Vote for Sid Meier's Civilization I and II (MGE & Test of Time) to be added to GoG

Blake00

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SUMMARY:
Amazingly the first 2 big Civilization games that started it all are still not legally sold in any digital stores (& can only be found on archive & dodgy warez sites) while other classic Microprose games and all later Civ games are all being digitally sold. Presumably the pre Firaxis Civ games seem to be stuck in some sort of licensing hell they need to be rescued from. Only fans voting and making themselves heard can possibly change that. Yes some classic Civ fans probably still have their original discs & CDs like I do and don't need another copy, but plenty probably don't now and these games should really be back in stores, easily accessible, ready to run without config hassle, and getting more attention again! More fans returning to these classic Civ games injects new life into this community and it's modding scene!

FULL PITCH:
Spoiler Click to expand :
Hey guys,

It's time for us fans to try and fix a bit of a silly wrong in the Civilization world and franchise. :) In that basically Sid Meier's Civilization 1 the game that started it all, along with all iterations of Sid Meier's Civilization 2 a game considered to be one of the greatest of all time (to this day it still ends up in top 50 or 100 lists in gaming media) are somehow still not on Good old Games or Steam and cannot be legally purchased anywhere other than in the secondhand markets.

Regardless of which game in the series is your favourite (ie many love 3, 4, 5, & 6) it's time for all us Civ series fans to band together to try and fix this problem that has gone on for long enough! I'm also going to post this around all the Civ communities to see if we can get some momentum on this and hopefully get some attention. :)

Colonization, Master of Magic, and Master of Orion 1&2 are on both platforms these days and unlike many old games that are still lost in limbo due to only being 16bit Windows apps neither problem truly exists with these 2 classic Civ games so is the problem simply that the current license holder has forgotten about them? Or are they stuck in a licensing limo out of reach like some other Microprose games? Civ 1 & 2's source code is likely long lost however the source codes were lost for those other Microprose games I just listed above and it didn't stop them being re-released by their respective current license holders as quite franky it wasn't needed (would have been nice though lol).

Sid Meier's Civilization 1 is a DOS game and these days DOS games are all sold on these sites inside a Dosbox setup. Civilization for Windows & CivNET were unfortunately 16bit windows apps so it's unlikely we'll get them unless the source is found (which is a shame as I recently got CivWin working in HD) or GoG make a deal with the WineVDM guys (an app that plays 16bit games on modern OS without needing a VM), but there should be no 'technical' excuse for not putting Civ1 DOS back out there again at the very least. EDIT: Also I've recently been informed that CivNET uses Civ2 like CD audio tracks system however there's a CD audio track emulator GoG uses that could fix that.


Sid Meier's Civilization 2 vanilla along with its Conflicts in Civilization and Fantastic Worlds addons were 16bit Win applications so once again it's unlikely we'll get them (unless WineVDM is used), HOWEVER the Multiplayer Gold Edition (MGE) re-release of Civ2 (with it's 2 addons included) was a 32bit application and there is a freely available fan patch by FoxAhead that further ensure's it's fully compatible with modern 64bit systems. Yes MGE made some changes some people didn't like however once again there is a excellent freely available fan tool by FoxAhead that disables those things (ie over aggressive AI) to make it feel more like classic Civ2 again, along with adding some nice new features and disabling the CD check. Civ2 was built to play videos off the hard drive (if you copied them off the cd) and no doubt some modifications could be made to use mp3s instead of the CD for music (such as has been done with ToT which I'll get to below and EDIT: I've now been informed a CD audio track emulator GoG uses that could fix this issue). The game also works fine without music so even if they wanted to keep things simple there once again should be no serious 'technical' excuse for not putting Civ2 back out there again, just a matter of getting some fan permissions and cutting through some licensing red tape.


Civilization 2 Test of Time was built from MGE so naturally it is also a 32bit application and once again the same fan patch mentioned above by FoxAhead also works with ToT ensuring full compatibility with modern 64 bit OS. On top of that the excellent ToT Patch Project by TheNamelessOne has made many many improvements including better graphics, improved video playing and mp3 music support which truly removes the need for the old CD (yes it also removes the CD check too). So once again there would be no serious technical excuse for not putting ToT back out there again, just a matter of getting some fan permissions and cutting through some licensing red tape.


Steam doesn't really have a missing game wishlist list however Good old Games does and when games get a lot of wish list attention it often prompts GoG to chase after the license holders themselves. In many cases they've worked with fans to include some of the fan made patches and mods to ensure modern system compatibility too which has been awesome! :) And then most of the time (but not always) after the license holder has gone to the effort to set things up on GoG they'll go and do Steam too.

