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To Licence or Not To Licence...


JamesC
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Inspired by the 'Make it a Double' thread, I was thinking of games which had a licence stuck on them at the last minute.

 

A couple I'm aware of are Dragon's Lair for the GameBoy, which is just a port of Elite's Roller Coaster with a DL licence attached:

 

 

also, The Last Starfighter on NES, which is a port of Uridium:

 

Then there are games which started out as a licensed tie-in and then had the licence removed, such as Journey to Silius on NES, which started out as a Terminator game:

 

 

Does anyone have any more examples? There must be loads.

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Star Raiders 2 on the Atari 8 bits (and ported to loads of 8 bit systems by Electric Dreams)

 

189843-star-raiders-ii-atari-8-bit-scree

 

Was originally an original game called Orbiter before being repurposed into

 

189845-star-raiders-ii-atari-8-bit-scree

 

an official Last Starfighter game (which explains the look of the ships) before ending up as Star Raiders 2.

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Thundercats on the C64 started out as a samurai game. The publisher - Elite - were already working on a Thundercats game but when it wasn’t going to be finished in time they licensed the samurai game and re-skinned it. 
 

Their own Thundercats game then became Bomb Jack II.
 

They had also commissioned another developer to make a Thundercats game which ended up being released as Beyond the Ice Palace.

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42 minutes ago, Camel said:

They had also commissioned another developer to make a Thundercats game which ended up being released as Beyond the Ice Palace.

Don’t forget that Beyond The Ice Palace was going to be Elite’s unofficial sequel to Ghosts n’ Goblins.

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5 hours ago, schmojo said:

Universal Soldier on the Mega Drive was Turrican. 

How could I forget the giant Dolph Lundgren in Universal Soldier? 

It gets a pretty raw deal but I actually thought it was a fun, decent port and a good laugh. 

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On 28/02/2022 at 14:48, Unofficial Who said:

And sometimes the reverse happens. Example with Flash Gordan

 

159870-captain-zapp-commodore-64-screens

 

becoming Captain Zapp for the US release.

 

159884-captain-zapp-commodore-64-screens

 

 

You can see how annoying that must have been as it ruins the artwork. The classy looking title with a huge gap now in captain zzap is jarring. The dodgy looking tash on the right chap does zero favours and the intricate details on the beard (left) gone. Even the little signature under the title removed but thought was placed in the original and its placement worked well. Oh the contrast between two hair colours looked more dynamic in the original together. 
 

It just looks like the aftermath was defaced by someone fooling around graffitiing over the initial concept. 

 

 

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Kinda on topic:

My last job in games was making mobile phones games in the days before smart phones. 2002-2004, in fact. 

 

The thing that we found back then is that pretty much the only games that sold were ones with recognisable names attached to them. Be it a film / TV / toy licence or a version of an existing game. Stuff like Candycrush or Wordle wouldn't have done anything back then but Harry Potter House Match Three or Fifty Shades of Letter Puzzle would have. 

 

It was the same with console games, in my experience. I worked on a couple of football games and we released essentially the same game twice, just with a named star attached to the second game. The one with the licence attached did miles better than the one without. It even reviewed better, iirc. 

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The plot of Pushover on the Amiga centred on Quavers mascot Colin Curly even though he wasn’t the main character. This element was totally stripped out for the SNES port.

 

I feel this is different to Penguin bars in Robocod and Chupa Chups in Zool because they weren’t part of either games’ plot.

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Due to development delays and issues, US Gold released World Cup Carnival with a slightly modified version of Artic's Football from years earlier.  The big box with posters and stickers was widely criticized as reviewers felt you were paying £10 for a £1.99 budget game and some stickers.

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Not quite a licence, but two different games got reworked to star the character Roland on the Amstrad - Bugaboo the Flea became Roland in the Caves, whilst Fred became Roland on the Ropes.

 

I say reworked. What they did was change the name of the game. Graphically, the games remained unchanged, so Roland is a human in Ropes, but a flea in Caves.

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On 04/03/2022 at 09:50, Ketchup said:

Remember when codemasters released the same football games except each version was themed to a team like Man U or Chelsea?

 

Club Football.

 

Konami have done this too in recent seasons, with PES having a few different editions that rework the menus around some of their partner clubs like Man United, Barcelona or Juventus.

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4 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

Club Football.

 

Konami have done this too in recent seasons, with PES having a few different editions that rework the menus around some of their partner clubs like Man United, Barcelona or Juventus.

Konami in low effort cash grab? I am shocked! 

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