- A potential remaster of the cult Discworld games is on hold due to a licensing issue involving the British Monarchy.
- The original designer of the games, Gregg Barnett, owns 50% of the rights, while the other 50% reverted to the British Crown.
- The exact ownership of the games is unclear, with Rhianna Pratchett believing the property may be with Sony. Despite the complications, Barnett remains determined to see a remaster in the future.
A potential remaster of the cult Discworld games is on hold owing to a licensing issue that involves the British Monarchy. Developed by Perfect Entertainment, Discworld, Discworld 2, and Discworld Noir were point-and-click adventure games that were released between 1995 and 1999 across PC, PlayStation, and the Sega Saturn.
The point-and-click adventure games were based on the late Terry Pratchett’s satirical Discworld novels and became cult classics around the world. The franchise fell into dormancy after the release of Discworld Noir and the IP seemed to go missing when the publisher Psygnosis, known primarily for the Wipeout franchise, was closed by Sony in 2012. Thanks to faithful adaptations like Good Omens, fans of Pratchett’s work have a rekindled interest in seeing more adaptations come to the fore. The original designer of the Discworld video games is aware of the trend of remastering older games and is keen to show his adventures to a new audience.
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Gregg Barnett, who headed up development at Perfect Entertainment, recently discussed the possibility of adding the Discworld series to the growing list of remasters being released for newer audiences. In a recent interview with Time Extension, Barnett confirmed he owns 50% of the rights to the games as their original creator. As Perfect Entertainment held the IP license for the Discworld games when it ceased operations, the remaining 50% reverted to the British Monarchy under a law known as Bona Vacantia. This law means that any intellectual property deemed ownerless will revert to the British Crown, which is headed up by King Charles.
Who Owns The Discworld IP
Despite Barnett’s comments that the King of England is an unexpected co-owner of the Discworld IP, it still isn’t exactly clear who owns what portion of the video games. Rhianna Pratchett, who is the co-director of Narrativia Limited and holds all the multimedia rights to the Pratchett Estate, has been trying to track down the IP without success for many years. Pratchett, who has worked on several high-profile games, including the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy, believes the property to be with Sony as it was the parent company to Psygnosis when the studio closed its doors.
As unlikely as the situation might seem, Barnett remains undeterred and wants to see a remaster of the cult point-and-click games in the future. After all, the Discworld franchise isn’t the only series that has a complicated gaming history. The N64 classic 007 GoldenEye has several parties that hold the rights to the video game including the movie studio MGM, the Microsoft-owned studio Rare, and Nintendo. It wasn’t until February 2023 that all parties came together and released GoldenEye on both Nintendo Switch and Xbox consoles.