No One Lives Forever trademarks suggest espionage revival

Friday, 2nd May 2014 00:02 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Operative: No One Lives Forever is at the centre of a series of trademarks from a developer known for resurrecting classic games.


Siliconera turned up a handful of trademarks related to the classic spy thriller, filed by developer Night Dive Studios.

Night Dive is best known for bringing System Shock 2 to modern systems.

“At this time we are unable to comment on future plans. I would like to add that our team has a great fondness for these games and our hope is that they will one day be re-released,” Night Dive CEO Stephen Kick said.

Don’t get too excited about this yet; last time we checked in on No One Lives Forever, the reason the property had languished so long is that nobody was really sure who owned the rights.

Siliconera argues that Night Dive couldn’t hold the trademarks without holding copyright also, but we’re not lawyers.

The Operative: No One Lives Forever released in 2002 and was followed by a 2002 sequel and 2003 spin-off; all were developed by Monolith Productions. The series was well ahead of its time with subtle and overt social commentary, and packed with satire of 1960′s espionage thrillers.

Thanks, Kotaku.



  1. TheWulf

    Wat, really? Oh my, if this is true, then that’s pretty great. I just hope it’s not another soulless reboot without a tenth of the colour or character of the individual, with its eccentricities toned down to appeal to more easily confused and low-brow mainstream audiences, because that would stink.

    It’s hard to be optimistic, really, because that’s happened so often. I have Deus Ex: Human Revolution to cling to as a surprisingly intelligent game, but I find it’s the exception, rather than the rule, when it comes to reviving products of the past. Most of them tend to be Thief, which the developers felt was such a challenging setting that they felt they had to change the cuss from ‘taffer’ to ‘fuck,’ and the more interesting creatures to guard dogs.

    Since the average mainstream thickie is too dense to comprehend that in another reality, people might actually not use fuck as a cuss, or might not use dogs to guard their property. Of course, if this perception of thickness is incorrect, then people need to speak up about this mistreatment, yes? I mostly see people being happy with it, which encourages further homogenising.

    And I’m bored with that. I’m retrogaming pretty hard lately because I’m sick of just how dire and unimaginative things have become, it’s actually making me feel a little bit ill. I wondered if it was just my sanity eroding, and whether, perhaps, things of prior decades weren’t quite as unique as I remembered. They were, unfortunately, which makes me wonder what’s happened beyond, perhaps, the money now being with everyday extroverts rather than more internalised, introverted nerds.

    Since the former have very boring fantasies (hot partners, fast cars, mansions, beaches), boring power fantasies (being the hero, slaying the dragon, saving the town with violence), as opposed to the introvert who may be more inclined to think, talk, platform, explore, and/or puzzle their way to victory in truly bizarre ways by comparison. The ’90s were an interesting time for that, even the interactive fictions of the time (like Gateway) were more memorable.

    I suppose it’ll be this way for a while, so I’ll just revel in the past. When fantasy could be more like the Neverending Story, rather than Conan the Barbarian.

    I know I harp on about this a lot, but…

    Whenever I see a reboot, now, I’m filled with so much dread. My first and instinctive response is to be filled with joy, because it’s something that filled me with happiness way back when. But then I realise that these were games of character, and I think of how the games had undergone absolute character rape, violently abused until all of their uniqueness has gone away.

    The end result is seeing something that I loved turned into a borg drone.

    As a creative person, that’s actually painful for me. I wouldn’t expect a lot of people to understand, honestly, but it’s just this pain in my gut that I get every time I see something so brilliant reduced to something so completely mundane. It’s like someone taking a shit on the Mona Lisa. Except it’s worse than that, because it’s not just ruining the work, it’s removing the challenge.

    The challenge in any instance is being taken out of one’s comfort zone by unfamiliarity, novelty, and eccentricity. It’s about being introduced to something so off the wall that it couldn’t have come from your mind, it’s definitely someone else’s thing, and you’re being invited to interact with it. To interact with their mind, their creations, on a profound level.

    These days, the mainstream churns out things which aren’t creations, but rather mass-produced efforts machined into existence. Familiar, safe, compromised things. There, there. You understand this. It’s okay. You’re safe, here, with us. You can explore something only very slightly different from the world you already know. We understand that your fantasies are only baby steps outside of reality and history itself, and we won’t ever scare you. We won’t offend you. You’ll never have to think. Just push the button. Push it again. Aren’t you having so much fun?

    I actually miss the days when games didn’t feel afraid to insult me. And, no, I don’t mean the low-brow BS that is No Russian, I mean when a game could be so subtle and intelligent, so nuanced, that it could undermine my opinions and almost call me stupid for having them. It was the kind of insult I could respect. Honestly, the kinds of insults I get these days, from games and people, aren’t worth my time. Because games, like so many people I see, feel like nothing more than hollow mannequins with empty, herd-produced offerings.

    I can’t count the times I’ve been called word X, or I’ve had commonly used phrase Y thrown at me, and I’ve doubted that the person using them actually even has the basest comprehension of their meaning, let alone the perspicacity and well-read mind to actually use them with any degree of decency. I’m not insulted by good insults, I’m delighted and amused by them. I am, however, offended by exceedingly crass, knuckle-dragging insults because the person using them feels that I should be insulted by them. It’s an arrogant, hubris-laden ignorance of their own lack of worth.

    I got to the point where I believed that people don’t read, or think, or question. Then I came to understand Jung’s perspective — those people are just extroverts, and as the Internet and computers have been made simpler to use for them, I’ve just been more exposed to them than I ever have been at any point in the past. And with them now using these machines, there must be games made for them. There must be games tailored to them.

    And sometimes, sometimes those games tailored to them happen to be old favourites of mine, dragged out of the grave so that they can re-enact Dr. Frankenstein’s greatest hits, creating a shambling zombie which has at least some bare semblance, some recognition, some verisimilitude to a piece of entertainment I liked a long, long time ago. But instead of challenging my intellect with a quirked brow, it lunges at me with slurred words.

    On one hand…

    I’d love to see this. No One Lives Forever was an intelligent game with a strong, female protagonist from an era before most of the world knew what feminism was, let alone tried faking it for crowd appeal (I’m looking at you, Frozen). It was smart, funny, clever, and all of the things I liked. It was also challenging and interesting, and fun to be around.

    So I could be reunited with an old ‘friend,’ so to speak.

    On the other hand… that friend might have been given a lobotomy to suit a similarly lobotomised audience.


    Happiness or dread. Which to feel? I hate being this cynical, but Thief is all the proof I need to show that I’m not just talking for the sake of talking. I’m very much of two minds, very much. I just don’t know how to feel. It’s just so, so strange to have a mild sense of elation at seeing NOLF, yet… to have butterflies in my stomach and creeping dread at the same time.

    At this point, I almost think I want to go and cryo-hibernate in a cave until introverts inherit the entertainment mediums again.

    #1 8 months ago

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