After 25 years, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is finally been rereleased on PC through GOG. Here’s why the game has been inaccessible for so long.
Legacy of Kain fans were in for a pleasant surprise when Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was listed for sale on GOG this week. The series, better known to some via the Soul Reaver titles, has a long history of rights and legal issues. With bad blood between the original creators and later developers and publishers, it’s a wonder most of the titles released digitally almost a decade ago. However, the series’ first title, Blood Omen, was conspicuously missing at the time — and it’s arrival now is a reminder of how two developers fought over the future of the series.
Silicon Knights originally developed and created the Legacy of Kain series, with Crystal Dynamics assisting and acting as publisher. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain proved a hit, but relationships between the two were strained from the start. The issues only grew as time went on, eventually leading to the companies battling over who would develop the sequel. Crystal Dynamics won, but even after the split, the problems would haunt the series far past that game’s release.
What Is Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain?
Blood Omen was the first entry in the Legacy of Kain series, originally released in 1996 for the PlayStation. The game’s sales far surpassed expectations, surprising its creators. It centered around newly-awoken vampire Kain on his quest to seek vengeance for his murder while searching for a cure to vampirism.
The game was a direct result of Silicon Knight’s then-president Denis Dyack’s desire to make “epic” that adults would want to play. Blood Omen‘s stellar voice acting, cinematics, moody art direction and violent, gory gameplay all served to offer an adult experience in a video game — something that was uncommon at the time.
Why Is Blood Omen’s Digital Release Important?
Until now, players who wanted to experience the first entry in the Legacy of Kain series would either need to have an original PlayStation or Windows copy, own it through PSN as a PlayStation Classic on PlayStation 3 or emulate it. This left few options for players who wanted to play it on PC. Though Silicon Knights and Crystal Dynamics settled their case, resulting in Crystal Dynamics achieving full rights to pursue sequels while acknowledging Silicon Knights as the series’ creators, it didn’t mean all sunshine and daisies.
For Crystal Dynamics and its subsequent publisher, Square Enix, rereleases of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain involved having to jump through additional legal hoops. Not only would it be expensive, but Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics had far more control over later titles in the series, meaning it was simply easier to only port Soul Reaver, its sequel and even the two Blood Omen sequels starring Kain digitally.
Fans who feared they would never see Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain ported to modern systems have, thankfully, been proven wrong. While it’s unclear what circumstances led to its GOG release, what’s most important is that modern gamers will be able to enjoy a true gem of the original PlayStation era without needing to dusting off old equipment or worse. Plus, at just $6.99, its perfect for both longtime fans or curious newcomers looking for an early treat to start the Halloween season.
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