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The Crying Developer

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
  1. MikeDee
    September 5, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    You might want to take a look at these links:

    http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-find-adp?propnum=0950413001

    Where’s EDGE ?

    Now in the US:

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4003:i6bu2i.2.1

    Looks who’s the owner.

    Aparently “Edge Games” doesn’t own the rights for the EDGE trademark in either the UK or the US.

    • chaosedge
      September 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

      Cheers Mike. The USPTO link just leads to an expired search page. Can you clarify the term you used in the search? EDGE Games Inc brings up 90-something links.

  2. chaosedge
    September 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Class. Go Tim!

  3. MikeDee
    September 5, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I searched for Edge
    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4004:3p8h9e.2.1
    at least in the US the Edge trademark for games is owned by mobigame

    A company from Denmark owns the trademark too, but only for “Hearing aids, and parts and accessories”

  4. MikeDee
    September 5, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    damn the link expired again, you’ll have to search it yourself, sorry.

  5. Levi
    September 7, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Isn’t Mirrors Edge copyrighted due to the console game of the same name? wouldn’t that cause some disturbences legally?

  6. Tom Langdell's Dog
    September 10, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    RUFF RUFF! Roroo! I am Rim Rangrells dog! Ruff! Rim Rangrell gives me rellyrubs and doggy treats! Ruff ruffffff! Don’t talk trash about my master he raw limbo of the lost and relt inspired!! ARROOOOOOOOO!

  7. Krevin Sprice
    September 14, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    It seems Dr. Tim Langdell devoted a lifetime to the wrong field of endeavor. Game production just wasn’t a good fit (not that he has been involved with any sort of game production anytime recently). It seems to me Dr. Tim Langdell would have made a better website squatter, traveling carnival huckster, talent agent (specializing in <16 Y.O's with no guardians to offer advice), or a copyright lawyer in China.

  8. Zoggles
    September 17, 2009 at 4:45 am

    I’m almost surprised that Langdell didn’t kick up a fuss and go after Firebird Software when they were founded about a year after Firebirds release. Perhaps because Firebird Software was launched by British Telecom and was deemed too big for them to try going at? Then again, perhaps he did. Who knows.

  9. Fernando
    October 3, 2009 at 1:56 am

    ok, now im upset, why, i repeat, WHY the edge website states that they have developed over 756 games????? the website states a “partial list” of games developed and published by Softek/Edge over the last 30 years

    most of this games are for really old plataforms, if you dont count the repeated games (beacuse they are listed as individual games for each plataform and language version), you will find out that there are only 107 different games listed (i thought that the official amout of games developed by EDGE was less than 50).

    because of laziness i did only research about one game: Dragon’s Lair, the edge website list it as it was developed and published by them, but the wikipedia article states that it was developed by Advanced Microcomputer Systems and published by Software Projects

  10. Snow
    November 13, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I hope. I really hope, that all the information here is being submitted to EA or at least their lawyers. I thought it was bad enough to squat on the trademark of a simple word, but to be so low as to actually steal artwork from DeviantArt from young emerging, aspiring artists who already work so hard to get recognition in a very competitive forum.. it make me want to vomit.

    “‘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.’” Um… you mean, bringing a unique group of these talented individuals together… without them actually even knowing it. Wow. That is incredible. You don’t even have to pay them either. They just produce their creations… and you are free to use take them and use them for your own personal gain. Oh, but wait… you’re not actually producing anything… just making it look like you are so that, EA and anyone else who challenges YOU does not have a case. Ooooooooooooooh. I see. So very clever Tim.

    Please Chaos Edge. Please PLEASE get all this information into the right hands. I am myself an artist and also heading into the game development arena – hoping to release a title or two within about 2 years. I have had my own art stolen before and even put up in a public gallery with someone else’s name on the picture. I didn’t think I could ever be so angry and I still had to fight tooth and nail to prove that it was my own damned artwork. I ended up being lucky in the fight, as a former art instructor had some of my previous paintings of the same subject and sketches as well. The woman who stole my artwork was rightfully shunned by the local art community and banned permanently from the gallery. Just like artwork, games as well can take a tremendous amount of effort and time to produce a quality product (or experience if it’s released for free).

    I shake my head at Langdell. If Edge Games is a game company… why doesn’t the fucking prick focus on actually making games. I mean which is more enjoyable and beneficial to do – drag unsuspecting saps through the legal system and raping them of whatever money you can – while in the process have thousands if not millions HATE you… or because you already have some money and run a company to boot, SIT BACK DOWN AND ACTUALLY MAKE A GAME, THEREBY MAKING YOUR TITLE OF A GAME COMPANY LEGITIMATE AND WHO KNOWS, YOU MAY ACTUALLY GAIN SOME FANS, WHICH THEREBY INCREASES POSITIVE POPULARITY, WHICH INCREASES THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING MUCH MORE PROFIT THAN FROM SUING OTHER DEVELOPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m sure Langdell comes to this site and reads through all the articles and comments. Seriously, I hope you actually read this comment. Give up your nonsense. Admit your errors and try to redeem yourself. No one stays in the business of making games by just hanging on a trademark. Those who stay in the business of making games and wish to keep their company alive MAKE GAMES!!! Making games, as I said can be very enjoyable. Being a game company – your purpose is either to sell titles that you have already published and/or continue to make titles.

    If you really did create games yourself and you’ve been in the industry since, what.. the 70′s, that makes you unique. People who have been in the industry since that time have seen everything. They become legends. To live and work in this industry through such a time that can only happen once in all of history past and ever to come is such a privilege. I would sell my soul 100 times over if I could, to have that experience – to be there during the rise and fall and then triumphant rise from the ashes again of the industry. To work with the original arcade machines to making games for the Atari 2600 console when it was popular to move to the NES and then the C64, then into the 16-bit era, the early 90′s that some still consider the “Golden Age” of video games, to the first clunky 3d software and hardware of the late 90′s… all the way to the wonderful level of sophistication of today: 2009.

    Luckily I myself, experienced all that as a consumer and gamer. I was there in 82 playing tabletop Pacman and DK, played the mario series on NES and other popular NES titles, enjoyed the 16bit and Golden Age era, enjoyed my N64, etc, etc to present day… but all that will never compare to being on the other-side as a video game developer and producer. That was a true dream job during that time. Even when Carmack and Romero were making Doom – to see their little messy office area that they worked in – making the game on old NeXT and 386/33 systems, even to experience that for one day, being in their shoes… words could not describe it.

    You, however, all this time, have failed to realize where you were and what you were doing. All you could see is $ signs, whoever you could take it from – consumer to your very own staff, to the point you actually had to flee from the UK. Either it’s time to make amends, stop this bullshit, or completely go away. Unless you actually make a 180 degree turn in both who you are and your image, I hope after today, I never hear of your name again attached to lawsuits or making developers lives sour, as at this point it causes me to cringe.

  1. September 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm
  2. November 8, 2009 at 12:50 am

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