Night Dive Studios

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Night Dive Studios, LLC
Private
Industry Video game industry
Founded November 7, 2012; 5 years ago (2012-11-07) in Vancouver, Washington, United States
Founder Stephen Kick
Headquarters Portland, Oregon, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Stephen Kick (CEO)
  • Alix Banegas (CFO)
Products Video games
Website nightdivestudios.com

Night Dive Studios, LLC (stylized as Nightdive Studios) is an American video game development company that was founded on November 7, 2012 by video game artist Stephen Kick (formerly of Sony Online Entertainment) in Vancouver, Washington. Based in Portland, Oregon, the company is best known for obtaining rights to classic video games that are no longer available, updating them for compatibility with modern platforms, and re-releasing them into digital distribution.

Their first release was an updated version of System Shock 2, a classic from 1999 which influenced many later video games.[1]

History[edit]

Stephen Kick had been a character artist with Sony Online Entertainment but had found the desire to make his own games.[2] He took time to travel around the world, bringing some video games along with him to find inspiration, but was surprised that he could not find a legal way to acquire System Shock 2, which had seemingly fallen into abandonware.[2][3] Kick began investigating the situation for this, and discovered that System Shock 2's intellectual property (IP) rights were hung up between Electronic Arts, the game's publisher, and Meadowbrook Insurance Group (a subsidiary of Star Insurance Company) which had acquired the assets to the game's developer, Looking Glass Studios, after their closure.[4][3] Kick approached Meadowbrook to negotiate the rights to System Shock 2 as to be able to port the game for modern systems. Meadowbrook agreed, and with that, Kick founded Night Dive Studios in late 2012 to support this effort.[2] The version was eventually released through GOG.com in February 2013, where System Shock 2 had been one of the most requested games from consumers, with other storefronts following later.[5][6][7]

With this release, Kick decided to continue Night Dive in similar efforts to bring back older games to modern systems.[2] In 2013, the studio released updated versions of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, a video game designed by science fiction author Harlan Ellison and based on his eponymous short story,[8][9] Wizardry VI, VII, and 8,[10] and two Trilobyte titles The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour.[11]

In 2014, Night Dive Studios re-released 28 titles from the Humongous Entertainment children’s adventure games catalog,[12] as well as the cult classic adventure game Bad Mojo. The company also generated speculation that it might be planning to re-release The Operative: No One Lives Forever, as news sources took notice of a Night Dive Studios trademark filing that included material referencing the No One Lives Forever franchise.[13][14] CEO Kick responded to these rumors by saying that the company could not comment on future releases for the time being.[15] Kick later revealed that they had indeed been working on trying to acquire the publishing rights for both No One Lives Forever and its sequel, to the point where they had the original source code to construct a remake of the title, but could not get the three companies with stake in the games' IP, Activision, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros., to negotiate the rights.[16]

2014 also saw the company’s participation in the Humble Bundle series of games collections, with a Humble Bundle package in May 2014 that featured all of the company’s titles through that date,[17] and a "flash sale" bundle in July that featured the company's Humongous Entertainment re-release titles.[18]

In December 2014, Night Dive Studios coordinated the re-release of the 1996 first-person shooter role playing hybrid game Strife as Strife: Veteran Edition, after acquiring rights to the game. Because the game's source code had been lost, a derivative of the Chocolate Doom subproject Chocolate Strife was used as the game's engine, with its original programmers being contracted to do additional coding for the re-release. The source code of Strife: Veteran Edition has been made available under GPLv3 on GitHub by Night Dive Studios' and Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal on December 12, 2014.[19] While this was the first source code opened for a Night Dive Studios release, Stephen Kick announced his commitment in recovering, preserving and also opening of more source code in a Reddit AMA in 2016.[20]

In February 2015, it was announced by CEO Kick that they were working on re-releasing PowerSlave for digital distribution services with an added bonus of porting the Saturn version into the package. Kick also announced that he was working with the original developers of Noctropolis and the original source code and the updated package will feature remastered music, widescreen support and bug fixes.[20]

On September 22, 2015, Night Dive Studios released the original System Shock in the Enhanced Edition that adds support for more resolutions and mouselook. Night Dive Studios has since announced it has acquired full rights to the System Shock series, and are considering developing a third title in the series, as well as remakes for both previous titles, working with original concept artist Robert Waters for some of the design.[1]

On November 4, at Fragments of Silicon, Stephen Kick announced new upcoming releases from both, Night Dive Studios and the Retroism brand, including Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, Starlord, Forsaken and Machines: Wired for War.[21]

