Home > Blog > Mock Ups and Cock Ups

Mock Ups and Cock Ups

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
  1. Mr Flibble
    September 15, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Great article, but the black-and-white Edge magazine rip-off cover would be more effective if you placed the real one by its side, rather than showing it on a click.

    Also, Langdell’s public statement is rather fun regarding Future and Edge. It states:

    “Our company, EDGE, is the oldest videogame company (established 1979) and is widely known not only for its games, but also for our licensed products and those of our partners(*), such as EDGE Magazine, EDGE game PCs, EDGE controllers, and so forth.”

    The footnote is:

    “We did not mean to imply Future Publishing, publishers of Edge Magazine, are our “partners” – for the record, they are not.”

    In other words, by stating Edge is widely known for its products and those of its partners, such as Edge magazine, he clearly didn’t mean the Future Publishing one, but that OTHER well-known Edge magazine…

    http://www.the–edge.com/edgegames/mobigame.htm

  2. Marsbound
    September 16, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Great job. These articles just keep getting better.

  3. Jean-Michel M
    September 16, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Hi guys,

    I would have suggested to rename the game “Corner Cube”, but I see that you already tried Edgy and that Langdell trademarked the name consequently.
    Hence he appears to be a real moron, and I will support your cause by donating via PayPal.

    Your game is great and its distribution should not be hampered for such reasons.

  4. rumpledimp
    September 16, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I love how, even in his own posts on the IGDA board, ‘Dr’ Langdell speaks almost exclusively in the third person. Sign of a nutbag, that.

  5. rumpledimp
    September 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Is his wife a new age lawyer?
    Screenshot

  6. melissac
    September 16, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Cheri Langdell, aka Cheri Colby Langdell (aka Cheryl Davis Langdell, maiden name Cheryl Showers Myers) is purportedly a PhD like her infamous husband. She started working as a lecturer at UC Riverside last October. She and Tim wrote a book together, entitled “Coping With Vision Loss”:

    http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/C34664.aspx

    Neither of them are blind but they seem to believe the rest of the world is.

  7. rumpledimp
    September 17, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Sorry, making a (poor) joke about the ‘dispute resolution’ statement on her website.
    Interestingly, she’s used the name ‘Mumina’ (or rather more comically, Mu’mina) which means believer. :D

  8. rumpledimp
    September 17, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Wait, I’ve just re-read that post; Cheri Colby Langdell, Cheryl Davis Langdell, Cheryl Showers Myers or Cheri Mu’mina Langdell? Seems a bit slippery to me. I’ve only ever had one name (well, I have three and a surname, but they’re all together and don’t change depending on the person I’m speaking to), usernames excepted. Seems like they’re made (up) for each other.

  9. Brian Beuken
    September 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Interesting tab line on that book for the blind.
    “Timothy Langdell is a Clinical Psychology Professor and Chair of the Media Department at National University.”

    He holds Phd in Child psychology, not Clinical Psychology which I belive is a different thing, and involves practising. He is entiled to refer to himself as Dr.

    He is not as far as I know, teaching that subject, therefore is not a Professor and has had little time in ther last 30 years while writing all his games to do much teaching in that subject. Professor is a senior academic title given only to active or retired tutors in that subject.

    And he’s not Chair of the media dept at NS..though he does work there as one of the senior staff….just another example of his stretching things a little too thin

  10. Mick
    September 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    rumpledimp :
    Wait, I’ve just re-read that post; Cheri Colby Langdell, Cheryl Davis Langdell, Cheryl Showers Myers or Cheri Mu’mina Langdell? Seems a bit slippery to me. I’ve only ever had one name (well, I have three and a surname, but they’re all together and don’t change depending on the person I’m speaking to), usernames excepted. Seems like they’re made (up) for each other.

    Cheri’s maiden name is Cheri Colby. Her previously married name was Cheri Colby Davis (Married to John Francis Davis in 1967). She went by Cheri Davis Langdell in the ’90s, then later switched to Cheri Colby Langdell.

    Cheryl Showers Meyers is not her maiden name, but is the family name used before her mother remarried in 1954.

  11. rumpledimp
    September 17, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Ah. Lots of respect to your own efforts btw, Brian.

  12. melissac
    September 19, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Nice one, Mick.

    I wonder why she dropped Davis. Maybe she had bad credit or a bankruptcy around 1995?

  13. heywood
    September 19, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Brilliant!

    Please note that the drop shadow in the supposedly new Edge-logo still is the old logo :)

  14. September 27, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Why isn’t this mother fu**** in jail or dead yet -.-

  15. Johann Ly
    September 29, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Apparently, EA are now suing Tim Langdell:

    http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92051465&pty=CAN&eno=1

  16. Eregol
    September 29, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Come on Chaos Edge, you’re behind on the EA news. Need to get this added.
    Seems they’re using a lot of the stuff from the IGDA forum and from here to put their case together.

    We can but hope that finally Timmy’s terrible reign has finally ended and he has lost his oh so precious trademarks.

    Well done to Mobigame for standing their ground, well done to Brian Beuken for calling him out at IGDA, and well done to you guys at Chaos Edge for sticking up for Mobigame and collating all the data.

    You all deserve a medal.

    Hey, if the legal money is no longer needed, how about putting it towards a celebratory piss up?

    • roskelld
      September 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm

      This fight is far from over, the fund has been so useful to the parties involved.
      It’s true, we are behind others reporting the EA news, but we don’t want to just copy some verbatim story that’s plastered over the Internet. We want to make sure that the readership gets new info from us, which is the reason behind the delay.

      Hope you enjoy the new piece.

  17. The EDGY(intended Irony)
    October 2, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Totally awesome what you guys are doing. Tim is so gonna end up like Crazy Eddie, locked behind bars xD. Btw, from the link in the first post, I saw a forum for EDGE. but it needs a membership to view (no surprise there). is anyone checking if there’d be dirt on Tim in there?

  18. Purple Vein
    October 2, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I have it on good authority (from a very reliable source) that they don’t receive a penny in licensing from Future for the ‘Edge’ brand and are in IP infringement on use of the Logo.

  19. skankypanda
    December 17, 2009 at 5:04 am

    o_O That Darius+ game has box artwork that depicts The Nautilus, I’m sure it’s painted by a well known fantasy artist. I can’t remember who but my Mum had a calender back in the 80s that featured that picture.

  1. September 29, 2009 at 2:44 pm
  2. November 8, 2009 at 12:05 am
  3. June 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm

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