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Archive for September, 2009

Hedge Your Bets

September 29, 2009 34 comments

EA's stance on the matter

News has spread fast, like a lit torch to the dried twigs of the EDGE Games trademark tree, the Internet is abuzz with the word that EA has filed against Tim Langdell and his trademark business.

If for some reason you’ve been blissfully unaware of this startling news, here’s a quick recap of what’s just happened.

EA and EA DICE are asking that the trademarks “THE EDGE”, “GAMER’S EDGE”, “EDGE”, “CUTTING EDGE” and “EDGE” (second registration covering a different range of goods), held by Edge Games Inc, be cancelled.

EA explain their interest in the “MIRROR’S EDGE” mark and say that since September 2008 Edge Games has been continuously threatening to sue over an alleged violation of their “family of registered EDGE marks.”

They explain that Edge Games Inc is the successor company to Edge Interactive Media Inc, and point out Langdell’s continuous role as CEO of both companies. They also point out that the EDGE marks were previously owned by Edge Interactive Media Inc.

They then go over each of the marks they want cancelled, and

(a) claim the mark has been abandoned
(b) claim that Edge lied to the USPTO about the dates the marks were first used, under penalty of perjury, offering supporting evidence (a lot of it the doctored evidence of use which Edge submitted to the USPTO and the amateur internet sleuths uncovered)
(c) claim that they just know that Edge lied to the USPTO about the dates the marks were first used, because they are EA, and they know what is going on in the games industry
(d) claim that the continued registration of the mark harms EA’s interests

Finally, they make two claims for relief:

(1) the EDGE family of marks should be cancelled because they were abandoned by Edge Interactive Media Inc. Also, the marks were abandoned before they were assigned to Edge Games Inc, making the assigment invalid, so actually they’re abandoned marks not even owned by Edge Games Inc!
(2) the EDGE family of marks should be cancelled because Edge knowingly lied to get them registered in the first place.

If you fancy reading the document in all its legal glory, then put on your best Phoenix Wright hat and delve away.

Even with the might of EA, this obviously isn’t the end, it’s more the beginning of the end. For now it’s time for Tim Langdell and his mighty empire to attempt to step up to the challenge and fight back.

Indeed it seems that Langdell has already started in his quest to forge out evidence in backing up his claims to the many registered trademarks in dispute. The Edge Games website has been joyfully sprayed with gushings of (TM)’s and (R)’s in effort to claim ownership, much in the same way a dog would declare a mail box to be his territory, Langdell’s growling and showing teeth at this new threat.

We like to keep tabs on the changes at EDGE Games, as sometimes it seems that holding on to a piece of history can help highlight current events. Take this Mirrors pre-order page from a few weeks back for example:

Prepare to be amazed (We’re still fully prepared by the way), and now see this latest version with it’s lashings of (TM) and (R) marks.

A frail hope in stamping down valid use of the marks… It continues across the whole catalog, generated sentences of pure guff in hope to pump life back in to the dead corpse.

There’ll be little surprise to see images such as those above be used by EDGE Games in their fight against EA. Retrofitting information has clearly been a lead tactic in their arsenal for a long time now. EA have spotted that in their statement linking to the aforementioned mock ups and cock up showing of the Edge magazine mock up of June 2004.

At ChaosEdge, we’re going to keep vigilant and open eyed about this, there’s little doubt that over the coming months EDGE Games under control from their boss Tim Langdell will do what they can to keep up the fight. Without the raft of TMs behind them, they have little in the way of business, and for a company that’s kept up this game for nigh on 30 years, surely the end won’t come so easily.

——————–

Speaking of business, we’d like to thank you for all your comments and mentions regarding the recent Mythora article. With such a good response it was clear that we’d have to follow it up with another one.

RACERS being the next title out of the stocks, we were excitedly waiting for the 9th, Sept, 2009 release date, but to our horror, we found that come the 9th, the pre-order page for RACERS changed to SOLD OUT. Clearly the hundreds, nay thousands, possibly millions of gamers had been virtually queuing up and purchased the game before we managed to bag one.

It’s clear that the game must be incredible, gripping players from the moment of install, as not one review has appeared on the internet. That’s right, not one person has managed to pull themselves away from playing this incredible game in order to post a few blessed words on a blog, news site or otherwise.

Of course we kid, don’t for one second believe that RACERS was released and that anyone has been playing it.

That’s a strong statement to make, how do we know for a fact that RACERS didn’t sell out to a bating crowed of rabid gamers?

Well. To buy an EDGE Game, you have to visit the EDGE Games Store, you can’t buy this shit in the shops people. Games are ordered online and with each order you’re given a unique order number.

Here’s an example of our Mythora purchase.

Notice the Order Number is 1001, dated on 1st, Sept, 2009. That makes it the first order on the Edge Games Store. “Surely you mean the 1001th order?” Nope, shops tend to work in four digit order numbers starting at 1001 and stepping up from there. Want more proof? Ok.

EDGE Games use the SmartCart system, so as a test we created a new account and launched our very own store, offering make believe items at a fine price (sound familiar?). We placed a few orders, keeping an eye on the order number, which sure enough started out at 1001 and stepped up to 1002 (As seen in the image above) and so on, thus proving that the Mythora order was the first made on the EDGE Games store.

So what of the second order, and what’s its significance here? Well, we’re a greedy bunch and we couldn’t help but take more offerings from EDGE Games, so a second order was made on the 10th, Sept, 2009. This time for a second copy of Mythora and a copy of Bobby Bearing for mobile phone (just can’t get enough of that gaming goodness).

