Video Games Killed the Racing Star
It’s been a while since we last made a post here at ChaosEdge, the last one you might remember was of great joy, as Mobigame’s award winning title Edge made its way back onto the Apple App store. This post however is more in tune with what ChaosEdge is now so used to writing. More tales from the wild world of Edge Games and their seemingly never ending work to try and make a mockery out of our beloved industry.
With so much going on it’s hard to know where to start. We’re sure that most people want to know about EDGE Games’ latest release RACERS. It’s been almost two months now since its release date, we’d like to thank you for your patience in waiting so long.
RACERS was first announced on the Edge Games website a few months ago. The announcement was soon updated with an actual release date 09/09/09 as well as it’s very own website (which sloppily hasn’t been updated to show that the game is now out). We covered some background information about RACERS in a earlier post.
As you may remember we missed the boat when the game was first released on 09/09/09, that was when the entire stock of the game managed to sell out between the order numbers 1001 and 1002, so we had to sit and wait to see if it was ever going to return to the store.
Luckily September proved to be a fun month, what with the news of EA stepping in to take a hold of the whole Trademark ownership part of the fight giving us the legal grunt and raw power of hard cash to finally put a rest to EDGE Games’ constant wailing of ownership over their precious words… If the trademarks were a ring eh ;)
On the 30/09/09 RACERS reappeared! Back in stock and ready to buy. And buy we did. We were not willing to give this game another chance to slip out of our grasp.
After the order was made we patiently waited for a confirmation, but nothing came. Over ten days passed we received no response, no shipment date, nothing. It was starting to sound like Order 1002, which hasn’t been spoken about on here, but it took some involvement of PayPal to even get a response from EDGE Games. It would be good to tell the story about order 1002 one day, it’s quite the interesting adventure in its own rights.
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 08:34:01 -0700
Subject: Order #1003, Racers
From: XXXX XXXX
To: Edge Sales <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Edge Sales,
I ordered “Racers” on September 30th, Order #1003, ID XXXXXXXXXX, for XXXX XXXX. Two weeks have now passed.
I have still not received the game, or any indication it has shipped, or any reason why not. Please can you let me know when I will receive this game. If I don’t hear from you today, I shall be forced to lodge a complaint with PayPal.
Another week went by without a response. It seemed that EDGE Games were more than happy to take our cash, but they certainly didn’t want to part with their precious game (There’s that word again, can’t shake the image now).
So we looked to get some help from PayPal by sending them a message regarding a possible fraudulent sales case.
A few days after, we finally receive contact from EDGE Games’ sales department, commonly known as Tim Langdell to most people.
From: “Edge Sales” <email@example.com
To: “XXXX XXXX”
Subject: Re: Order #1003, Racers
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:15:22 -0700
Dear XXXX XXXX,
You should have received an automated system message informing you about this shipment. We apologize if you did not. A software error was detected in the launch version of the game you ordered. This caused your shipment to be delayed while the error was corrected. The error was corrected and the game is currently being reproduced. Your copy should be shipped to you shortly. Thank you for your patience.
Edge Games Sales
Thankful to finally hear from them, but still skeptical about the order, we mailed a response asking for an exact shipment date; all the time keeping the case open with PayPal in order to protect our backs. PayPal stated that EDGE had to respond by the 29th. The race was on, we waited for either PayPal to refund us or for EDGE to ship the game.
Subject: Resolution of Your Case: #XX-XXX-XXX
Hello XXXX XXXX,
We have concluded our investigation into your case and have decided in your favor.
We were able to recover $32.00 USD and this amount has been credited to you. Please allow five business days for this adjustment to be posted.
If you are due any additional funds, we will make our best effort to recover the balance from the seller.
If the seller’s account has insufficient funds to complete the refund owed to you, please be assured that we will take appropriate action against the seller’s account, which may include limitation of the seller’s account privileges.
Seller’s Name: Edge Games Inc
Seller’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seller’s Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXX
Transaction Date: Sep 30, 2009
Transaction Amount: -$32.00 USD
Your Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Case Number: #XX-XXX-XXX
Buyer’s Transaction ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
So PayPal didn’t like the lack of communication and decided that EDGE Games were acting fraudulently.
