A few weeks ago, a GOG representative stated that "due to changing hands and in-flux legal agreements, we just had to remove Descent 1+2 & Descent 3 + Mercenary from our catalog, effective immediately."
While this was unusual, this was not something that had never been done before. In fact, the Duke Nukem series and Dragonsphere are two titles that are also to be removed from the GOG catalogue, with GOG promising to look into solutions for the Duke Nukem games and for the Descent series.
However, matter of the "in-flux legal agreements" have just had a little light shed on them, with one of the copyright owners to the Descent making a statement on the GOG forums to show their side of the story.
In their statement, Matt Toschlog and Mike Kulas from Parallax Software confirm that the company "still exists and owns the copyright to the Descent games." They go on to state that through their two decade old agreement with Interplay, Interplay has the 'exclusive' rights to sell Descent I and II, which until now they had been doing so on GOG and Steam.
The problem, the two state, is that "Interplay has not paid Parallex any royalties since 2007." The two have tried to come to some sort of agreement with Interplay, but after eight years Interplay was served a notice of a breach in contract. When that failed to produce their due royalties, Parallex then terminated their agreement with Interplay.
This means that Interplay has lost the rights to sell Descent games, although since Interplay still own the Descent trademark, which allows the company to "use or licence as they see fit (such as for Descent: Underground)" as long as they don't violate any of Parallex's copyrights.
Parallex has stated that they are willing to come to an agreement with Interplay so that the Descent games could be put back on sale. For those looking to purchase the Descent games, they are currently for sale on Steam. Since this is in direct violation of the aforementioned 'legal agreements', those who are interested should make their purchases quickly.
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