Here’s a copy of the invoice to prove it.

Also the PayPal Invoice which clearly shows the date of purchase.

Note the order number 1002, the second ever order placed on the EDGE Games store on the 10th, Sept, 2009. That date needs to be reiterated as it’s important here: 10th, Sept, 2009. The second order was placed some 9 days after our original; that’s 9 whole days of ZERO orders on the website. Now some of you may have clicked at the significance of the dates, but for those who have not, here it is.

9th, Sept, 2009, the launch date of RACERS, the very game that on the EDGE Games store the had sold out before the 10th, Sept, 2009. A title that had somehow sold out between order numbers 1001 and 1002. Not even a tough act, but an impossible one.

That’s the proof we have to show that RACERS was never released, there’s no gamers playing it and it’s exactly why there are no news sites putting up reviews of it.

Categories: 1

Mock Ups and Cock Ups

September 15, 2009 23 comments

Since this whole case blew out of the water some five months ago there have people posting comments on the many websites and forums following this event. One question that returns time after time is ‘What does EDGE Games have to do with EDGE magazine?

It’s clear that this question needs to be finally laid to rest.

The short answer is that EDGE Games has nothing to do with the magazine. It wasn’t part of the magazines creation, it had no power over its editorial content and despite the clever use of wording on many of Tim Langdell’s biographies that scatter the internet, he didn’t ‘Spawn’ it. The magazine was actually the fine work of long time video game journalist Steve Jaratt and Future Publishing back in October 1993.

The only thing EDGE Games can claim over the magazine was that managed to wrangle a licence deal out of Future Publishing. In 1994 Future Publishing applied for the ‘Edge’ trademark in printed media, which seemed to prick up Langdell’s ears and set off his well oiled ‘licence agreement’ train. He managed to arrange an agreement to licence the name before boldly embarking on his voyage of claiming ownership and creation rights.

Future Publishings Edge Magazine

Future Publishing's Edge Magazine

Like many of the things we’ve posted here before, EDGE Games have made some strong claims to owning products, releasing products and promising to jet people off to space. It’s claims over Edge magazine seemed to be one of their main pillars to lean on over the past decade. As already stated, Tim Langdell, the mastermind behind EDGE Games has often stated that he ‘spawned’ the magazine in an effort to willy wave himself into industry roles such as speaker at GDC.

GDC 2009 Speaker Profile

Tim Langdell
CEO, EDGE Games

Tim Langdell is a veteran of the videogame industry: he founded EDGE Games in 1979 which brand he made famous and which spawned EDGE Magazine; produced over 180 games (most of which Tim designed and was writer for); authored 5 books on game programming, game testing (2005) and was chapter author of the IDGA book on Writing for Games (2006).

Tim instigated the first games classes at USC’s Film School in the early 1990s, taught at USC for around 14 years and is now Lead Game Faculty at National University where he heads up their MFA in Videogame Production & Design which he also devised. Tim is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, where he is currently Vice Chair of their Videogame Writers Caucus and a member of the New Media Council Board of the Producers Guild of America. Tim is passionate about game design and the future of the games industry and the continued convergence of film/tv/games.
http://www.nu.edu (Updated: 1/30/2009)

He’s also happy to flaunt the claims over Edge Magazine on the networking site LinkedIn [User account and valid contact needed]. Although being careful enough to state that Edge is just a brand of magazine, the placement of that statement within his company’s profile would certainly lead the casual onlooker into believing it was his company’s creation.

Chairman

EDGE Games

Privately Held; Computer Games industry

March 1979 – Present (30 years 7 months)

Founded one of the earliest game companies, is now the longest continuously operational games company. EDGE brand invented in early 1980s, hence slightly younger than Activision (say) but older than most other major brand names. EDGE is also a well known brand name for its leading UK games magazine, which is shortly to be released in the US (already available elsewhere worldwide). At EDGE I have been responsible for producing over 180 games, many of which I designed and acted as part of the programming team.

Tim Langdell’s wikipedia page made for a very interesting read before it was rightfully deleted. This one quote shows how he tactically continued to use his claims over Edge Magazine as a way to big himself up.

In 1993 Langdell also decided to diversify EDGE well beyond just computer and video game software publishing into print and other entertainment media. As a result Langdell worked with Future Publishing to license the rights to the trademark EDGE to launch a new high-end games magazine, Edge, which was published by Future under license from EDGE starting in 1993.[citation needed]

It’s worth noting that the reason for Tim Langdell’s removal from wikipedia was on the grounds that his entry was written by Cheri Davis, a woman that claimed to have never met Langdell, but was just researching in to his past for a book she was writing. Well it might be true about the book, but the claim to not know him is a hard one to swallow, what with her sharing the same name as Tim’s wife, Cheri Davis Langdell.

You are mistaken. I am writing a book on founding members of the game industry and noticed that Tim Langdell was one of the only people missing from Wikipedia. The article I created is based on my research, not on being Tim Langdell or knowing him personally. Cheridavis (talk) 14:17, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

The claims haven’t just been used as an effort to make EDGE Games and Tim Langdell look like a bigger and more creative outlet, they’ve also been used as evidence in trademark hearings, like the 2009 case against Cybernet Systems Corporation over the use of the name ‘Edge Of Extinction’, where Langdell claimed that this fake cover was the issue of Edge magazine from July 2004. Never failing to push a little more self promotion, the EDGE Gaming PC’s advertised in the corner are another piece of EDGE Games history from it’s legal fight with Velocity Micro.

Click to reveal real version of the Magazine

Click to reveal real version of the Magazine

EDGE Games have also displayed their handy work at creating fake magazine mock ups on their own website too. Back in 2000, Edge Games made the claim that they published a US version of Edge Magazine, while the UK version was handled by Future. The US Edge magazine website at the time offered the chance to subscribe via the secure means of email, just as today it’s possible to pre-order games from the EDGE store by the same means. For a famous world wide publisher, it does seem a little odd to be relying on such an unsecure technology to handle customer orders.

Edge Magazine was actually available in the US from 1995 to 2002 under the name Next Generation Magazine. It was published by Imagine Media Publishing company (now Future Network USA). Again it seems that EDGE Games and Tim Langdell have stretched the truth over a rather poor fake mock up and plastered it onto an equally lavish website.

The above claims aren’t the only helpful takings they’ve made from Future’s magazine, there’s also been extensive use of the logo too, which has been on display at the EDGE Games website since around 2003. Apart from a little photoshop bevel, some outlining and other plugin effects, it’s clear to see that it’s the same logo used by Future publishing on their magazine.

It’s possible that EDGE Games decided to make this move further into Edge magazine territory due to the strong brand of the magazine at the time and the  none existent brand of its own. EDGE Games had gone for nearly a decade without releasing a product, balancing its entire brand on the pillars of other peoples efforts such as Marvel/Malibu and their Edge comics, Stuart Hall and his Edge notepads and Diamond Multimedia’s Edge PC Hardware. Not a good position to be in for a famous world wide power house of a publisher.

The signs of struggling might have been best marked out by the corporations suspension of trading in April 2004 as stated by California’s Franchise Tax Board, times were indeed looking bad for EDGE Games, so the quick witted action of Tim Langdell to rebrand his company to look more like the successful magazine would help him see through this harsh time. Another note of this struggle is reflected in the EDGE Games website, which went unchanged from 2003 to 2008, with even the (c) notice staying put at 2003.

EDGE Games were still fighting in the courts during this period, but it’s clear that times were getting harder for them to claim their function as a still valid games developer, having to rely on ageing titles such as Garfield: Winters Tale (1989) and Snoopy (1989) as evidence in their legal cases despite those titles being 20 years old. The decision to take the look of the successful magazine must have been a no brainer to choose.

In recent times though it’s clear that Future aren’t happy with EDGE Games stepping on their hardworking toes. The licence agreement that was once printed in each issue has since been removed and Future themselves have applied for their own trademark over the brand Edge in relation to printed media. In reaction to this we’ve seen a shift in tactics by EDGE Games, previous bold claims over the creation and rights to Edge Magazine have since shifted away, slight changes in the wording have shown that EDGE Games are clearly backing down over their previous claims.

The EDGE Games website now makes a clearer statement as to who owns and runs the magazine brand (Although in our eyes, still not clear enough, but at least it doesn’t use that ‘spawn’ word).

Tim’s own website makes an even clearer point to try and step away from the previous claims (Albeit in the style of Deluxe Paint III)

It’s not just the statements that are being back tracked, the EDGE Games logo has recently gone under the photoshop treatment.

Ok, to the untrained eye it might still look exactly like the magazine logo.

But on closer inspection you’ll notice that the branches coming from the left side of the E characters have been clipped down to a point on the new EDGE Games logo, although the shadow still reflects the old version, and the G has had it’s horizontal bar clipped shorter.

In ChaosEdge’s opinion this still is too close to the look of the magazine and to the casual onlooker would still cause confusion, and this is something we know that Tim Langdell and his EDGE Games company are supposed masters of. At least they were until the Internet came along.

So it looks like EDGE Games are finally on the back foot about this whole claim, which we hope will now be laid to rest and answer that long running question: ‘What does EDGE Games have to do with EDGE magazine?’ – Nothing.

It would probably be fine to end this article here with all that wrapped up, but this is EDGE Games, they have a long history of nefarious tricks and it would be a damn shame not to highlight one or two more while were here.

The EDGE Games logo didn’t always resemble that of the award winning magazine, there was a time when EDGE Games had its very own, which sat proud on the boxes of published games during operating years of the 1980′s (When games came on tape and you could eat three course meals between loading times).

But that wasn’t EDGE Games only mark in the 80′s, there was another. One that we can only find on a single game release, but its a significant event none the less. Launched in 1989, Darius+ was a conversion of Taito’s arcade hit, notable for its use of a completely different logo to the one seen on other EDGE games products.

We’re not sure of the reason for this change, but we did find a statement from an ex-EDGE Games employee, which gives us some insight into the story behind it.

Posted by YardanIcarius – 07/10/09 on Kotaku

I would like to make comment regarding Tim Langdell, who I worked for and created around 6 games for Softek International AKA The Edge back in my earlier years. This is not really news to me or most of the staff working for The Edge/Softek/ACE/RAD/Mico Selection at the time, it was a regular thing that he in fact took people to court, did not pay wages and generally ripped everyone off including his distributors.

On one occasion he came into the office all gleaming like turns out he did not pay Rodney Matthews who at the time redesigned our Edge logo which Tim boasted and took pride in this.

There was even an incident at a computer show when we were ordered to march over to a computer magazine stall and remove all the magazines because they wrote some comment Tim did not like and he was removed from the stall be security.

