A fledgling video game studio recently filed trademarks for No One Lives Forever, The Operative, Contract J.A.C.K., and A Spy in H.A.R.M.’s Way. For those who are familiar with the matter, most of these are alternate names that referenced Monolith’s two installments of the Cate Archer franchise. Fondly referred to as NoLF, No One Lives Forever followed the adventures of a cat burglar turned intelligence operative. While receiving critical acclaim, the game did not gain as widespread traction with the gaming community as some other franchises. Apparently, someone thinks that the time is ripe to give it another whirl.
The company, Night Dive Studios, which has only been around since 2013, has proved unwilling to issue any statements describing the intent behind the trademark applications. The rights to NoLF have been in trademark legal hell. With no one claiming the rights to the franchise, the game has been unavailable for re-release or even re-sale on outlets such as Good Old Games or Steam. I am not quite sure how this happens, but I am very happy to see a company doing something about it. NoLF was one of my absolute favorite games in my first year as a PC gamer.
NoLF provided an entirely unprecedented quirky take on the the overly serious First-Person Shooter genre at the time of its release. Hitting the PC gaming scene in 2000, the turn of the century turned out to be an excellent time to market a game that made fun of a lot of tropes, both in the video game realm and in the spy-movie genre.
Night Dive Studios previously re-released System Shock 2, a classic survival horror game that was exclusive to the PC. The company claims that they are unable to discuss future plans for Cate Archer and her supporting cast. They are hopeful that something will come from the trademark filings and that via some means, she can return to a state of glory and reverence.