Case over then, money returned, no RACERS, no fun new game to play…
From: “Edge Sales” <email@example.com>
To: “XXXX XXXX”
Subject: Re: Order #1003, Racers
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 07:43:12 -0700
your order #3462 (“Racers”) shipped on 10/30/09. Here is your tracking number 8664 7599 7848
Our apologies again for the time it took to get the new shipment of this product in stock.
WHAT? So we’re getting the game as well as the refund?!?! It’s like Christmas.
Finally on the 2nd November the shipment arrived
Here’s a close up of the invoice:
#2 Original order number 1003 was a system error?
Was it now? So Tim (Bored of calling him EDGE Games for now) claims that our order number of 1003 should have actually been 3462. Is that a claim that 2461 (order start at 1001) games have been sold on the EDGE Store since the start of September and somehow Smart Cart (That we’ve tested out ourselves) messed up and produced the wrong order number. We find that hard to swallow. So hard in-fact that we had to make sure, if our last order was 3462, then if we made another one it would be 3463, correct?
Of course not it’s 1004. Tim doesn’t sell games. That’s a fact. So far his store has made four orders, all to ChaosEdge and all part of our research into showing exactly who EDGE Games are and what they do. Despite the huge amount of publicity EDGE Games have found themselves getting over the past few months, no one has purchased a game from his store. How’s about that for a world famous publisher.
Despite all that, we finally have RACERS in our hands. So let’s take a look and see what it’s all about.
The game arrived in a black DVD case much like Mythora; however, this one came shrink wrapped, always a great sign of a world class publisher.
The inlay, exquisitely printed using what has to be one of the most wonderfully average home inkjet printers, comes with a fine smattering of TMs and (R)s. We have the classics like EDGE(R), Gamer’s Edge(R) and THE EDGE, as well as some that haven’t really been thrown around all that much before Magic Edge(R) EDGE NET.
It’s hard not to love the random and oh so weak selling points: ‘Variety of power-ups’ Tell us more Tim, ‘Numerous Achievements’ We’re reaching for our wallet, please continue, ‘Will you become … the ultimate SPACE RACER!’ Shit, yea! You’ve sold us, an exclamation mark, the ellipsis. We need this game … !
The disc for Mythora was a home brew burned CD-R, but for RACERS Tim’s stepped up the pace as this game ships on a DVD-R! Still made on a home PC complete with a wonderful Inkjet label, but not just any label, this one that reaches the EDGE of the disc, which looks like an obvious ploy to try and hide the fact that the game comes on a DVD-R.
However, for all its crudeness and sub-skilled efforts in producing a boxed copy of the game, the real shocker is that we believe EDGE Games does have a deal to publish this game. The IBA Group, developers of the product are still very much alive and running and have made no move to stop the game from being released.
We can only presume that when Lexicon Entertainment the original publisher of the game went bump around the end of 2008, IBA Group were left with a game on their hands that they’d funded, developed and were expecting to release in hope to recoup their costs. Without a publisher this couldn’t happen.
Around this time we guess that Tim stepped in with his promise of worldly riches. We’re betting that in his sales pitch he spoke about how EDGE Games is one of the oldest publishers in the world, about how EDGE Games was once SEGA of Europe, how the company has produced over 750 games, is world famous, launched the well known Edge Magazine, published comic books, endorsed films, produced PC hardware, licensed console peripherals. What’s the betting that during this sales pitch he spoke of developing for the PS3, 360, Wii and DS as well?
We’d like to offer any future developers thinking of doing work for EDGE Games our own version of a more truthful EDGE Games sales pitch:
EDGE Games have NEVER published or developed a game on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation, PSP, Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii, Gamecube, N64, Super Nintendo, DS, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis) or iPhone.
EDGE Games operates from a mail box – The big three hardware manufacturers don’t grant the right for developers or publishers to work on their consoles without a registered office.
EDGE Games have NOT produced comic books
EDGE Games have NOT published over 750 Games (The number is actually around 74, nearly all of which were in the 1980′s)
EDGE Games have NOTHING to do with the magazine Edge (Future publishing)
EDGE Games have NO TV Crossover projects in the pipeline
EDGE Games DO NOT produce PC Hardware or Wii Peripherals
EDGE Games was NEVER SEGA of Europe (They converted and published Alien Syndrome in 1988 under licence from SEGA, that doesn’t make them anything more than a 1980′s developer/publisher)
EDGE Game DO Steal peoples work from places such as Deviantart
One Rodney Matthews, respected artist and designer of video game company logos for Travellers Tales, Bizzare Creations and musician Rick Wakeman, gave us this statement regarding EDGE Games ability to kindly pay for work carried out.