The list is endless, there was a law suit over the rights to the A-Team of which the game had already been started I think Ocean Software was the other party, other games included X-men which I worked on an early version for the Atari-ST I think there was a huge row with Marvel and they ultimately ended the contract and working relationship with him of which childish tantrums were displayed in the office.

Everyone at the time in the UK games industry knew of how he did business which ultimately lead to the demise of The Edge, ACE and all the other labels he created as nobody with experience would work for him. As far as the amount of games, Softek International only published around 20-30 games from all its labels including the re-releasing over and over again on new labels like Micro Selection etc.. It’s a real shame as the people who worked there were great and went on to create great games for decent publishers and get paid. I for one still keep in touch with them and this is a really interesting thing to happen as this has been going on for decades.

Checking the Rodney Matthews website reveals the logo in all its glory

Flipping the box of Darius+ around also confirms the fact, proudly stating that the logo was designed by Rodney Matthews, the very person that the ex-EDGE Games employee talked of, conned out of pay for working in its design but still plastered across the box in defiant glory.

This information sits firmly with other ex-EDGE Games workers that boldly state that EDGE Games were not a company that enjoyed parting with cash.

Bo Jangeborg – Creator of Fairlight (1985) via email

“I had to get a lawyer to get them [Tim and Cheri] to pay me the money they owed me for Fairlight. They refused to pay me, unless I signed up to make more games for them. As a result, Fairlight II was released without my approval, with several known bugs. In the end, I ended up getting some money but they ended up with the rights to Fairlight [My note: that Langdell is now releasing for the WiiWare, according to his website]. I didn’t sign up for any more games…..  ;o)”

“Generally speaking you could definitely say I’m not very fond of the Langdell’s or their way of doing business. I can only state that they have spent a lot of time in court.”

C64.com Interview – Ian & Mic / Horison Developments – February 15th, 2007

After about three years, we decided to move on from games development because the industry was loosing its spark. Around this time, we also had a long court battle with a games publisher called The Edge (owned by Tim Langdell) who’s only ambition in life was to rip off as many programmers, musicians and graphic artists in every way he could. He used every delay tactic known to man to resist payment, so we decided justice will prevail using legal aid and try to reclaim our earnings through the courts. We eventually won the court case with his company but we did not receive the money that was owed to us or the Maniacs of Noise for the music as he cowardly left for America. But we got some comfort that he ceased trading in the UK through our efforts, with their reputation in tatters. In those last months we would spend days and nights without sleep for weeks on end writing routines and games that had tight deadlines. There was no fun in games development anymore so it was the right time for us to move on.

On that note, it’s time to sign off. Tim Langdell and his company of many monikers has left a wake of upset developers behind him since the early 80′s, let’s hope that ChaosEdge can help finally bring his reign to an end.

As always, your donations are so helpful to this cause, 30 years is too long for a man to be pushing people out of the industry with his tactics.

Categories: Blog

The Myth behind Mythora

September 9, 2009 39 comments

We’ve bleated enough about MIRRORS a game from EDGE for the moment. Although just to add a point there, the box was changed again after our last article was posted. We’re bored of that game now, we want to play something new. Something we can actually physically play with. In our hands, an real actual GAME!

I know you’re all thinking that we’ve gone nuts, cause Edge Games don’t actually release games.

We’ll that’s not true because we have an actual real copy of Mythora, box n’ all!

So what now? Do we eat our hat? Do we shut up shop now that we’ve received proof of physical product?

Of course not. Now the fun begins. It’s time to find out what lurks inside this “Edge Games” release.

Let’s start with the box.

The Edge Games Online Store claims:

Mythora is an older product in our range, launched in 2004. It does not currently have up to date video or sound card drivers and thus may not work on all current PC systems. We are endeavoring to add video card and sound card support and will announce such new support as and when it is available. But in the meantime,when purchasing this product please be aware it is an older game.

This information tallies up with the specs printed on the back of the box, and also the copyright year of 2004. So it’s clear that this is old stock saved from it’s original 2004 release yes?

Let’s look at this further.

Mythora is listed on the box as being a TM. So with that we should be able to trace this trademark back on the http://uspto.gov website:

That’s good, the trademark does exist. But something is odd. The Filing Date reads September 1, 2009. The very same day that Mythora was posted on the Edge Games website store, and the same day that this copy was ordered from that website. Incidentally it’s also the same day that the box art image was uploaded to the Edge Games store as well.

Let’s move on to the box blurb.

Well it’s plentiful that’s for sure. It’s also slightly odd to post such a large amount of text on the box, all in one single drawn out long paragraph no less. To attempt to read that in a shop as a way of convincing to purchase would quickly put you to sleep.

So why did Edge Games go to all the effort of adding such a lengthy write up, and one that includes a spoiler to the end of the game (If you can’t be bothered reading it, just look at the last line). Well, lets look to where the text could have come from as we’ve established the fine idea that Edge Games loves to release things found on the internet.

Looking at the press release posted on GamersHell back in 2003 and the NAWAR (Developer) website around the same time and we see very similar text, albeit in a state of poor grammar.

All examples include the world EXILE wrote in capital letters as well as following basically the same storyline. This concludes two things then, the text is from 2003/4 and is linked to EDGE Games. It still would have made more sense to release the game with a more punchy sounding bit of box blurb, but that’s by-the-by. It does help us link EDGE Games and NAWAR.

