It’s no secret that Textfyre has a vested interest in obtaining rights to the Infocom intellectual property from Activision. I’ve stated this in several interviews and Usenet posts. Well there’s news on this front and it’s not all bad.
Over the last few weeks I have had a conference call with two key players within Activision in regards to licensing the Infocom material. We had an excellent conversation and they asked me for a formal proposal. It took me about a week to work out the financials and the guarantees I was prepared to offer. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are all sorts of expenses on our part that need to be worked through. For the original content, I would want to completely rewrite the games for the Textfyre interface and this would include a lot of functionality that didn’t exist in the original games. Things like hints, help, and interactive maps. For Infocom material, I would have a lot more front-end expenses than I do for our in-house developed games. But I finally got around to the final numbers we’re willing to live with and the risks associated with the partnership (and benefits) and in the end, I felt confident that my proposal would be the best I could offer at this time.
The proposal was well-received within Activision, but in the end, they decided it wasn’t the right time to move forward. That was a week ago. Today I had a follow-up call with my main contact and he said the main reason for the response was that Textfyre needs to get its production line up and running and prove that it can handle the distribution of Activision content. We talked about Textfyre’s schedule and processes and Activision is very interested in re-joining this discussion once we’re up and running and have several games published.
So the good news is…we have a shot at the Infocom material. It will just have to wait.