So we just need to get their attention! I've done some searches on GoG and there are many Civ wishlists. Below are all the biggest ones I could find so if you're a big Civ1-2 fan or you're a later Civ games fan that wants to help your Civ loving brothers and sisters right a wrong then please visit these wish lists and click the little +1 plus one button. If you don't want to visit them all then just visit the first one under each section as that's the biggest one! If you think it's all a waste of time doom and gloom etc maybe you're right but please please please click on the wish buttons in the links below anyway as hey.. it can't hurt to try and then you can totally come back here and say we're wasting our time haha. :lol: So many other 'difficult situation' games out there that were less successful that Civ made it to GoG due to big fan wishlists showing that the money would be there so why not classic Civ too!

EDIT: Unfortunately I'm getting a lot of snarky and unhelpful comments on social media sites I've shared this with suggesting lots of alternative actions to helping with this campaign so I guess despite this already being a massive post due to me trying to cover every base an extra big disclaimer is still needed lol. Yes there's probably little chance of this working, yes many of us still have our CDs, yes there are copies on ebay, yes many abandonware and archive sites offer free copies of them, yes there are similar alternatives like FreeCiv & C-Evo, and yes maybe you like one of the sequels more. However none of that means Civ1 & Civ2 should not be brought back from exile and sold in modern digital stores like Civ3-6 are, like plenty of other formerly lost Microprose games are, and like many other games from that mid 90s era are that were FAR less successful. To say otherwise is missing the point of the post, as this is about getting these great old games back out into the world, getting them out of exile and the lost backwaters of the internet, making them easier to get working, and also injecting a bit of fresh life back into their fan communities!


VOTING LINKS:
* votes updated 25/02/2023 for comparison to original 11/02/2022 figures.

Combination wish lists:
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_1_2 (9.6k* was 9.1k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_123 (5.1k* was 4.9k votes - note Civ3 is already on GoG)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_i_and_ii (2.5k* was 2.3k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_2_civilization_2_test_of_time (354* was 222 votes)

Civilization 1:
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_1 (4.9k* was 4.6k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_i (867* was 735 votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_i_dos_version (279* was 147 votes)

Civilization 2:
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_ii_1 (10.8k* was 10.3k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_ii_fantastic_worlds_1 (1068* was 951 votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_ii_conflicts_in_civilization (537* was 400 votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_ii_multiplayer_gold_edition (324* was 252 votes)

Civ2 Test of Time:
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_ii_test_of_time (2k* was 1.7k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_2_tot (282* was 190 votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilizations_test_of_time (167* was 130 votes)

I've also created a thread on the Civilization series GoG forum that I believe is monitored in some capacity by GoG staff and the current license holder. So feel free to post a supportive comment in there too! :)
https://www.gog.com/forum/sid_meier..._i_and_ii_mge_test_of_time_to_be_added_to_gog

1 Year anniversary - Roughly 2,750 more votes than original!
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I've always suspected there was something funny with the rights to the two classics when Take 2 purchased Civ off of Microprose/Hasbro/Infrogrammes/Atari (so many mergers, yikes!). Maybe they weren't part of the deal?

On the other hand, Chronicles was a Take 2 thing and that had CivWin, Civ 2 and ToT included so who knows? :-D I believe Chronicles is the only time they've ever been rereleased since the publisher change

EDIT - just checked and it's actually Microprose/Spectrum Holobyte/Hasbro/Infogrammes/Atari. What a mess!
 
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Quick update.. good to see some of the top most vote links have had a few hundred increases over the last few months. Presumably either because of me posting this in lots of places or just lots of people out there thinking the same thing of "why aren't these hugely successful & popular old games being sold anywhere when so many lesser games of the same era are?".

I noticed something interesting this week. Much like with the Civilization series, Firaxis & 2K presumably have full control over the Colonization franchise too. Yet classic Colonization on steam is not under their control? I expected it to look similar to the Civ4 Colonization page:
upload_2022-6-17_23-16-12.png


Yet it instead looks like this:
upload_2022-6-17_23-17-13.png


GoG is similar...

Civ4Col:
upload_2022-6-17_23-45-43.png


Classic Col:
upload_2022-6-17_23-41-28.png


I don't know Retroism.. but I do know Nightdive as they've been behind some awesome retro remasters and remakes (eg Doom 64, System Shock and Blade runner) and specialize in acquiring abandon ware games stuck in licencing hell and selling them with or without improvements. So why is classic Colonization under their control and not 2Ks? I feel this is confirmation of our suspicions that when 2K acquired the rights to the Civ and Col franchises in the 2000s from Atari (formerly Infogrames formerly Hasbro) that for whatever reason the older existing Microprose titles were not part of the deal and got left behind in Atari's infamous IP dungeon. Presumably these guys rescued (ie made a deal) classic Col from Atari similar to the recent events with Slitherine rescuing the Master of Magic licence from Atari (and now getting MuHa to do a remake). Or I guess there's also the possibility that maybe 2K did get them but weren't interested in doing anything with them and these guys made a deal with them instead?

