Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post Reply
Falcury
Calif
Calif
Posts: 561
Joined: June 25th, 2009, 10:01 pm

Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by Falcury »

Coco recently asked whether posting a patch for Prince of Persia 3D would break the forum rules:
Coco wrote: December 20th, 2018, 1:33 pm Yesterday I ran into yet another POP3d-not-exactly-legal-copy that contains the patch. This is the first time ever in 20 years, that I've managed to play this game without any issue. There's no lag, there's no library bug, and I'm yet to see if there are some texture issues on certain levels. I'm gonna finally enjoy this damned game 20 years later.

I'm wondering if this patch can work with other game versions... So If there are any volunteers... And if I'm not braking any forum rules :?: post if you're willing to test it.

First question, is it reasonable to consider Prince of Persia 3D 'abandonware' at this point?
I.e., is this still up to date:
Norbert wrote: October 1st, 2012, 1:30 pm Only Prince of Persia 1 and 2 (not including their official remasters, of course) are considered to be abandonware.
All other Prince of Persia games, including Prince of Persia 3D, are not abandonware.
The Learning Company still sells Prince of Persia 3D via, for example, Amazon.
Second question: allowing that Prince of Persia 3D might not be 'abandonware', might it still be OK to post patches, or even copy protection cracks? Taking into consideration that (1) the game is not currently being sold by Ubisoft, who are the copyright holders, (2) the game no longer runs as intended on modern operating systems, (3) there is no official support for this game and hasn't been for years now, and (4) according to the Wikipedia page on abandonware there are exemption clauses in e.g. the DMCA allowing for reverse engineering for the purpose of game preservation.

I think I am leaning towards allowing patches for Prince of Persia 3D on the forum, including copy protection cracks. What do you think?
User avatar
Norbert
The Prince of Persia
The Prince of Persia
Posts: 5572
Joined: April 9th, 2009, 10:58 pm

Re: Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by Norbert »

Falcury wrote: January 6th, 2019, 1:20 pmFirst question, is it reasonable to consider Prince of Persia 3D 'abandonware' at this point?
Though not a reliable source, Wikipedia's page about abandonware starts:
"Abandonware is a product, typically software, ignored by its owner and manufacturer, and for which no support is available."

Some form of support does seem to be available.
It includes, among other things, this answer that links to an executable that is not a dead link.
It is also possible to (create an account and) sign in to open support cases for unanswered questions.

Whether the owner will track copyright violations, now or in the future, partially depends on the company's attitude.
This attitude may change if it chooses to re-release by digital distribution.
Games even older than PoP1 are for sale, such as Wasteland (Steam, GOG), Police Quest (Steam) and Zork (GOG).
While GOG's wishlist includes PoP3D, it doesn't have as many upvotes as some other games.

One argument in favor of us not distributing PoP3D could be to let sleeping dogs lie.
The Learning Company might look at PoP3D differently because it's a 3D game.
If they ever decide to visit us with a broom, they might sweep up PoP1/2 along with PoP3D.
PoP3D is almost 20 years old and I agree it's currently abandonware, but is treating it as such worth the risk...
Falcury wrote: January 6th, 2019, 1:20 pmSecond question: allowing that Prince of Persia 3D might not be 'abandonware', might it still be OK to post patches, or even copy protection cracks? [...] I think I am leaning towards allowing patches for Prince of Persia 3D on the forum, including copy protection cracks. What do you think?
Looking at the risk–return tradeoff, perhaps the desire/demand for such patches is negligible?
Also, assuming for a moment we would allow discussions about obtaining and cracking PoP3D, is the goal there just playing or also modding?
Or would it be sufficient to ask Jalal to supplement his PoP3D page on PoPUW?

