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FreeSpace IP bought by Interplay for $7,500

by Alice O'Connor, shacknews.com, Jun 7, 2013 7:00AM PDT

As companies continue to pick titbits from the carcass of THQ, walking skellington Interplay has bought the intellectual property for the zappy space'em up series FreeSpace. Oh gosh, avert your eyes my dear sweet young one, you'll cry when you read how much it went for: $7,500.

Interplay published the original Descent: FreeSpace - The Great War in 1998 and its 1999 sequel FreeSpace 2, and still sells them to this day, but the IP was held by developer Volition. The studio was snapped up by THQ in 2000 and, well, is now owned by Deep Silver following THQ's collapse.

According to a court document [pdf] spotted by Polygon, the price Interplay paid was only $7,500. Is that cheap? Well, probably, but it has been 14 years since the last game and I don't imagine it sells too massively. But how much are memories worth?

That's not to say FreeSpace is dead: an industrious team continues to polish up the open-sourced FreeSpace 2 engine with the Source Code Project, which has also been used as the foundation for games including Battlestar 'em up Diaspora.

But don't get too excited dreaming about Interplay making new Freespace games. The company today is little more than a sad husk that reminds us of better times so we pretend not to hear when it rattles the cellar door, like a grandparent. More likely is that Interplay wants to have everything all tied up nicely as it continues to sell the old games, not needing to worry about anyone else.

One space series THQ had that we're likely to see more of is Homeworld, as it was bought by Gearbox. The Borderlands creator plans, at the very least, to "preserve and assemble the purest form of the original acclaimed and beloved games ... with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms."