Image: Sony / Psygnosis

Update [Wed 14th Feb, 2024 10:05 GMT]: Following our interview with Discworld game designer Gregg Barnett, Terry Pratchett's daughter Rhianna has shed a little more light not only on the chance of seeing remasters but also on the potential for a brand-new Discworld interactive adventure.

Speaking to PC Gamer regarding Barnett's revelation that King Charles owns 50% of the rights to the Discworld games, Rhianna – joint owner of the production company Narrativia, which was established to control the multimedia rights to her father's books – says:

We only have rights to the characters, not the games themselves. If we did have the rights, then this would be a whole lot easier. We’re genuinely not sure who does own the rights because studios have been bought and sold over the years, along with IP. Last time we investigated this, they were thought to be with Sony, but that’s never been fully confirmed. We’d certainly love to see the old games rereleased. It’s news to us if His Majesty owns 50% of the Discworld games. Who knows what might happen if that’s really the case. Maybe he’s a fan!

Barnett also told us that making a new Discworld game might be tricky, as he believed that Pratchett (or his agent) "signed off every property to either ITV or Prime or the BBC literally across the board."

His daughter isn't sure that's correct, however:

No one has signed off everything to anybody. We still own the IP rights... The reason why Gregg got the rights to do the games was that he came with solid ideas which fitted the nature of Discworld. The simple reason that there’s never been a fully fledged Discworld game since then is no one has come to us with the right ideas and the resources to actually make it happen.

Speaking of Rhianna Pratchett, don't forget to check out her contribution to our piece on the history of the Fighting Fantasy books.

Original Story [Tue 6th Feb, 2024 14:00 GMT]: In a recent interview with Time Extension, Gregg Barnett (the designer of the classic Discworld point-and-click adventures from the '90s) revealed that remasters of the games may finally be on the cards after years of confusion over who owns the rights.

The series of games based on Terry Pratchett's Discworld books was released between 1995-2000, and is comprised of Discworld, Discworld II: Missing Presumed...!?, and Discworld Noir. All three titles were originally published on PC and were also notably created with the input of Pratchett himself, who helped to edit the dialogue.

For years, it's been believed that the rights around the game were in a state of limbo due to most of the companies involved in their creation either being absorbed by a larger company or going out of business altogether. Still, though, we couldn't resist sneaking in a cheeky question to Barnett during our recent chat regarding a potential rerelease, and his answer sort of took us by surprise.

We asked Barnett whether any retro publishers had tried to contact him to try and pick up the trail of where the rights may be, and shortly after, he replied:

"Yeah! We are a little bit beyond that point. I don’t want to give you a scoop, but a Discworld re-release may happen. The original rights are complicated in the UK, but it turns out that 50% reverted to me as the creator because the company Perfect Entertainment had been closed for over 10 years."

"Whenever something closes in the UK, intellectual property rights revert 50% to the original creator and 50% to the crown, which is King Charles. So that’s the two owners of the games. So yes, there have been discussions and something may be happening down the track – a rerelease or a remaster. But it’s obviously a complicated process when you’re dealing with the crown."

In other words, it seems like a Discworld remaster may be possible after all! However, it still doesn't look like the process will be as straightforward as one would hope. Barnett also elsewhere expressed his interest in doing another Discworld game on the City Watch, though believes obtaining those rights would prove a lot harder:

"[A rerelease is] on the cards. It may happen. And then it could advance to new versions of them. And again, I said, I would like to do a new Discworld game. But beyond all of the stuff that may or may not happen [like] the old versions, it’s just going to be hard to get the rights to do anything new in the Discworld universe at the moment."

You can read the full interview with Barnett here, where we talk about the development of the Discworld games and what it was like collaborating with Terry Pratchett.

[source News: Interview: "John Cleese Told Us To F**k Off" - The Inside Story Of Terry Pratchett's Discworld Games]