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).
“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.