Either way presumably whatever situation classic Colonization was in, is probably the exact same one that Civ1, Civ2, and Test of Time are currently sitting in. Clearly someone with some swing/power who had a lot of love for Col basically took notice of the problem, saw a retro business opportunity, and did something about it.. if we could just get someone to notice the rest! I might see if I can contact these guys to ask about how they got Col and mention the Civ situation. I'll try their forums, twitters, and emails if I can get them. I'll probably be ignored but like I said above, I can't hurt to ask! If anyone has a way to speak with Firaxis too please let me know, I know they're a developer effectively powerless in this but it would be interesting to get their thoughts on this Civ1&2 issue, and maybe they can speak to 2K.

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A great idea, I myself have voted in all the categories to help.

Thanks mate!

Got a interesting reply on the GoG thread I link to in the OP that changes things a bit:
2K has the rights to Civ1 and 2. They released them both as part of the Civilization Chronicles compilation in 2006.

The reason Tommo/Retroism has the rights to the original Colonization is that those rights had been with Atari as Microprose's successors all the way until their 2010/2011 bankruptcy and sold off the majority of what they had. Retroism was among the high-scorers for quantity of IPs they got. 2K not owning the Colonization license was pretty much the reason why the 2008 remake had to have the clumsy name with the Civ4 prefix.

He's right, the 2K chronicles release is pretty conclusive evidence that 2K do indeed own Civ1, Civ2 & ToT. Oh man, getting those guys to put the games on sale again won't be easy. However I might try to talk to some of the Firaxis people about it and maybe they can talk to 2K.

I'm not sure if I agree with him about Colonization though. I'm remember watching that Atari bankruptcy sale with great interest to see if it resolved the Master of Magic situation (which it didn't at the time) and I don't remember seeing Colonization in the sale, nor can I find any old articles mentioning it in the sale lists. Considering people can get sued for trademark infringement for even things that are merely "confusingly similar" I'd be surprised that 2K could get away with remaking the same game, calling it Colonization and just slapping Civ4 in front of it and hoping they don't get sued lol. But yet we do have to this situation classic Colonization being sold by Nightdive/Retroism instead of 2K so that's an interesting one!

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I would love to own these without occasionally finding some weird hacky way to find an old copy.
 
Yeah I see a lot of people out there posting about struggling to A find (legally) and B get them working on modern OS's. Would be wonderful if that day can come where people who feel like having go with the classic Civ games that started it all can just click on a button on Steam/GoG and download a nice easy to install all-in-one package with the fan patches, video codecs and no-cd stuff all applied ready to go. Just amazing to think that most of Microprose's old games are for sale on digital platforms yet 2 of their biggest are not and have been forgotten over time. Would bring a lot of fans back to these great old games giving their modding communities a nice fresh injection of players and creators.
 
An excellent initiative. Voting now!
 
He's right, the 2K chronicles release is pretty conclusive evidence that 2K do indeed own Civ1, Civ2 & ToT.
Especially as the Civ Chronicles release includes a working cd version of Civ 1 - but unfortunately not running any longer on my 64 bit pc.
 
Is there not a possibility that Chronicles was some kind of temporary agreement between Microprose/Atari and 2K? It's just odd that 2K have never even so much as mentioned them since, given their status as classics. They're not shy of releasing older stuff on digital platforms, all the original x-com games can be purchased on steam/gog (packaged with dosbox) and published by 2K. I have no evidence for this of course, just idle speculation based on the moves that 2k and Retroism (who seem to be handling Microprose stuff these days) have made.

I think if Microprose/Atari had it, it'd be available already through the retroism/nightdive publisher. They've chucked a load of stuff from the microprose back catalogue up, including some of the more obscure titles. There's no way they'd have passed up the income that Civ 1 and 2 would have given them. It must be in limbo with 2K having a piece of the rights but not all of it.

I kinda want to pick up Chronicles just because all the versions seem to be unique in some way. A CD based version of CivWin. Civ 2 and ToT sufficiently tweaked from the originals that the official patches don't work (what did they change?) and a version of Civ 3 without safedisk/securom protection.
 
Yeah that kind of makes me want to pick up Chroncles too!

