On Twitter yesterday, Llamasoft (TxK) Founder and Tempest developer Jeff Minter responded to someone on Twitter who asked about a Tempest game for 3DS. He said, “Forces hostile to Llamasoft ensure that there will likely never be anything more along those lines from me on any platform.”
Elaborating on this, Minter said, “Atari don’t exist any more, but some people using that name have been bullying us for a year now.” He then added, “That their name is now owned by strangers who actively want to destroy me is beyond sickening. So utterly disappointed.”
Because of this, finished and near-finished ports “will never get released because idiots.”
Today, he explained that TxK, already available on PlayStation Vita, won’t come to PlayStation 4, PC, Oculus, or other platforms:
“So yeah all the stuff we had ready or near ready will now never see the light of day. No TxK PC, PS4, Oculus, GearVR, Android. Thank “Atari”.”
“It’s achingly sad because I *loved* Atari. Getting to work there, and creating one of their last great games, was such a joy for me.”
“And I was there when it died, and that too was a terribly sad time.”
“But I could never have imagined one day being savaged by its undead corpse, my own seminal work turned against me. I am beyond disgusted.”
In terms of the legal reasons for not allowing those ports of TxK, Minter says, “Also: TxK’s award-winning, entirely original soundtrack is “indistinguishable from the soundtrack of Tempest 2000“.” He continues, “According to them I associated myself with Atari and Tempest by not mentioning Atari & giving TxK a deliberately obscure name.”
Have you played TxK? What did you think of it?
[Source: Jeff Minter (Twitter)]
Atari sent out a statement to Kotaku about the situation:
Atari values and protects its intellectual property and expects others to respect its copyrights and trademarks. When Llamasoft launched TxK in early 2014, Atari was surprised and dismayed by the very close similarities between TxK and the Tempest franchise. Atari was not alone in noticing the incredible likeness between the titles. Several major gaming outlets also remarked at the similarity of features and overall appearance of TxK to Tempest; one stated of TxK, “This is essentially Tempest.” There is no lawsuit. Atari has been in continuous contact with the developer since the game launched in hopes that the matter would be resolved.