Sales +4779! Trademark Disputes +1!

November 12, 2009 23 comments

In the last article we spoke in some depth about order numbers, it’s a little dry but there’s no doubt that it’s another facet in the world of EDGE Games that needs making public. Today we’ll try to bounce off some of that order number banter with news on EDGE Games’ latest legal hunt (So skip to the end if your eyes can’t take it).

First here’s a quick list of all the games EDGE have sold (possibly in years):

1001 – 09/01/09  – Mythora – To ChaosEdge
1002 – 09/29/09 – Mythora / Bobby Bearing – To ChaosEdge — Order Cancelled and Refunded
1003 (3462) – 09/30/09 – RACERS – To ChaosEdge
1004 – 10/31/09 – Mythora – To ChaosEdge – Order Cancelled and Refunded
5783 – 11/09/09 – RACERS / Mythora – To ChaosEdge
5784 – 11/09/09 – Bobby Bearing – To ChaosEdge
5785 – 11/10/09 – Bobby Bearing – To ChaosEdge

We won’t even send a bill for doing the accounts book, that’s how nice we really are.

So as you can see there’s a bit of an oddity with those sales numbers. Sure we might not be the only ones buying from the world famous, all original and founder of our beloved industry publisher (That’s EDGE Games if you hadn’t guessed), but some how we seriously doubt that.

In the last article we had gone as far as making order 1004, which was cancelled by Langdell and refunded as “out of stock”. At which point all the store items were set as “out of stock” or “on back order” meaning that NO purchases at that time could be made.

On 9th November Langdell ‘reopened’ and the store began offering items for sale again, so we did a test purchase.

Look at the order number, 5783. Does this mean that in the few hours the store was open Langdell received 4779 orders?

We contacted SmartCart about how the order number system worked.

“We can update the starting invoice number at no additional charge.”

Based on this reponse and past evidence where Langdell tried to claim order 1003 was “a system error” and meant to be 3462 and based on past performance of the store where nobody was buying items except ChaosEdge, this high order number is unlikely to be accurate.

But we need evidence to support this ‘no ones buying’ claim, so the next day another test purchase was made resulting in:

Even though the purchases are nearly a day apart the order number is only one higher, so no other purchases were made in that 24 hours, where as Langdell claims that thousands were made in much less a period of time only the day before.

All in all, this supports the case that Langdell got the order number altered to show a higher number than he has actually sold items for.

To really confirm though we needed another day to test this again:

No surprise, the order number is 5785, one higher than the previous day.

Of course pigs could well be flying here and we could be wrong, but obviously we’ll await that verdict, perhaps when Langdell has to show his tax records in proof that his company is a world class publisher of MODERN GAMES on MODERN PLATFORMS …

One more time for the people: 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.

So beyond the order number banter we promised some info into Langdell’s next possible move in the world of trademark trappings and nefarious shenanigans.

Recently, very recently in fact, the EDGE Games website was updated with a whole new range of products. And these aren’t the type that were made by other people and heavy handedly threatened into a licence agreement, but are in fact totally original products that even have that special EDGE Games vibe about them, you know the thing, they look like they’ve been knocked up in Microsoft Paint.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to present to you: THE EDGE(R) MEMORY!

Oh the excitement, USB and SD memory cards! We can’t wait to get out hands on those

Shame.

So maybe these products are the idea of branching out into new realms now that the gaming industry has become sour to the worlds most famous publisher that no one has heard of.

Of course not.

This latest move is part of a battle against computer memory company Edge Tech Corp, a company that Landell has been in trademark wranglings with for much of this year. Yes, that’s another company and another trademark dispute.

Langdell’s dispute has been the usual complaints of customer confusion. We’re sure his inbox has been filled a hundred times over with baffled punters saying that they looked on the wrong site when trying to purchase MIRRORS.

That’s not all, as there’s also been talk of lost sales, all those folks that visited the Edge Tech site by mistake and couldn’t find MIRRORS, ended up buying a few flash sticks, OBVIOUSLY. As you can tell Langdell was furious at these lost imaginary sales, but even he’s not stupid enough to try and challenge the fact that he lost sales to products he doesn’t sell.

So how did he go about fixing that problem?

More than Games

Snippet from Letter to Trademark Attorney

He updated his website and began to sell memory cards, thus creating confusion, or so he thinks.

“In short, the marks are identical (THE EDGE) and the goods are identical”, no Langdell what you meant to say was “I looked at their website and using Microsoft Paint, I stuck my logo on to some generic memory sticks and then uploaded them to my website”.