The following image is taken from the open letter posted by Edge Games regarding the Mobigame case, which shows that there was an ‘Agreement’ between Edge Games and Vivid Design (The creators of Mythora). In the statement Edge Games make it clear that they own the rights to Mythora / Banita, so not the name of the game but the game itself. The truth is an Agreement could be regarding anything, and that bit of ‘proof’ isn’t worth the website it’s printed on.

Focusing on NARWAR’s site for a while longer, they actually launched a Mythora page around the start of 2004, stating EDGE Games as the title’s publisher, continuing with the notion that EDGE were set to publish the game upon its release.

In March 2004 WithinGames.net published an interview with NAWAR studio head Marcin Michel and Mythora lead programmer/Lead Designer Dominik Libek. It’s an interesting read and brings forward a few points which are worth repeating:

(14) When will the game be released? Have you already any publishing-deals and will there be a localized version for the german market?

Marcin Michel: The game is ready and it is waiting to be launched. If we find a distributor for the German market, the localized version of the product will certainly be issued. For now I have to solve the problems with currently signed contract, but I can estimate the German version release date at the end of April 2004.

Now we can only speculate what the situation of the contract was back then in, the only information we have is the news that followed the March interview.

In June NAWAR launched a new page dedicated to Banita, which was the very same page and game as Mythora, but listed without publisher or release date. A Guess here could be that the deal with EDGE and Mythora fell apart, so NAWAR took to renaming the game and offering it back out to new clients. This might not be the exact case, but we hope it’ll become clear in the future.

Soon after this NAWAR shifted it’s focus and a FRONTLINE took over as the brand for game development.

Formal Incorporation of the FRONTLINE Studios™ Poland, as a subsidiary company of NAWAR, dedicated exclusively to the development of video games, NAWAR focuses exclusively on business applications and technology research.

The game was launched in 2004 by various publishers, Trend as The Banished, Akella as The Outcast – Mythora Banita (Exile: The blade of Death).

The Banished - German Version

The Banished - German Version

Russian Release

Russian Version

Despite a massive search on the internet and through many years of archives, no reference can be found showing the release of Mythora by EDGE Games until the opening of the EDGE store on 1st Sept 2009.

Frontline Studios updated their website in 2005 with a page dedicated to The Banished, along with a copyright, with no mention of EDGE Games or Mythora.

RPGCodex also list the announcement of Mythora, followed by the announcement of Banita (The Banished), which follows the line that the game took a different direction from its early announcement.

Marcin Michel, Head of Frontline Studios was contacted regarding this confusing matter of ownership. Although we cannot print all of what he said, here’s a snippet that gives enough information for people to go on.

“FRONTLINE / NAWAR do not confirm Tim owns any rights, and official statement will be posted after discovery is completed by our attorney”.

This information was actually given to Tim Langdell, to which he responded with:

I am certain that if Marcin wrote that to you he did so before he received a copy of the actual contract. Since he has since confirmed Edge owns the rights and Edge and Frontline are in talks about an amicable resolution of the situation that Vivid created.

Again, please stop talking as if you have deeper knowledge of Edge Game’s affairs than Edge itself has. It only makes you look even more foolish than you already do.

Marcin has been contacted since and we can state that Tim’s message doesn’t comply with the response from Marcin. So that looks like another potential legal wrangle in the making.

So what exactly do we have in our hands then? This is certainly a copy of Mythora, the box says so, as does the disc. We can only continue all see what else can be found.

On the back of the box are four screen shots of the game. Looking closely at these screen shots reveal a red mark in the top left corner, like a water mark.

Taking a trip back to GamersHell website, which hosted information about Mythora, we find the same screenshots as the box, we also find what looks to be the red mark which sits in the top left corner.

So it seems that EDGE aren’t just in the market for taking their artwork from Deviantart pages, they’re also taking what they claim to be their own artwork from game news sites.

The rest of the box focuses on printed all claimed trademarks that Edge Games have ever wished to have.

There’s no rules to state that you have to register trademarks, it’s just more helpful if you do. Still, it might be worth looking at Edge Games in 2004 to see how this information fits with the box we have.

  • The “Masters of the Game” Trademark was registered by Acclaim, and went through a dispute with EDGE Games over ownership. Acclaim eventually got the Trademark. EDGE Games claimed it back after Acclaim went bankrupt. The Trademark registration expired in 2002.
  • “Gamer’s Edge” Trademark was applied for on the 5th of February 2006 and is part of a long legal dispute with Velocity Micro over the ownership of the Trademark.
  • The Edge was applied for back in 1996 but wasn’t registered until Jan 2009. The application was actually suspended throughout 2004 because it conflicted with other trademarks.
  • Edge Interactive Media was suspended in April 2004, until the 16th of June 2008.
  • Edge Games Inc. wasn’t incorporated until the 17th of November 2005
  • http://www.mythora.com was registered 23, Oct, 2008, not bad for a game that was ‘released’ in 2004

Registrar..: gkg.net (http://register.gkg.net/)
Domain Name: MYTHORA.COM
Created on…………..: 23-OCT-2008
Expires on…………..: 23-OCT-2009
Record last updated on..: 23-OCT-2008
Status………………: ACTIVE

Enough of the box, what about the disc, the very media that holds the game we’re dying to play.

Nothing too bad looking at the initial glance, however like everything EDGE related, a closer inspection reveals.

A Memorex CD-R, a standard CD blank that can be picked up from any shop. Not commonly the work of a publisher, using an official pressing plant to cut the thousands of required discs that are used to fill the shelves of game shops the country over.

