly agreed to provide a limited license to me for Battlezone on older Atari systems. In the same way, the Super Skweek IP is still owned by Loricel, but I have been able to acquire a limited license for the Lynx version.

 

HandMade Software produced additional games for the Lynx including MB Volleyball, JC Tennis, Loopz, and Power Factor. They also had a golf game in development for the Jaguar, not to mention Total Carnage.

 

I did not receive any new source code as part of these deals. Now that we are 25-30 years removed from the original publication of these games, it's becoming more and more unlikely that source code would be retained by anyone. Only slightly unhinged people like me hang on to source code for 20+ years so I can revisit old projects like Protector from time to time. ;) 

 

I don't have imminent plans for most of these games, but thought it was worthwhile to build my IP library when the opportunities came.

How about a Handmade games multicart? That would be a great addition to the library if you could include some info on the company’s Lynx development history.

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Talking of Lynx Battlezone 2000:

 

I could not help but notice that whilst Jim Gregory and Rob Nicholson both put the blame on  Atari for the 2000/Solid 3D version of Battlezone 2000 having to be hidden as an Easter Egg within the game

, they give 2 totally different reasons:

 

Gregory:Blames new Project Manager at Atari who said fans wanted the wire frame original. .not this updated solid 3D sh# t. .Talked of phone calls late at night about it etc..

 

 

Nicholson:That Atari play testers found the 2000 game to be too challenging and the levels too large.

 

 

It might well of been a combination of both factors, but the deeper i look into Handmade Software, the more questions, rather than answers i find myself with.

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10 hours ago, Songbird said:

Some clarifications and answers:

 

Rebellion owns the Battlezone IP nowadays. Since I have a history with Rebellion (Skyhammer, anyone?), they have kindly agreed to provide a limited license to me for Battlezone on older Atari systems. In the same way, the Super Skweek IP is still owned by Loricel, but I have been able to acquire a limited license for the Lynx version.

 

 

First off -- Congrats! This is huge!

 

Second... Thanks for posting answers to some of the obvious/immediate questions, such as BattleZone rights...

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