Just some thoughts; I'm not sure what's the wisest choice here.
I'm curious to read other people's views.
User avatar
Coco
Sultan
Sultan
Posts: 130
Joined: February 1st, 2013, 3:58 pm

Re: Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by Coco »

I'm not sure what's the wisest choice here
I suppose we can write to Ubisoft and ask them :?:

Legal copies of the game are unfinishable, and on modern systems, unplayable too.
jira
Scholar Scribe
Scholar Scribe
Posts: 4
Joined: February 6th, 2021, 9:21 pm

Re: Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by jira »

Uhm objectively it is an abandoned game, the old patch in the Ubisoft archives i don't think means much. However in my opinion we could avoid linking the full game in this forum, but allow mods and patches. I think it's good to keep the interest alive for all PoP games and i don't think Pop1 and 2 will risk anything about that.
Falcury
Calif
Calif
Posts: 561
Joined: June 25th, 2009, 10:01 pm

Re: Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by Falcury »

jira wrote: February 6th, 2021, 11:17 pm However in my opinion we could avoid linking the full game in this forum, but allow mods and patches. I think it's good to keep the interest alive for all PoP games and i don't think Pop1 and 2 will risk anything about that.
I agree, I think it is reasonable to allow PoP3D patches and mods on the forum.
Even if the interest would be small in comparison to PoP1 and 2, I think it would definitely be worth it to keep interest alive for PoP3D as well.
The risk of the copyright holders being unhappy about this, and going after us is probably quite small. And if we do get takedown requests in the future, I expect we could remove the offending content and change our policy again.
In my opinion you can go ahead. (Unless others have strong objections?)
User avatar
Norbert
The Prince of Persia
The Prince of Persia
Posts: 5572
Joined: April 9th, 2009, 10:58 pm

Re: Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by Norbert »

Falcury wrote: February 7th, 2021, 2:18 pm
jira wrote: February 6th, 2021, 11:17 pm However in my opinion we could avoid linking the full game in this forum, but allow mods and patches. I think it's good to keep the interest alive for all PoP games and i don't think Pop1 and 2 will risk anything about that.
I agree, I think it is reasonable to allow PoP3D patches and mods on the forum.
Even if the interest would be small in comparison to PoP1 and 2, I think it would definitely be worth it to keep interest alive for PoP3D as well.
The risk of the copyright holders being unhappy about this, and going after us is probably quite small. And if we do get takedown requests in the future, I expect we could remove the offending content and change our policy again.
In my opinion you can go ahead. (Unless others have strong objections?)
Sounds good to me too.
Falcury, will you modify the sticky (or create a new one) to reflect policy?
Falcury
Calif
Calif
Posts: 561
Joined: June 25th, 2009, 10:01 pm

Re: Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by Falcury »

Norbert wrote: February 7th, 2021, 3:00 pm Falcury, will you modify the sticky (or create a new one) to reflect policy?
Done.
Maybe the policy should still be specified a bit further, if we want to allow mods and patches only for Prince of Persia 3D specifically, and not for e.g. the SoT trilogy games. (Left unspecified for now.)
_Zaphod_
Beylerbey
Beylerbey
Posts: 58
Joined: January 13th, 2006, 12:01 am
Location: USA

Re: Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by _Zaphod_ »

As near as I can tell, pop3d can no longer be bought new at all. the only new copies are second hand.

The amazon links all are for used or 'collectible like new" copies.

Since all cds of the game have already been sold once, there is no further profits for the copyright holder to be eaten into, unless the game is patched again and reprinted.

I suppose the best idea is to ask ubisoft, since the learning company no longer sells the game.
Shattered
Sheikh
Sheikh
Posts: 41
Joined: January 23rd, 2010, 3:19 pm

Re: Is PoP3D abandonware?

Post by Shattered »

I agree with _Zaphod_, I also think the game is abandonware and I'm quite sure it could be shared without problems.

In terms of support: the game doesn't work on modern OS (Microsoft broke compatibility for SafeDisc protection on Windows 10). There is no official patch to deal with this problem, so (legitimate) users need to download a crack or unprotected .exe in order to play the game. Many older games that are currently sold on GOG/Steam are made to work on modern systems, this has not been the case yet in regards to PoP3D.

As soon as it is sold again (i.e. on GOG) the links could be removed. But even then I don't think they will care to complain here for such an old game.
Post Reply