Can you believe we’ve gone this far and not actually got onto the game yet? Shocking.

Here’s a video of the game booting up, and a list of the all important game credits!

The game does begin with the Edge logo! There’s no denying that (Well the Future Publishing Magazine EDGE Logo, but EDGE Games have been using that one for long enough now), but it’s not irrefutable proof of ownership. The Logo is a BMP graphic file and there are ways of retro fitting elements like that into games without great difficulty.

The Credits are more of an important feature of the video. It’s a fairly long list and produces names of all disciplines, but no mention of Tim Langdell, EDGE Games, EDGE Interactive media, Masters of the Game, or anything else close to it.

The box lists it’s own version of the Credits and happily lists Tim Langdell, EDGE Games and Edge Games, but bless, I don’t think anyone is taking an inkjet quality CD box with screenshots taken from a gaming news site as absolute proof of ownership.

So that’s what we have at this moment. We’re hoping that some new sleuthing will bring more information regarding the whole Myth of Mythora, so stick with us and we’ll certainly be back again.

Please don’t forget, using the donation button on the right hand side of the website and passing on a small monetary gift will help the fight and enable the increasing number of developers that are stuck in a legal wrangle that they didn’t ever intend to be in.

Until next time.

UPDATE:

More time has been spent looking at the files on the CD in hope to find information regarding the date of their creation.

Files are date stamped when they’re created, so it’s often easy to tell when a file was from by simply checking the date label.

Most of the files on the CD are dated 2003, which lines up with the games release in 2004. In fact the EDGE logo file, ‘L_Edge.bmp’ is dated 27th November, 2003. This either means that the copy of the game is one created for Edge Games, or it has been doctored to look as though it is. We are edging on belief that this copy of the game was generated for EDGE Games by NARWAR during their ‘Agreement’ in early 2004.

NAWAR stated that the game’s production was completed in 2003 before finding a publishing deal, so it’s fair to assume that during this time a version of the game was generated for EDGE Games.

There are other files on the disc which, lead us to believe that the disc itself wasn’t actually created till 2009. In fact, not actually created till after the game was ordered.

A thumbs.db file has the date 30th Aug, 2009 (The day before the EDGE Store went live)

The MSI installer file was created 2nd Sept, 2009 at 6:19AM, which was the day after the order was placed.

The most recent date on the disk is on a Autorun file, 4th Sept, 2009, 1:02AM. At 11:07AM that very same day EDGE Games emailed to say that the game had shipped. That indicates the disk was burned that day the very day it was posted.

Looking at those time and dates it seems that EDGE Games weren’t ready, prepared or maybe even expecting someone to come along and order a game from their famous and industry leading store. Here’s hoping that Nintendo or EA have a better system than this cause it sounds like quite an inefficient way to server all those many thousands of customers. Although there’s no denying that it there’s a great feel of a personal touch.

UPDATE:

This was briefly mentioned earlier in this article, but it’s worth highlighting again.

On the Mythora box it states that the game is (c) 2004 The Edge Interactive Media. Also on the EDGE Games online store it clarifies that date of 2004.

(note: Mythora is an older product in our range, launched in 2004. It does not currently have up to date video or sound card drivers and thus may not work on all current PC systems. We are endeavoring to add video card and sound card support and will announce such new support as and when it is available. But in the meantime,when purchasing this product please be aware it is an older game).

What we mentioned before was that Edge Interactive Media was suspended from operations from April 2004, till at least June 2008.

The legal standing of this is quoted here:

Revive a Suspended Corporation

When a corporation’s status is suspended, the corporation has lost all its rights and privileges as a corporation and cannot legally operate. California Corporations can achieve good standing status but first, they must be revived. Two powers have the authority to suspend and revive a corporation. The first being the California Secretary of State’s office and the second being the California Franchise Tax Board.

If Edge Interactive Media was suspended from April 2004 and NAWAR’s website in April 2004 still shows the game as not yet released. Then either the game was never released by Edge Interactive Media or it was, illegally. However as we can find no evidence that during 2004 Edge Interactive Media sold any copies of the game, then we can only lean on the former idea. Edge Games never released Mythora.

Categories: Blog

Langdell’s downfall

September 5, 2009 2 comments

What can I say? Genius… Enjoy! :)

Categories: Blog

The Crying Developer

September 4, 2009 13 comments

Regular Chaos Edge readers will know that the many articles that we post here are in effort to bring forth the truth behind the face of Edge Games. We publish the comments, the history and the actions of what the company does.

We chose to do this because we care. We’re not an evil bunch of Internet snipers out to cause a ruckus just for the shits ‘n giggles, we’re doing this because there are other fellow developers within our industry that are currently facing a hard time; not because of the global economic climate, but because of the actions of one small outfit known as Edge Games, or Edge Interactive Media, or Galactic Edge Spacelines, a company that has continued to perform business in the way that seemingly only it sees as appropriate.

As a community it’s not nice when you see your kin suffer, so we decided to try and do what we could to help fight the battle. We’re not a corporate company, a union or an Association of International Game Developers, we don’t have the resources and legal divisions to cover this, but something needed doing, and needed doing quickly.

We pooled together some cash and created a legal fund, which would be used by the developers in trouble to help with their incurred expenses. If you wish, and we’d appreciated it greatly, you can Donate to this fund and help with the cause. We also created this website as we were finding that our research into the history of Edge Games was uncovering facts that really needed to be told, and the more we looked, the more we found people that had been treated in similar ways as our friends had been. We wanted to offer them some reassurance that they weren’t alone and we’d do what we can to help.