On April 6, again at Fragments of Silicon, a returning Stephen Kick further confirmed that they were working on looking into the revival of the classic WARP/Kenji Eno game D which had been published by Acclaim in 1996.[22]

Games[edit]

Original intellectual property[edit]

Year of release Title Developer(s)
2014 Strife: Veteran Edition
2015 Spirits of Xanadu Good Morning, Commander
System Shock: Enhanced Edition
2016 Womb Room Bearded Eye
2020 System Shock Night Dive Studios
TBA System Shock 3 OtherSide Entertainment

Acquisitions[edit]

Year of re-release Year of original release Title Developer(s) Original publisher(s)
2013 1999 System Shock 2 Electronic Arts
1990 Wizardry 6: Bane of the Cosmic Forge Sir-Tech Sir-Tech
1990 Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant Sir-Tech Sir-Tech
2001 Wizardry 8 Sir-Tech Canada Sir-Tech
1995 I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream The Dreamers Guild Cyberdreams
1999 Shadow Man Acclaim Studios Teesside Acclaim Entertainment
1993 The 7th Guest Trilobyte Virgin Interactive Entertainment
1995 The 11th Hour Trilobyte Virgin Interactive Entertainment
2014 1996 Harvester DigiFX Interactive Merit Studios
1997 Spy Fox in "Dry Cereal" Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1996 Putt-Putt and Pep's Balloon-o-Rama Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1996 Freddi Fish and Luther's Maze Madness Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1992 Putt-Putt Joins the Parade Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1996 Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1994 Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1999 Spy Fox 2: "Some Assembly Required" Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1996 Putt-Putt and Pep's Dog on a Stick Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1996 Freddi Fish and Luther's Water Worries Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1998 Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning Aren't so Frightening Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1996 Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1993 Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1994 Putt-Putt and Fatty Bear's Activity Pack Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1997 Putt-Putt Travels Through Time Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
2001 Spy Fox 3: "Operation Ozone" Humongous Entertainment Infogrames
2000 Pajama Sam 3: You Are What You Eat from Your Head to Your Feet Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1998 Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1998 Spy Fox in Cheese Chase Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
2003 Pajama Sam: Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff! Humongous Entertainment Atari, Inc.
1999 Freddi Fish 4: The Case of the Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1998 Putt-Putt Enters the Race Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
2000 Putt-Putt Joins the Circus Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
2003 Putt-Putt: Pep's Birthday Surprise Humongous Entertainment Atari, Inc.
1999 Spy Fox in Hold the Mustard Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1997 Pajama Sam's Sock Works Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1998 Pajama Sam's Lost & Found Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
2001 Freddi Fish 5: The Case of the Creature of Coral Cove Humongous Entertainment Infogrames
1994 Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon Access Software Access Software
1989 Tex Murphy: Mean Streets Access Software Access Software
1991 Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum Access Software Access Software
1996 Tex Murphy: The Pandora Directive Access Software Access Software
1998 Tex Murphy: Overseer Access Software Access Software
1995 Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1996 Bad Mojo Redux Pulse Entertainment
1990 Sid Meier's Covert Action MPS Labs MicroProse
1993 Sid Meier's Pirates! Gold Plus MicroProse
1994 Sid Meier's Colonization MicroProse MicroProse
1992 Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender MicroProse MicroProse
1989 Sword of the Samurai MPS Labs MicroProse
1994 Dragonsphere MPS Labs MicroProse
1992 Darklands MPS Labs MicroProse
1993 BloodNet MicroProse MicroProse
2001 Pajama Sam: Games to Play on Any Day Humongous Entertainment Infogrames
1993 Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1996 Deadlock: Planetary Conquest Accolade Accolade
1998 Deadlock II: Shrine Wars Accolade
1999 Redline Beyond Games Accolade
1999 Slave Zero Infogrames North America Infogrames North America
1997 7th Legion MicroProse
2000 B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th Wayward Design Hasbro Interactive
1991 F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter 2.0 MPS Labs MicroProse
1994 Fleet Defender: The F-14 Tomcat Simulation MicroProse MicroProse
1989 Silent Service MicroProse MicroProse
1992 Task Force 1942: Surface Naval Action in the South Pacific MPS Labs MicroProse
1995 Across the Rhine MPS Labs MicroProse
1991 Command HQ Ozark Softscape Microplay Software
1996 Eradicator Accolade Accolade
1998 NAM TNT Team GT Interactive Software
1990 Silent Service 2 MPS Labs MicroProse
1993 The Labyrinth of Time Terra Nova Development
1994 Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb The Dreamers Guild
2015 1994 1942: The Pacific Air War MPS Labs MicroProse
1992 Challenge of the Five Realms: Spellbound in the World of Nhagardia MicroProse MicroProse
1988 F-19 Stealth Fighter MicroProse MicroProse
1991 Hyperspeed MPS Labs MicroProse
1990 Knights of the Sky MicroProse MicroProse
1995 Let's Explore the Jungle Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1995 Let's Explore the Farm Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1995 Let's Explore the Airport Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1998 Z.A.R. Maddox Games Auric Vision
1997 MadSpace: To Hell and Beyond Maddox Games Auric Vision
1997 Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths Nayma Software
1996 Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri Looking Glass Technologies Looking Glass Technologies
1997 Big Thinkers! Kindergarten Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1997 Big Thinkers! 1st Grade Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment
1997 Noctropolis Flashpoint Studios Electronic Arts
1996 Timelapse GTE Entertainment GTE Entertainment
1994 System Shock: Classic Looking Glass Studios Origin Systems
1989 Tank: The M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank Simulation Sphere, Inc. Spectrum HoloByte
1999 World War II GI TNT Team GT Interactive Software
1993 Starlord Third Millennium Software MicroProse
1997 Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Iguana Entertainment Acclaim Entertainment
2016 1995 D: The Game WARP Acclaim Entertainment
1996 Titanic: Adventure Out of Time Cyberflix GTE Entertainment
2017 1998 Turok 2: Seeds of Evil Iguana Entertainment Acclaim Entertainment
2018 1999 Machines: Wired for War Charybdis Acclaim Entertainment
1998 Forsaken Iguana Entertainment Acclaim Entertainment