Yeah the mystery continues.. it's probably 2K but it could still easily be Atari!

Time for an update! There was a Firaxis link to 2K lead I was trying but I haven't heard anything for a long time so sadly I think that's hit a dead end.

So now it's time for plan B which in hindsight maybe should have been plan A haha! If Nightdive and Retroism were able to make a deal to get Colonization from 2K (or maybe Atari) then surely they could do the same with Civ1 & 2, especially as those were more successful games and they could make more money for them! Nightdive have a history of working with fan modders to use their existing patches to help re-release old games and Retroism have re-released a lot of Microprose stuff. So I've just sent emails about all this to their business addresses, I've posted less personalized open letters to them on the Classic Colonization Steam & GoG support forums in case any of their staff keep an eye on them, and lastly I've sent messages to their social media pages with links to the open letters. It's probably one poor guy checking their email and socials who's now getting bombarded probably screaming "LEAVE ME ALONE!!" :lol: but hopefully they're cool and will pass on the message to their managers. Let's see how this one goes!
 
Gog tends to give my computer a tummy ache (or the online equivalent of one) and it refuses to work for me. I'd happily buy them thisfast if they were on Steam, though. Even if a trireme did destroy my battleship.
 
Well here we are a year on since creating this thread! I've updated all the GoG vote totals in the top post and and sure enough the votes have increased by hundreds and hundreds across all the voting threads with lots of new comments from fans saying things like "whyyyyyyyyy" and "Pleaaaase".

As expected my big 'email-athon' last year to the various different business, marketing & management addresses of Firaxis, Retroism, Nightdive, 2K and Take2 all got no replies. Maybe they started some talk and it'll lead to something eventually but I'm not holding my breath. There was also another slightly ajar door I was trying to push open to speak with people at Firaxis but that's closed too it would seem. I also contacted some of the help desks but I'm sure you imagine how that went lol "I'm sorry we can't help you" etc etc. I also posted open letters on some of their steam and gog forums only to have some of the threads deleted by moderators because I said the word "piracy" in a sentence about how this would STOP that lol. So yeah.. as expected the walls between us and them are just too high sadly. The only thing I didn't do was try the Atari business emails so I've just finished doing them now since there's still chance that they own the old Microprose Civ titles and those titles were not part of the early 2000s handover to 2K and the whole 2K chronicles release that included Civ1&2 was a temporary loan as some have said in my threads. In the end we just don't know for sure whether it's really 2K or Atari that own the pre-Firaxis Civ games from the Microprose era. But one thing's for sure.. it's gotta be one of the two! And maybe just maybe Firaxis, Retroism, Nightdive, or GoG staff could do the releases for them if someone in one of these companies just started giving a darn! Considering all the hundreds of other old 90s games for sale on GoG and Steam that were less financially successful that Civ1 & Civ2 its not like they wouldn't make money from this effort.

Anyway I'll keep at it.. go vote (using links in top post) if you haven't guys.. let's see what another year brings!
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In the end we just don't know for sure whether it's really 2K or Atari that own the pre-Firaxis Civ games from the Microprose era. But one thing's for sure.. it's gotta be one of the two!
May be, they don´t know this themselves. :think:
 
Did a followup email to all the organisations I've previous emailed last year just for the hell of it as it can't hurt the cause. I've also heard through the grape vine that Firaxis are aware of the issue (as I'm not the first to ask) but the decision is in 2K's hands.

Meanwhile I was reading a recent issue of Retro Gamer magazine and they did a interview with some of the main GoG people and there was an interesting line (annoyingly split across 2 pages so I've had to stitch these together lol) from Marcin Paczynski saying "If a game has more than 300 votes then you can be certain we have worked on trying to get it.". I find only 300 votes a bit hard to believe but whatever the real number is it's probably safe to say GoG have tried to look into the Civ1 & Civ2 situation as well when you consider we've got 2 Civ vote threads (links in top post) with around 10k votes and a bunch of other ones in the 2-5k range it so all together we've got tens of thousands of votes. Nevertheless I might chuck their business emails some messages too. More votes will of course push GoG into pestering 2K so hopefully fans will keep having their say in those vote threads and the numbers will keep climbing!

 
I vote against because then civilization 1 abadon ware would become illegal/pulled from websites.

The best things in life are free.

Every person on the planet should be able to try out civilization 1 and see what a great game it is !

If tastes like more buy the bigger versions ! ;)

I do support a re-make of civilization 1 though, in 2D with fancy distance field rendering technology for crystal clear up scaling ! =D

I also think they already earned enough from civilization 1 to 6 versions out there, stop being greedy ! =D
 
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