We’d like to thank all the folk that have commented on our articles, made posts in the many forums and on twitter, they’re all greatly appreciated.

But we know that you visit this site to read about the scoops and the dirt, so it would be rude to not bring that too you.

The Crying Developer

You might think that title refers to the previous part of this article, however it does not. Recently we posted an article about Edge Games future release MIRRORS a game from EDGE. After Edge Games were exposed taking artwork from a Deviantart users profile and passing it off as their own, they quickly changed the image (Although not without a few hiccups). The new image depicted a mans face, we presume a render of the main character of MIRRORS, a character that has surely been greatly fleshed out now as MIRRORS has been in development for a good number of years.

Dr. Tim Langdell @ 08-30-2009 11:02 PM
[snip]  But as you know Edge’s game “Mirrors” was announced around a year before EA’s game “Mirror’s Edge” so you have it backwards if you are trying to suggest a connection in terms of chosing a name for a game.

Actually we didn’t know this, but thanks for the information Dr. Tim Langdell. So if the game was announced a year before EA’s, that would make the announcement dated around July 10, 2006 (1 year before Mirror’s Edge). Sadly no one remembers this announcement, not even the Internet. We just all remember the appearance of this Flash file appearing on the Edge Games website a few months back.

What we do find strange though is that why a game which has been in development for over three years now chose to use unauthorised art to promote itself instead of art from the game itself. I understand that not all people reading this article are from within the games industry (And also not all the people we’re talking about either), but to develop a game for three years and have no imagery to show is quite unheard of.

As the last article stated, the box art was changed. Maybe it was a mistake by one of Edges many artists that they surely have working on this cross platform title; no official statement has been given so we can only deliberate over the actual reason.

Surely the new box art is what it was originally supposed to be, actual artwork from the actual game used to actually represent what the actual product might be when it ships Fall/Winter 2009.

No more mistakes now, this is it, what we’re seeing is actual footage from a product that began development 30 years ago.

What wait? I said 30, surely I meant 3?

Actually no. It seems that for the second time, the merry folk over at Edge Games have gone and done a boo-boo. They’ve gone and taken imagery that doesn’t belong to them.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you The Crying Indian.

This time however, the image isn’t from some poor persons Deviantart page, no sir. This time the image is taken from KAB, that’s the Keep America Beautiful Inc. A Group, which for over half a century has stood proud to help make America a clean country to live in. Maybe this is Edge Game’s way of helping with the recycling. By taking a very popular and powerful image that has been used since 1973 and reshaping it into a video game.

Another day, another company’s hard work picked up and used without consent. We hope this is the end of it all…

… but sadly it isn’t.

If you were the CEO of a long running and famous games company, and you were set to release a game in the coming months, how would you go about visually promoting the title?

Would you:

A) Employ the work of an artist to create imagery taken from the game

B) Would you  search the Google images with the title of the game and just snap up any old image you found?

To anyone answering B, we at Chaos Edge would like to say “Hello Tim”. For all our other readers that chose A, please read on.

We’ve already discussed the MIRRORS debacle, so what about Firebirds Remix for the iPhoneDeveloped by Graeme Devine for Softek (Langdell’s previous company) in 1983, this Galaxian clone is set to come out later this year on iPhone.

So you have the game, albeit from 1983, you have artwork which can be seen here, so why do you choose to replace the artwork with a stolen piece from Deviantart, a piece of work from a 15 year old school girl? Especially after being called out for doing the same thing a few days previous to this?

We’re beginning to come to the conclusion that Edge Games do actually make games, they’re not the traditional ones from our industry, made for the 360, PS3, Wii, iPhone, but a completely different type of game, an ARG, where clues and puzzles are posted on the Edge Games website, and we have to go and solve them. Challenges that are legally dubious, infringing on copyright and trademark, but exciting to beat none the less.

Actually this isn’t the first time Edge Games have stepped into this realm.

http://www.crashonline.org.uk/09/news.htm

THE EDGE

Softek’s Managing Director, Tim Langdell, has issued a mysterious press release on behalf of The Edge described as the ‘creative group’ which has broken away from Softek International. Langdell says, ‘Over the past few months I had been bringing together some of the best talent worldwide to form a unique group of programmers, graphic artists and musicians. Clearly Softek’s game creation and marketing division had grown immensely in the first half of 1984. The creative group requested to be able to form an independent division of Softek.’

Quite how this creative group squeezed into Softek International’s tiny two-room offices in London is a matter open to question — the latest in space compaction techniques no doubt. Anyway, they seem to have been busy getting Personal Computer Games game of the month award for their Commodore game Quo Vadis, and more amazingly entering the Computer & Video Games Hall of Fame pages before releasing the Spectrum game Starbike. These two games are described by The Edge as megagames — the first ever, and with a follow up title of Psytraxx, Softek and The Edge are beginning to sound a little like a Liverpool giant. Let’s hope Softek doesn’t go right over The Edge.

Quo Vadis released in 1984 was more than just another game. A Gold scepter worth £35,000 was there to be won by the first lucky gamer to solve a puzzle within the game.

Slartibartfast Aug 5 2009, 08:01 PM

Grrrrrrrr…that brings back memories. I slaved away to complete Quo Vadis back in the day (which was no easy task) and meticulously mapped it (this was required to claim the prize I seem to recall, or maybe it was just for my own benefit) and got all of the riddles including the all important final questions. Riddles were tricky but took them to a teacher at school who was in Mensa and loved this kind of thing. Eventually all of the riddles were worked out and it WAS the correct answer. Essentially when getting to the end sequence you were asked a final question to defeat the evil dude.