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Newman, Jared (November 12, 2015). "How One Company is Bringing Old Video Games Back from the Dead". Fast Company. Mansueto Ventures. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Staff (April 25, 2017). "Nightdive turns games of the past into a bright future…virtually". Venture Beat. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Newman, Jared (February 13, 2013). "Thirteen Years Later, System Shock 2 Lives Again". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ Newman, Jared (May 30, 2011). "The Lost History of System Shock". G4tv.com. G4 Media. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ Smith, Adam (February 13, 2013). "Many Questions: System Shock 2 Comes To GOG". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ "GOG.com Wishlist: most voted (ever)". GOG.com. CD Projekt. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ Carlson, Patrick (May 10, 2013). "System Shock 2 arrives on Steam". PC Gamer. Future US. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  8. ^ Anson, Jonathan (September 9, 2013). "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream Released on GOG". Gaming Illustrated. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  9. ^ Carlson, Patrick (September 5, 2013). "Classic horror game I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream finds release on GOG". PC Gamer. Future US. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  10. ^ WorstUsernameEver (September 10, 2013). "Wizardry VI, VII and 8 Released on Steam". GameBanshee. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  11. ^ Renaudin, Josiah (October 23, 2013). "Trilobyte Games Add Classics The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour to Steam". Gameranx. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  12. ^ Cowan, Danny (April 22, 2014). "Putt-Putt, Spy Fox join Humongous Entertainment's Steam catalog". Engadget. AOL Tech. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  13. ^ Stamas, Agasicles (May 3, 2014). "No One Lives Forever Being Resurrected?". Gamers Sphere. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  14. ^ Sarkar, Samit (May 1, 2014). "New trademarks filed for No One Lives Forever games". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  15. ^ Tyrrel, Brandin (May 1, 2014). "No One Lives Forever Resurfaces Through Trademark Filings". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  16. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (February 27, 2015). "The Sad Story Behind A Dead PC Game That Can't Come Back". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  17. ^ Peeples, Jeremy (May 8, 2014). "Humble Night Dive Studios Weekly Bundle Launched". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  18. ^ Devore, Jordan (July 28, 2014). "This Humble Flash Bundle has Putt-Putt and other Humongous titles". Destructoid. ModernMethod. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  19. ^ Villarreal, Samuel (December 12, 2014). "Strife Veteran Edition GPL Source Release". GitHub. Retrieved July 1, 2016. 
  20. ^ a b Kick, Stephen (June 22, 2016). "IamA Founder of Night Dive Studios, Stephen Kick - We track down and restore classic video games! AMA!". Reddit. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ Stacks, Shane (November 11, 2015). "Classic Games Announcements from Night Dive Studios on Fragments of Silicon". Shane Plays. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  22. ^ Stacks, Shane (April 24, 2016). "System Shock Remastered, Turok 2, Atari, LucasArts and More: Night Dive Studios on Fragments of Silicon". Shane Plays. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 

External links[edit]