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,

We've talked about this a bit before in that SL rebuild thread but 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) but there should be no 'technical' excuse for not putting Civ1 DOS back out there again at the very least.

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, 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). 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.

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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: Urgh, getting silly comments on social media sites I've shared this with 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 I already have a copy of these games, most of us old Civ fans still have copies of these games lol. So for those reading this and thinking "duuuuuh hey bro, just go to this warez site, browser game emulator site, forum, ebay, game trader, cloud storage blah blah anything else you can think of". Well assuming an admin doesn't remove your post for sharing such a link then you're just going to get the same copy and paste response from me saying that availability on abandonware alternatives or Similar games (eg Freeciv & C-Evo etc) is all great but NONE of that means that Civ1&2 should not be sold on modern day digital stores and letting the world see these great old games again. To say otherwise is missing the point of the post and wasting your time and mine, as Civ3 onwards are there, many other formerly lost Microprose games are there, it's time for Civ1 & 2 to be there with them too. If you don't want to help and you'd rather go play one of those alternatives then you go right ahead, have fun lol!


VOTING LINKS:
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 this thread too! :)
https://www.gog.com/forum/sid_meier..._i_and_ii_mge_test_of_time_to_be_added_to_gog

* votes updated 14/08/2022 for comparison to 11/02/2022.

Combination wish lists:
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_1_2 (9.4k* was 9.1k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_123 (5k* was 4.9k votes - note Civ3 is already on GoG)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_i_and_ii (2.4k* was 2.3k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_2_civilization_2_test_of_time (298* was 222 votes)

Civilization 1:
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_1 (4.7k* was 4.6k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_i (821* was 735 votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_i_dos_version (237* was 147 votes)

Civilization 2:
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_ii_1 (10.5k* was 10.3k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_ii_fantastic_worlds_1 (1012* was 951 votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_ii_conflicts_in_civilization (490* was 400 votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/sid_meiers_civilization_ii_multiplayer_gold_edition (293* was 252 votes)

Civ2 Test of Time:
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_ii_test_of_time (1.9k* was 1.7k votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilization_2_tot (239* was 190 votes)
https://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/civilizations_test_of_time (160* was 130 votes)

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Blake00

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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:


Yet it instead looks like this:


GoG is similar...

Civ4Col:


Classic Col:


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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Blake00

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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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Blake00

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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!
 

Blake00

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