The answers to all of the riddles in the game spelled out ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ which can translate to ‘Evil to him who thinks evil’. And as each of the riddles gave you letters to make up a sentence, there is absolutely ZERO way this wrong. Man, I can’t believe I forgot all of this….bad memories.

So, we (me and my brother) with help of my dad and the teacher meticulously put together the full solution, presented in full and glorious detail and sent it off to await with baited breath the glory of winning the sceptre (not to mention the inconceivable amount of money to a 13 year old). I knew it hadn’t been won by that stage (in some magazine) and I’d dedicated my life for weeks to beating the damn thing and getting those pesky riddles solved. Months and months went by. Eventually got a letter saying : WRONG!!! Which was bullshit as it was right. Of course the solution never came out, no prize given away.

edit: Ah, I see from the wiki entry on Quo Vadis that I wasn’t the only one with that solution, as it was 100% correct. Now where is my goddam prize!!

87.80.240.166 16:00, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I remember when this game was released, the makers of the game (The Edge) offered a prize of a Sceptre worth £30,000 to the first person to complete the game and solve all the riddles.

To my knowledge, no-one ever won the prize. The riddles were found at various points in the game and were as follows:-

AT LAST YOU THINK YOU ARE THERE

BE SWEET AND BE QUICK TO GO BACKWARD

TOURD’FORCE USING ONLY A KNIFE TO EAT AN A1 SOLUTION.

BINARY INDECISIONS BETWEEN SILENT BEGINNINGS AND QUIET TERMINATIONS

LOSING THE DUTCH ONE, ROYALTY APPEARS BEFORE ME

A THOUSAND ADDED TO EVERYTHING LOSES FIFTY

Does anyone know what the solution to the riddles was? Did anyone finish the game? What happens at the end?

It seems that Edge Games have always been making games, games where people work hard, but don’t get the reward they’re owed, don’t get the payment they’ve been promised. But we want to change that. We want to see the players finally win this game, and that’s why we’re going to keep on trucking.

Please keep on posting comments, keep on playing these games and if you want to make a financial Donation to help with the legal battles that are currently being fought, then the appreciation will go far.

Until next time.

Categories: Blog

MIRRORS a new game from EDGE

September 3, 2009 15 comments

With its tag line of “prepare to be amazed”, we’ve spent the last few months since the games announcement doing just that. We’ve pondered what type of game this might be, RPG, Puzzle, Racing, Shoot ‘em up! There’s only so much amazing preparation one can handle.

Just as our luck would have it, a few days back Edge Games launched their Edge Store, where frenzied internet goers from all round the world could join up and purchase Edge Published titles, the list is long, but I’ll try to quickly list it:

  1. Mythora – A Title first published under the name The Banished by Frontline Studios in 2006
  2. Bobby Bearing – First published in 1986, before reappearing on the mobile platform in 2003. The game only works on obsolete Nokia Series 60/S60.
  3. Battlepods – Only works on obsolete Nokia Series 60/S60.
  4. Pengu – Only works on obsolete Nokia Series 60/S60

But the games to purchase wasn’t the only available offering on the store, there was also the wonderful chance to pre-order up and coming titles such as MIRRORS!

The Pre-order page revealed some juicy information:

  • The platforms – PC, PS3, Wii, 360
  • The developer – Edge. Nice to know that they’re handling such an important development in house
  • Genre – Action – WOW
  • Release date 2009/2010! That could be next week!, or it could be about 15 months away!

The biggest news of all though was the box shot. Yes the image might have been small, but looking into it revealed some wonderful information.

In the letterbox we see some sort of space marine warrior, a futuristic human of sorts. This is helps a little, but it would be much better to see the full image… Wouldn’t it?

Our sleuths dug deep and like always brought in the goodies. Here’s the full image from MIRRORS.

Actually, it’s not. It is the full image as you can tell. But it’s not from MIRRORS a new game from EDGE. It’s actually the work of Mikeg8807, published as SPACE MARINE on his Deviantart webspace in Feb 2008. Incidentally if you google image search SPACE MARINE you should find Mike’s work on the first or second page. Also if you google Mirrors Edge you get a completely different game, how strange.

Mike was contacted by Chaos Edge to see if he could bring some inside info on what MIRRORS might be:

From: mikeg0788

Sent: Sep 2, 2009 4:34 pm PT

I definitely didn’t give anyone permission to use my artwork. Looks like a pretty shady website in general.

I’d probably be more upset if I thought he would be making money off using my work, but judging by the website it doesn’t look like that will be a problem.

Thanks for looking into that for me, I’ll send the guy an email and tell him to take it down. If there’s anything else you need/find, let me know.

Thanks again!

So there’s the inside scoop on what MIRRORS might bring to us in the coming future.

UPDATE:

As if by magic…

The Box image changes

Sadly though, Edge Games aren’t as thorough as they think they are:

Someone forgot to change the image on the order page.

Maybe they need some help in basic web site creation…

Well, we’re not a bad bunch of people here:

Replace the file ‘MirrorsM.jpeg’ Tim, you haven’t updated that one since the 1st of September.

ChaosEdge, here to help with your web woes and internet itches. There’s nothing that we can’t scratch.

Categories: Blog
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