Dear XXXX XXXX,
Thank you for your email concerning the ‘Edge’ logo and Tim Langdell.
Indeed, I can confirm that Langdell personally commissioned the logo design and artwork from me and used it, but did not pay my invoice. Neither did he return to me the original artwork as he had agreed to do.
I tried repeatedly to contact him on both accounts only to be ignored. He ultimately became untraceable.
I am extremely surprised to hear that he has been trusted with a position of authority. [IGDA Director]
Let’s get back to RACERS
EDGE Games clearly state on their website that they’re producing a PS3, 360 and Wii version of the game. We here at ChaosEdge are excited to see how the one man band is proposing to successfully deliver a legally signed PS3 Blu-Ray disc from a home DVD burner. You see real publishers that do real publishing have real offices, work with real production plants and distribution centres, employ real marketing teams and real aftercare services. They do not produce games burned on home DVD burning equipment, with box covers printed on home inkjet printers, they certainly don’t email zipped games to customers (Just another little hint regarding order 1002).
The console manufacturers simply won’t deal with a home office setup, this fact has been the annoyance of indie developers the world over but sadly it’s a fact. It’s possible to develop titles for the Xbox 360 using the XNA suite, but they can only be released via digital download under the appropriately named Indie Games banner and only offer restricted access to the hardware, preventing any home setup from making the next Gears of War.
So we sit and wait to see how RACERS takes to the next stage, we certainly hope that EDGE Games haven’t falsely lead IBA Group on in pretending to be anything more than a one man company who’s day job is a lecturer.
But why has Tim released the title RACERS? Why not SHOOTERS or JUMPERS or KICKERS? Well we touched upon this in our earlier post regarding the game. It seems that Tim’s reason for wanting to release RACERS is two-fold, the first is to try and show the courts that EDGE Games is something more than a trademark hunting outfit by making an attempt to sell games. The second reason is because of titles such as Killer Edge Racing, by Nalin Sharma, which is currently selling on the iPhone app store.UPDATE: No sooner do we post this story, only to discover that Killer Edge Racing has been taken off the App store. Our thoughts go out to Nalin, who, as you’ll see as you continue to read this article has every right to sell the game on the iPhone. Anger is brewing now, so we’ll leave this update short. Please continue to read on, and we hope that the points made show you how truly messed up this situation has become.
Just as history repeats itself, Tim has again written a letter to Apple, making claim that Killer Edge Racing is actually trying to trade off of EDGE Games strong brand (“What brand?” the crowd call out).
The letter, makes for quite a read, sitting well within the typical M.O we expect to see from Tim these days.
“As well as being a well known developer and publisher of games on all formats” We’ve already shown how this line is a big old bag of lies previously in this article, but let’s do it again just to make sure everyone is clear: EDGE Games have NEVER developed or published games on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation, PSP, Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii, Gamecube, N64, Super Nintendo, DS, GameboyAdvance, Gameboy Color, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis) or iPhone.
Continuing the charade he states “the EDGE brand is extremely well known for its other game products and services such as EDGE game PC’s (on sale at BestBuy, Staples and elsewhere), THE EDGE game controllers (also on sale in BestBuy and elsewhere) and so on”. Again, ChaosEdge has already researched and posted on this site that those links are tenuous at best, where any connection between the products and EDGE Games comes from legal threats and demands just like the one we’re quoting this very information from.
This part is interesting:
Is that statement claiming that Killer Edge Racing was produced BECAUSE EDGE Games were releasing RACERS? Langell certainly hasn’t done his homework here, because there was no mention of RACERS coming before 2009 and we know for a fact that RACERS was previously developed under the name Voltage, to be published by Lexicon until late 2008, whereas Killer Edge was originally developed during 2004 and first shown on public display in 2005 at the World Mobile Congress. But as always don’t let facts get in the way of a good trademark trolling session.
