It took awhile but Activision has finally shut down Sarien.net, a website that let gamers play classic Sierra adventures through their browser.
We first heard about Sarien.net back in April 2009, when creator Martin Kool unveiled it as a place to experience old-time Sierra greatness like Space Quest, Police Quest and Leisure Suit Larry through the simplicity of a web browser. Kool readily admitted that he was offering the games without permission but said he hoped Activision-Blizzard would be cool with it (get it?) because it was a non-profit fan effort.
His hope held for a surprisingly long time but the inevitable has finally happened. "While we appreciate your dedication to the Sierra classic library and understand that you are a fan of these games, Activision has not authorized the development or distribution of these games via your Website," Activision wrote in a cease-and-desist letter that has since been removed from the site's front page. "Accordingly, we must demand that you immediately cease any further distribution or exploitation of the Sierra Games on your Website."
After getting away with it for as long as he did, Kool may have gone a little too far when he rolled out iPhone and iPad support for the AGI-powered games on his site, which is to say, all the Sierra stuff. After all, it's one thing to let people futz around with occasionally glitchy old-school games on a relatively unknown website, but it's something else entirely to make them available on the most popular mobile platform on the face of the planet. Anything's possible and maybe it really is just some oddly coincidental timing. But I really don't think so.