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Activision allows King's Quest fan project

Non-commercial license granted as The Silver Lining prepares for July launch

Rights holder Activision has allowed fan project The Silver Lining to continue, after previously serving the King's Quest tribute with a cease & desist order.

The Silver Lining is based on the long-running graphic adventure series from Sierra, which has not seen an official sequel since King's Quest: Mask of Eternity in 1998. Activision gained the rights to the series during its merger with Sierra owners Vivendi Games in 2008.

Fan-run company Phoenix Online Studios have been working on a new game for over eight years, despite initial legal action from Vivendi. The company eventually relented and granted Phoenix a non-commercial license to release the game, although when Activision gained the rights this was withdrawn.

Now Activision has reversed its early objections and issued a new license. "Activision reached out to the Phoenix Online team a few months ago with a desire to revisit their decision regarding The Silver Lining," said an announcement on the developer's website.

"After negotiations, the cease & desist order has been officially rescinded, and Phoenix Online has been granted a non-commercial license to release The Silver Lining!"

As a result of the agreement the first episode of the downloadable game is now due to be released on July 10.

Although successful during the '80s and early '90s the popularity of Sierra's graphic adventures began to fall following the rise in prominence of LucasArts' rival franchises and the eventual collapse of the genre in general.

The only franchise to see continued use in recent years has been Leisure Suit Larry, although the most recent titles have enjoyed little critical or commercial success.

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David Jenkins