Apple seem to be quickly becoming a tool in Langdell’s arsenal, so far he has succeeded twice in getting them to remove Mobigame’s Edge title from their store, and he hasn’t stopped there. After Edge’s recent release on the App store, again Langdell has seen it fit to send Apple a letter requesting its removal, despite the fact that its title is now called ‘Edge by Mobigame’. It seems that you’re either licensed by him or against him in this world, there’s little in-between.
Sadly Langdell isn’t the only one that’s discovered the trick of using Apple to remove the competition from the App store. Side stepping the whole EDGE Games set of shenanigans for a moment we’d like to show you another case of Apple’s dispute policy abuse. Recently Stoneloops! of Jurrasica was taken off the App store after a request from a rival company was sent to Apple, making what seemed to be unsupported allegations of code theft, design theft as well as other claims of infringement. It’s an interesting story and deserves your attention.
Apple need to really take a grip of their dispute policy here, its far too open to abuse and their decisions are clearly being made without proper investigation or requirement of solid facts.
Returning to Killer Edge Racing, it’s clear to us now that RACERS is a tool in Langdell’s trademark arsenal and he wants Killer Edge Racing either as his own or gone for good. Sending a letter to Apple isn’t his only aggressive tactic employed because he’s also gone and filed to register the… drum roll … Trademark!
You’ll have to bear with us on this journey now as we’re going to step through this trademark explaining each point on the way.
This isn’t as clear cut as it usually is. The trademark has been registered under the company name of EDGE RACING, not EDGE Games or The EDGE or any other usual moniker of Tims.
First we’ll look at the address, not the usual mail box we’re used to seeing (70 South Lake Avenue Pasadena, CA), but believe us, this is still a mail box. In fact why not have a photo of the place to help set the scene.
So if this isn’t Tim’s usual mail box, then how do we know the Trademark is registered by him? Well, like those criminal types in old episodes of Columbo, there’s always a trail left behind. In this case we need to look at Tim’s other ventures to help us, one particular in fact: Langdell Brown Associates, the failed venture from 2005.
Notice that the address is almost the same, the only difference is that the suite, or mail box to us common folk is different, 1170 instead of 1700.
So we’re close now, but not 100% bullet proof, we need more evidence to tie this trademark to Tim.
Going back to the registration we see that Tim hasn’t signed his name, instead we have the name Jen Smith. Not one that’s ever cropped up before, but that shouldn’t stop us. We need to finish this and click the pieces in place.
Continuing the hunt we find the UK government trademark website contains an entry for Killer Edge Racing. It also contains key information, Edge Racers and Jen Smith, but more importantly BAIAS Ltd. based in a virtual office in London (Kinda like a mail box, but a bit more fancy)
Those of you not familiar with the BAIAS, or to give it the full title British Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, need only to look at the bottom line on the webpage to see what kind of thing we’re talking about here.
The BAIAS is an awards program set up by Tim, we’ve never heard of it hosing any shows nor do we know any developers that are members. It was first referenced on the now deleted wikipedia entry for Tim Langdell (The one written by his wife Cheri). Thankfully there’s a copy available here if you’d like to read it.
The name may sound familiar to you, but that probably more to do with the fact that it sounds a lot like The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, heck even the domain names are closely matched http://www.interactive.org/ (Real) and http://www.interactive.org.uk/ (Tim’s imaginary version). Anyway, we’re not here to talk about academies, real or not, we’re here to link Tim to the trademark Killer Edge Racing.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we’d like for you to take a look at the US address registered for the BAIAS: 269 S Beverly Drive, Suite 1700, Beverly Hills, CA.
Let us remind ourselves of the address on the trademark.
There we have it, proof that the suite (Mail box) that is used for Tim’s fictional Academy is the very same one used for the registration of the trademark. There’s no more coincidence, no loose links, that’s the real deal. Tim isn’t just attacking Killer Edge Racing by writing letters filled with false statements to Apple, but he’s also trying to block Nalin’s title by registering the trademark.
So there we have another episode in the crazy world of EDGE Games. As always there’s much more to tell, but we’ll have to save that for another day.
Let’s leave this piece with a look back to how a couple of Spectrum developers talked about their feelings of Langdell and Softek (The early name for EDGE Games) back in 1984 in an hidden easter egg found in the game Dark Star