Pickle Wars

Rate and discuss DOS games from the site
Post Reply

Rate this game

10 (highest)
1
33%
9
2
67%
8
0
No votes
7
0
No votes
6
0
No votes
5
0
No votes
4
0
No votes
3
0
No votes
2
0
No votes
1 (lowest)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 3

User avatar
AutoAdmin
Forum Administrator
Posts: 616
Joined: July 26th, 2005, 5:01 pm
Contact:

Pickle Wars

Post by AutoAdmin »

Feel free to rate and discuss this game.
User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1778
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by MrFlibble »

I've just realised that while Redwood Games still sells Pickle Wars, MVP Software has included the registered version among its free releases. I understand that most probably a game's status with its original developer takes precedence over the publisher, but still I don't understand how this weird situation has occurred in the first place.
Litude
File Contributor
Posts: 155
Joined: September 26th, 2010, 6:25 am
Location: Finland

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by Litude »

Well there's also the case of the original Death Rally. The Windows version is freeware, but 3D Realms still sells the DOS version. Guess these things happen because they are such minor products they just don't bother doing a proper check on the current status of things.
User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1778
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by MrFlibble »

I've heard about the Death Rally thing, do the MVP and Redwood versions of Pickle Wars differ somehow too?
User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1062
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by DOSGuy »

With regard to Death Rally, Apogee probably has a permanent license to distribute the game, so they can continue to charge money for it if they want to. Sales are probably low enough that Remedy gets almost no revenue -- assuming that they still get a cut of sales -- so they probably saw no reason not to create a Windows version and give it away for free.

Things are less clear with MVP. I assume that MVP has a permanent license to distribute those games, and Dave Snyder (who I believe was the sole proprietor of MVP) probably assumed that he had the right to set the price to $0 since they weren't selling any more. Maybe he did, but the copyright on at least some of those games could belong to the developers, and they may not have been consulted. Assuming that MVP owns the distribution rights, but not the copyright on those games, they may be allowed to give them away, but they can't declare them freeware. That's one of those "gratis versus libre" distinctions. Basically, the games may have no price (gratis, or "free as in free beer"), but I don't know if MVP has the right to say that the games can be freely distributed (libre, or "free as in free speech"). From a legal perspective, it may boil down to whether the developers granted MVP a non-transferable license to distribute their games, or if they granted MVP all rights to distribution, which would empower MVP to sell, transfer or extend their distribution rights to anyone or everyone else. Since MVP says that you can't redistribute those games "without our written permission", that suggests that they have the right to grant such permission, but I'm not sure if they do. If I'm right that MVP doesn't own the copyright on some or all of those games, that would explain why Redwood Games continues to sell a game that their distributor is giving away for free.

I always intended to get the answers to those questions, until I found out that Dave Snyder died in 2007, shortly after the last time I was in contact with him. I'm assuming, at this point, that it would be easier and better to contact the developers, but I've just never gotten around to it. Perhaps that will finally happen this weekend.

Edit:

Okay, here's a list of who the copyright is listed as for each of the games that they're giving away.
Arcy 2None found
Crusade in SpaceCopyright 1994 Glacier Edge Technology
GameBuilder ProCopyright 1991, 1993 Ed Simpson
Hoosier CityCopyright 1992 Wetware
Jack FlashCopyright 1994 Caps Software
King Arthur's K.O.R.T.Copyright 1994 Brandon McMullen
Pickle WarsCopyright 1993 Karen Crowther
Rapid ResponseCopyright 1992 MVP Software
Robomaze IICopyright 1991 MVP Software
Robomaze IIICopyright 1991 MVP Software
Thor's HammerCopyright 1995 Escape Programming, LLC
So it looks like we can say that MVP Software owns Rapid Response and Robomaze II and III. Interestingly the developer, Wetware, owns Hoosier City. Apparently Keith Laverty negotiated a different deal with MVP for that game.

I can't find a copyright declaration anywhere in Arcy 2, even in the license file! MVP is clearly the distributor, but I can't tell who owns the game. For what it's worth, it's made by the same company as Jack Flash, which is owned by developer Caps Software.

MVP apparently does not own Crusade in Space, Jack Flash, GameBuilder Pro, Hoosier City, King Arthur's K.O.R.T., Pickle Wars, and Thor's Hammer.

So this confirms that Karen Crowther of Redwood Games owns the rights to Pickle Wars and can sell it if she wishes. Whether or not MVP has the right to give the game away, or allow others to do so, is a different question.

Crusade in Space appears to be owned by Glacier Edge Technology, which was probably solely owned by Eric F. Dybsand, who died in 2004. I certainly hope that MVP doesn't think that the rights to the game died with him. In death, the rights would belong to his estate.

Escape Programming declared Thor's Hammer freeware upon my request on 16 July 2009 and, interestingly, MVP seems to have put the registered version on their website on 3 July 2009. I know that Brian Cox spoke with MVP (presumably to David Snyder's son Chris) before declaring the game freeware, so that might be why they did it.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.
User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1778
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by MrFlibble »

DOSGuy wrote:Okay, here's a list of who the copyright is listed as for each of the games that they're giving away.

Robomaze IICopyright 1991 MVP Software
Robomaze IIICopyright 1991 MVP Software
Uh, it only shows Robomaze II and III for me, or is the table incomplete as of yet?

At any rate, thanks for the detailed explanation and your serious research into the matter! :)
User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1062
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by DOSGuy »

Yeah, that post is developing as I go through each game. I tend to do that.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.
User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1778
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by MrFlibble »

Great, thanks for such detailed info once again! ^_^
NY00123
5-bit member
Posts: 39
Joined: July 4th, 2015, 11:05 am

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by NY00123 »

A discussion with Karen (Crowther) Chun attempting to resolve the confusion was posted here back on 2013: http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/showpo ... ostcount=6

There is a bit of a sad story mentioned there, being that the owner of MVP Software died due to a car accident. According to Karen, this was leading to the end of the distribution rights of the game, and she currently owns the copyright to the game and is still offering copies for sale.

Weirdly enough, MVP Software's site changed to a simple page, explaining products aren't offered for sale anymore, while also offering the registered versions for titles like Pickle Wars for free. The URL is more-or-less the same as before: http://mvpsoft.com/

Following these, I think that I don't know what is the situation for sure. Maybe the involved people prefer to not bother, if one can have a guess.
User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1778
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by MrFlibble »

Thanks for sharing this information!
developertn
9-bit ubernerd
Posts: 833
Joined: March 23rd, 2015, 4:23 pm

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by developertn »

I checked out the website and it seems it is for free like a courtesy complimentary copy for abandonia users only. According to the owner's statement I believe she has been quotes to still be selling it for $12 per game. Some of the games that the group is selling are not new however for DOS they are quite good looking for kids.

For instance, learning math and such.
keith_laverty
Less than a nibble
Posts: 1
Joined: March 24th, 2022, 10:38 am

Re: Pickle Wars

Post by keith_laverty »

Hi, I actually sold all right to all of my games (Wetware) to Dave Synder. If one of them is not listed, it was a goof up.
Post Reply