The entire Descent series (including Descent, Descent 2, Descent 3, along with the game’s Mercenary expansion) have been pulled from GOG.com, potentially because of a royalty payment dispute.
According to a post on the GOG forums, the Descent games were removed on/around Dec. 18.
“Due to changing hands and in-flux legal agreements, we just had to remove Descent 1+2 & Descent 3 + Mercenary from our catalog, effective immediately. We do want to apologize for not being able to give everyone more of a heads-up, and we will be doing our best to bring them back.”
-A GOG representative
According to developer Parallax Software, the Champaign, IL-based company hasn’t been paid royalties for its Descent games over the last eight years.
“Parallax Software still exists and still owns the copyrights to the Descent games. Under our 21-year-old agreement, Interplay has the exclusive rights to sell Descent and Descent, and they have been doing so on Good Old Games and Steam.
“The problem is that Interplay has not paid to Parallax any royalties since 2007. We’ve talked to them about this numerous times over the years, and finally took action this fall. We served Interplay official notice that they were in breach of the contract, and when they still failed to pay we terminated the agreement.
“This means that Interplay has lost the right to sell the Descent games, which is why they came down from GOG. (We’re not sure why they’re still on Steam; they shouldn’t be.)
“Interplay does, however, still own the Descent trademark, which they are free to use or license as they see fit (such as for Descent: Underground) as long as they don’t violate our copyrights.
“As for whether Descent and Descent II will be available for purchase again, we hope so. We’d be very happy to work things out with Interplay.”
-Matt Toschlog & Mike Kulas, Parallax Software
Interplay is still selling the Descent: Freespace Battle Pack on GOG.com.