UPDATE:

File Listing

A little more proof to show that Langdell fabricated these memory card images only the day before sending out the legal letter to show that EDGE Games sells the products. As you can see at the right of both the images (One image for each memory card) the date of uploading is 5th November 2009, and the letter sent out (See above image) was stamped as 6th November 2009.

 

So we’d like to wish Edge Tech Corp all the best in this trademark wrangle, we’re behind you all the way.

We can’t end this article without showing just how the game industry community is reacting to Langdell’s trademark ways: ATOMIC EDGE GAMES

Let’s thank Langdell, no really, we should thank him, because it’s times like these that really draw folk together. Who’d have thought the day would arise when Indie’s the world over would be coming together alongside the likes of EA? That’s the power of this event and it’s a nice way to look at a brighter side of all this negativity.

Categories: 1

Video Games Killed the Racing Star

November 7, 2009 31 comments

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.

Invoice 1003

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 <sales@edgegames.com>

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.

Regards,

XXXX XXXX

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” <sales@edgegames.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.

From: service@paypal.com
To: XXXX@XXXXX.XXX
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.

———————————–
Transaction Details
———————————–

Seller’s Name: Edge Games Inc
Seller’s Email: payments@edgegames.com
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” <sales@edgegames.com>
To: “XXXX XXXX”
Subject: Re: Order #1003, Racers
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 07:43:12 -0700

XXXX XXXX,

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.

Edge Sales

WHAT? So we’re getting the game as well as the refund?!?! It’s like Christmas.

Finally on the 2nd November the shipment arrived

Box and invoice

Here’s a close up of the invoice:

Invoice 1003

#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?

Order 1004

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.

Cover

Click Image for Bigger Version

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 … !

DVD

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.

DVD Close up (RiData)

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

EDGE Has a history of NOT paying developers for work [1] [2]

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]

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Matthews.

Let’s get back to RACERS

Platforms

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).

PS3

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.

Killer Edge

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.

IntroQuite the title eh?

Waffle

“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:

Blah

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!

Trademark

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.

Postal Place

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.

Langdell Brown

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.

Jen Smith

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.

Jen Smith UKContinuing 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)

BAIAS

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.

BAIAS

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.

US Address

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.

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

Dark Star

Categories: 1

EDGE is BACK! (The Good Edge)

October 7, 2009 34 comments

Time for a post of joy and only joy from Chaos Edge today. Mobigame’s award winning title, the little game that brought this whole case of wild shenanigans to light, is back on the iTunes store for all to purchase.

I’m sure everyone is aware of the story now, but here’s a quick look back to the very start of this wild (and not yet finished) journey.

Back in May, an innocent post was made on the game news site Finger Gaming letting people know that EDGE had been pulled from the iTunes app store without reason.

Mobigame’s International Mobile Gaming Award-winning Edge is no longer available for purchase from the iTunes App Store in the U.S. and the UK. The reasons behind the removal are unknown at this time, though Mobigame promises that any future updates will be made available at its Twitter.

This news came as a bit of a surprise to me last night when I was recommending iPhone games to a friend, only to find out that Edge wasn’t showing up in an App Store search. Further searching revealed that web links to both the Lite and full versions turned up an error message explaining that “The item you’ve requested is not currently available in the US store.”

It’s certainly unusual for such a high-profile (and excellent!) title to suddenly go missing from the App Store for no readily apparent reason and with no explanation. Reports indicate that the title is still available for download in France, though other regions are out of luck for the time being. Here’s hoping that whatever resulted in Edge’s regional removal is resolved soon.

Little did the author know about the actual events behind the removal of the game.

Eventually Mobigame let people know the reason behind the titles disappearance from the iTunes store, and the events of the past few months began on their twisting and turning path of confusion, revelation, shock, awe, LOLs and cringes.

Today though is all about EDGE, the good EDGE, the award winning EDGE, the EDGE you can actually buy, play, enjoy and have full confidence that it was made by Mobigame, released by Mobigame and made with the sole intention of entertaining.

We’d like to finish this post with a short congratulations to Mobigame for holding strong for the past few months. It would have been easy to have just backed down and accepted what Tim Langdell demanded as so many others have, but the stand you made started the ripple that turned into a tsunami of support and agreement.

We hope that any other developers out there will take inspiration from Mobigame’s action and know that there’s support waiting for them in the form of fellow developers and gamers the world over.

Categories: 1

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