file Update on V:TES state of affairs?

27 May 2015 08:35 #71343 by meep.o.matic
I know that there are quite a few threads about the current state of the game, but those are kinda dated now and I'm sure new players (like myself) love to read this discussion.

So, I've been hearing rumours about the resurection of the game.
What exactly is hindering the game from new printed sets?

What pattents are held by whom, and when do those expire?

Are there any companies interested in picking up the game?

What mechanics must be changed for the game to be picked up again and how could those impact the way we play V:TES?

I would love to get an update on the current state of the game, please.

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27 May 2015 09:27 - 27 May 2015 09:27 #71346 by BenPeal

So, I've been hearing rumours about the resurection of the game.
What exactly is hindering the game from new printed sets?


Neither CCP nor Wizards of the Coast want to make the game themselves. In addition, neither company has licensed out the game to be made by another company.

What pattents are held by whom, and when do those expire?


You're probably thinking of US Patent #5662332, which is held by Wizards of the Coast (Hasbro). I don't have any information regarding its expiry date or whether it has been renewed.

However, what is also at issue are the copyrights to the rules of the game (held by Wizards of the Coast) and to the World of Darkness setting (held by CCP). We will all likely be dead by the time those copyrights expire.

Are there any companies interested in picking up the game?


The only companies which have publicly expressed interest are OneBookShelf.com (better known as DriveThruRPG.com) and Fantasy Flight Games. OneBookShelf.com has stated that their interest is current and that they remain in negotiations to acquire the licenses to publish V:TES. Fantasy Flight Games publicly confirmed last year that they were in discussions about acquiring the licenses, but those discussions ended and they will not publish V:TES.

What mechanics must be changed for the game to be picked up again and how could those impact the way we play V:TES?


If you're referring to game mechanics, no mechanics would have to change. If OneBookShelf.com succeeds in acquiring the licenses, they will publish v:TES as we know it.
Last edit: 27 May 2015 09:27 by BenPeal.
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27 May 2015 11:51 - 27 May 2015 11:52 #71350 by Borrelstein
Regarding the IP situation, I had a brief look at the patent Ben identified. It was only registered in US and Canada, and will expire in 2017. That patent relates to the MtG mechanics, and does not appear to be relevant to Vtes.

Ben is right that the trademarks and copyrights are relevant indeed, and would at least apply to the logo's and artwork, and maybe part of the game mechanics as well depending on which country you are in. Complicated legal stuff so better get the licence rather than trying to circumvent, if you want to do serious Vtes business...
Last edit: 27 May 2015 11:52 by Borrelstein.

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28 May 2015 06:58 #71365 by BenPeal

Regarding the IP situation, I had a brief look at the patent Ben identified. It was only registered in US and Canada, and will expire in 2017. That patent relates to the MtG mechanics, and does not appear to be relevant to Vtes.


The patent is relevant enough that it's mentioned on the packaging of every V:TES product.

Ben is right that the trademarks and copyrights are relevant indeed, and would at least apply to the logo's and artwork, and maybe part of the game mechanics as well depending on which country you are in. Complicated legal stuff so better get the licence rather than trying to circumvent, if you want to do serious Vtes business...


Yeah, that's really the thing. Even if the patent expires and isn't renewed, the copyright issues prevent V:TES from getting made without anyone's permission.

Somewhat relatedly, one could conceiveably get the license for the rules from Wizards and use a made-up setting, or get the license for the setting from CCP and use made-up rules (I think Fantasy Flight was seeking to do the latter). However, neither would really be V:TES. Heck, I'm not even certain which company owns the name "Vampire: the Eternal Struggle" - I think it's CCP, but I'm not 100% on that.

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28 May 2015 09:27 #71367 by elotar


...one could conceiveably get the license for the rules


As I understand it's not really the case - rules of the game can not be "lisenced/patented". WoC and other IP ovners may be trying to convince public othervise, but see PC games market, full of clones, and even closer at boardgame market, where any succesfull game mechanics is rapidly spreading.

license for the setting


This is more defensible, as well as art assets (card pictures, simbols and layout). As I understand it's all now property of CCP which is a complicated IP owner, but somehow Onyx Path managed to deal with them, so it's not impossible.

To get WoC out of the picture new owner may be needed to change the name, rewrite the rules and rename the terms. Quite doable ;)

If you are familiar with the miniature wargaming "market" than you can see how it's even possible to ignore the setting IP - general terms like Vampire, Wherewolf, Mage, Ally, Camarilla, Methuselah ets are not copyrightable, names/art can be changed, some WoD specifics can be easily avoided (or presented in such a way, that it'll be obvious to player, but can't be defended at court, see "Chapterhouse vs Games Workshop" case).

:splat: NC Russia
:DEM::san::nec::cap4:

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28 May 2015 09:54 #71368 by BenPeal


...one could conceiveably get the license for the rules


As I understand it's not really the case - rules of the game can not be "lisenced/patented". WoC and other IP ovners may be trying to convince public othervise, but see PC games market, full of clones, and even closer at boardgame market, where any succesfull game mechanics is rapidly spreading.


The rules for V:TES are copyrighted, just like the rules for Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Vampire: the Masquerade, and Warhammer 40,000 are copyrighted. If you want to copy the rules, you need to either get a license to do so or do it illegally.

license for the setting


This is more defensible, as well as art assets (card pictures, simbols and layout). As I understand it's all now property of CCP which is a complicated IP owner, but somehow Onyx Path managed to deal with them, so it's not impossible.


The Onyx Path succeeded in acquiring the World of Darkness license for RPGs, so yes, it is not impossible to negotiate with CCP. Fantasy Flight Games likewise succeeded in acquiring the license to the name and game mechanics of Netrunner, so it's not impossible to negotiate with Wizards of the Coast.

OneBookShelf.com has a long and obvious relationship with CCP for publishing White Wolf titles, given that OneBookShelf.com is owned by Steve Wieck. Interestingly, OneBookShelf.com has also successfully negotiated with Wizards of the Coast to publish Dungeons & Dragons books via DriveThruRPG.com:

www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/44/Wizards-of-the-Coast

All of this would seem to indicate that OneBookShelf.com acquiring the licenses from Wizards and CCP to make V:TES would be a foregone conclusion. Yet here we are, waiting and hoping for some kind of news or update. I do have hope about it, and I'm trying to be patient about it, but I get an aneurysm thinking about it.

To get WoC out of the picture new owner may be needed to change the name, rewrite the rules and rename the terms. Quite doable ;)

If you are familiar with the miniature wargaming "market" than you can see how it's even possible to ignore the setting IP - general terms like Vampire, Wherewolf, Mage, Ally, Camarilla, Methuselah ets are not copyrightable, names/art can be changed, some WoD specifics can be easily avoided (or presented in such a way, that it'll be obvious to player, but can't be defended at court, see "Chapterhouse vs Games Workshop" case).


I have zero interest in a game about Balkavians and Josferatu.
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