News: Patent Lottery

We really needed to bring this back?

The Industry Has Run Out Of Good Games to Reboot

Well it has finally happened, fam. The video game industry is so intellectually bankrupt that they have run out of good games to reboot for nostalgia shekels, so now they are rebooting bad ones! Hot on the heels of the new Bubsy reboot comes a reboot of the Nightmare Creatures series, replete with one of the least aesthetic video game trailers that one has ever seen. An early 3D tepid fighting series with a schlock horror veneer is making a comeback for the sake of name recognition alone, never mind the fact that it was not especially well received the first time around.

There is no way this is not ending up on Kickstarter!

Set before and after the events of the original games, Nightmare Creatures returns after almost 20 years – backed up by the devs and horror superfans at Albino Moose games. Join characters familiar and new as they race around the world to stop the hellish machinations of Adam Crowley, before he uncovers the secrets of the elixir and drowns the world… in Nightmare Creatures!

Goodness knows how Albino Moose even got their hands on the Nightmare Creatures IP, as the original games were made by the now defunct Kalisto Entertainment, and were released by several different publishers. Presumably Albino Moose did not purchase the IP when Kalisto Entertainment went under in the early 2000s, and so it seems likely that its chain of custody has likely been a very interesting story unto itself.

It seems obvious that Albino Moose shares none of the creative DNA that was behind the original duology of games, but then since they were not all that great to begin with this is not much of a problem. In fact it is great that the industry has run out of good games to reboot. Now if they reboot a game and it is bad then it can be dismissed as accuracy to the source material, whereas if it is actually properly good then it will come as a delightful surprise. Perhaps the Nightmare Creatures reboot will turn out to be the Citizen Kane of horror-themed beat ’em ups, and we will all be able to celebrate it performing a true reverse-Final Fantasy VII for the series!

... Babies and old people!
Nintendo Wii and iLife’s contraption were both fighting for the same market…

Nintendo Must Pay Up For Patent Breach

For many people suing an entity with pockets as deep as Nintendo is an impossible dream. When Nintendo’s ‘fuck you’ money is involved the wheels of justice suddenly turn very slowly. Regardless, iLife persevered over the course of four long years, and just this week a Texan court awarded them 10.1 million dollars for Nintendo’s infringement of their 1999 patent.

The patent in question was for a body mounted accelerometer designed to detect falls by infants and the elderly. The device did this by determining the wearer’s body position in relation to the rest of the room. Obviously the Nintendo device to breach this patent was the Wii console, or more specifically the Wiimote. iLife’s case here looks fairly reasonable, and it would seem that Texan Jurors are of the same mind, yet Nintendo appears to be in denial about the result:

On Aug. 31, 2017, a jury in Texas found that certain Wii and Wii U video game systems and software bundles infringed a patent belonging to iLife Technologies Inc. related to detecting if a person has fallen down. The jury awarded iLife $10 million in damages. Nintendo disagrees with the decision, as Nintendo does not infringe iLife’s patent and the patent is invalid. Nintendo looks forward to raising those issues with the district court and with the court of appeals.

Nintendo is just being petulant here, as the patent is not going to be ruled as invalid just because they stamp their foot. Honestly, they would just be better off accepting the ruling – 10 million is not all that much money for a company like Nintendo, and Nintendo made out like bandits with the sales of their Wii console. iLife was seeking $4 in royalties for each of the 36 million Wiis that were sold in America, amounting to 144 million dollars, so the 10 million ruling really is not all that severe. If Nintendo takes this back to court then it would serve them right if the presiding judge increased the amount of money that is owed to iLife. One suspects that the only reason that Nintendo continues to fight this is out of arrogance and a need to save face.

Of course Christianity is fair game, as per usual.
Just a bit of harmless fun.

Malaysia’s Buddhists Have No Chill

By and large, Buddhism tends to be regarded as a fairly relaxed religion, but apparently this is not so much the case in Malaysia, or at least not insofar as gaming is concerned. Steam was briefly blocked in its entirety nation wide over the weekend after the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission got its panties in a bunch over the release of Fight of Gods, and obscure $8 indy game. The game does not seem to have deliberately courted this controversy, as it does not seem to include any volatile religions like Hinduism or Islam, which is probably the only reason that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission did not issue a fatwa while they were at it.

PQube, the game’s publisher, had this to say on the international controversy their game sparked:

We never received any communications from Malaysian officials here at PQube, however reports seem to indicate that Malaysia has now blocked access to all of Steam in order to prevent access to Fight of Gods.

Fight of Gods is a video game that takes a humorous approach to religion in the same way that other entertainment formats have – across television, film, books and theatre.

The game is not promoting any religious agenda and is not designed to offend. The description of the game on the digital platforms through which it is distributed provide clear guidance on the nature of the game and its content so that people can freely choose whether or not to play it. We fully respect the choice of those who would not wish to play it.

We are disappointed that such freedom of choice is not given to everyone and in particular that the game has been forcibly removed from sale in Malaysia, although no direct communication has been received by us as to the reasons for this. Nevertheless we respect any rules and censorship imposed in any given territory.

Steam is now up again as of writing, after they disabled access to the Steam page for Fight of Gods in Malaysia. As for the game itself, it seems to have come out of all of this rather well. It could have launched into obscurity, but was instead gifted with this massive free publicity campaign. PQube seem to be making the most of it, implementing a 40% discount in order to capitalise on the interest surrounding their game, and Fight of Gods has already been purchased over three hundred times.


  1. The Eastern District of Texas is a known patent troll suit haven. I’d expect Nintendo to appeal the decision.

    Also, in a knock-down, drag-out godbrawl, I’m not putting money on Buddha. My $$$ is on, like, Mars or Bishamon.

  2. @Lane: I assume you mean Mars as in Ares, and not the planet Sol IV.

    Vaisravana would lose to Ares I think. Just a hunch, even if he is a heavenly king.

  3. @Lane: I appreciate the Latinate move! My Greek is pretty poor and I make very little headway without a dictionary and a grammar near to hand. But, with that said, I always did think it a bit rich that the Romans nicked the entire Greek pantheon and then renamed the lot as if it were their own invention. I show my disdain for their intellectual theft by preferring the Greek names.

  4. Did they really nick them, though, or were both pantheons really more of “prior art” (IP law segue!) from the proto-Indo-European pantheon to which Romans (and Greek settlers who spoke mainly Latin) recognized the cognate status?

    I wish we had historical records of Estruscan religion. I’d really like to see if the Etruscans has PIE cognate gods as well. For that matter, Vaisravana may just be a later Indian interpretation of the same PIE god as Mars, though I think Mars/Ares got some of the qualities that Indra/Thor/Ukko did.

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