Co-creators of classic sci-fi title say they still own the copyright on their games

Descent designer claims Interplay owed eight years of royalties

The duo behind Parallax Software’s 1994 sci-fi FPS Descent claims that Interplay still owes them ‘ten thousands of dollars’ in unpaid royalties.

Speaking to Kotaku, the game’s co-creator Matt Toschlog said that he and fellow dev Mike Kulas own the copyright to the Descent games and should be receiving royalties for every copy of the game sold. 

Interplay seems to disagree, perhaps because Toschlog’s studio and Descent developer Parallax Software doesn’t own the Descent trademark. The royalties dispute has led to both Descent and its sequel being removed from and the designers are attempting to pull it from Steam as well.

“The deal that Parallax signed with Interplay in 1994 was pretty typical,” Toschlog said. “We developed the game and we own the copyright to it – except for certain elements Interplay created, such as some music and sound effects. We granted Interplay the right to publish the game, and they paid us a royalty on each copy sold.

“Since 2007, however, we have received no additional royalties from Interplay even though they’ve continued to sell the game. On two occasions they’ve given us statements showing that royalties were due but they didn’t actually pay the royalties.”

Toschlog and Kulas are keen to develop a new Descent game, but have struggled to secure a deal with Interplay for the licence.

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