Last year, Activision revealed that the licensing rights to the No One Lives Forever franchise were no longer with the company, and that they didn’t know if they were with developer Monolith Productions either. You can view this announcement here.
At the time, Activision’s former community manager Dan Amrich suggested that the rights could be with another company, who was waiting for the right time to republish the games.
It turns out that he was right.
Siliconera has discovered that Night Dive Studios, a company that republishes PC classics like System Shock 2, has filed trademarks for No One Lives Forever, The Operative, Contract J.A.C.K. and A Spy in H.A.R.M.’s Way, all of which are game titles connected to the franchise.
It’s worth pointing out that these are trademarks. Copyrights are rights for the source work, whereas trademarks are for certain terms and phrases associated with the source work. However, it doesn’t make sense that Night Life would be able to file these trademarks without the rights themselves transferring to the company as well.
One example of this instance is when Arc System Works filed a trademark for Guilty Gear in 2011, after everyone believed that the rights to the series were with Sega Sammy. It was later revealed that Arc System Works had reacquired the rights to the series itself, and they went on to begin producing Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-.
Siliconera has contacted Night Dive to find out if they intend on republishing the No One Lives Forever Games. We’ll update once we hear back from them.
Update: Night Dive Studios CEO Stephen Kick got back to us with the following statement: “At this time we are unable to comment on future plans. I would like to add that our team has a great fondness for these games and our hope is that they will one day be re-released.”