Sometimes Things Just Don’t Go As You Want Them To

“Sometimes things just don’t go as you want them to.”

That’s always an auspicious beginning to anything, isn’t it? Well, in this case it’s true. A few weeks back, we came out with some fantastic news. We were bringing the ‘Unseen’ back! We reviewed documents, talked to a great many people, and spent time with some lawyers. We felt we had a solid position.

Sadly, some of the information we acted upon turned out to be inaccurate. Twelve of the ‘Unseen’ images previously used within the BattleTech universe were involved in a court case in the 1990s: Archer, Longbow, Rifleman, Warhammer, Wasp, Stinger, Phoenix Hawk, Crusader, Marauder, Stinger LAM, Wasp LAM and Phoenix Hawk LAM. This we knew. But at the end of that court case, as part of a confidential settlement, it was agreed that the sole and exclusive world-wide right to these images (outside of Japan) would rest with another US company.

It is for this reason that we have chosen to revise our plans to publish these specific images in current product.

Though we spoke with a number of individuals before making our initial decision, no one involved in Catalyst was aware of this agreement. Still, the owner to these images has been very cool with us about the whole situation. They are a good group of people, and we will continue our attempts to work with them as we look toward the future.

I hope you all know, this was something we attempted out of a true passion to bring you everything you have wanted out of BattleTech over the past 25 years. This was one of those big holes we thought we could patch, and sadly we were wrong. I know there are times where it’s easy to see Catalyst as “The Powers that Be” for the games we make, but let me use this as an opportunity to remind you that we are also huge, huge fans (just in case you didn’t already know that from my years of blogs). Over the past two years there have been several projects behind the scenes that we’ve been working like crazy on because WE want to see BattleTech be a great game from every angle. We want it approachable for beginners, and compelling for veterans. More than anything we want to be able to share as much as we can from 25 years worth of story and products… and this was a big piece of that puzzle. Yet we simply can’t in this one case, and for that we as fans and game designers are truly saddened.

So after all of that, I would like to extend my sincerest apologies. Though we’re still able to use many of the unseen designs, these core twelve remain some of the most beloved. I hope you understand it was entirely out of our own passion for the game that this entire situation has unfolded as it did.

The BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction PDF has been adjusted accordingly, as has the printed product

Thank you all for your support over these past few years. It’s what has made even set backs like this all worth it as we continued forward making a great game even better.

Randall Bills
Managing Developer
Catalyst Game Labs

11 thoughts on “Sometimes Things Just Don’t Go As You Want Them To

  1. Sometimes things don’t always go the way we want them too. But it is good to know that you guys are working with the other company and that are being good about it. I look forward to seeing the unseen mechs again. Thanks for the update

  2. It is unfortuate, but understandable. Most would not have even bothered to try to get those items into the game again. Thanks for the hard work to trying to do so. Hopefully someday, they can be used again. It would be unfortuate to have those images(Mechs) disappear forever.

  3. RATS…..POO…….CRUD!!!!!!!!!!! GRRRRRRR, yes they are the most beloved of mechs. What really rankles is the fact that we sit so close to a brand new gamers generation that has no clue what all the angst is about. LAM’s reallllllly need to come back to Btech; they are missed.

  4. I’m less surprised about this then the first announcement seeing as how Macross is alive and kicking still. While I did like Shoji Kawamori’s work, licensing images like that just makes me uneasy. Even if things seem perfect someone can still pull the rug out. Which is worse when your core game is based on such licensing.

    Battletech has gotten better over the years though so I don’t see it as more then a bump so to speak.

  5. That is disappointing, but I certainly understand your enthusiasm – every fan’s enthusiasm – that we might get to see these again.

    So what do we call them now? ReUnseens, or UnReseens? ;-)

  6. So will the 25th anniversary box set us new art that was developed for the Technical Readout: Project Phoenix? I love the art that was done for that technical readout.

    Fan of BattleTech since 1986.

  7. Mr. Bills, I’ve read articles that Harmony Gold wants to be a sole owner of the robotech products. I can understand that, and even respect that, if I may offer a suggestion? If you could radically alter the designs of the unseen series, and modify the armaments and names, could that still be infringing the copyright infringement? For example: Take the warhammer, call it the ShortBow, make it a Close-medium ranged assault mech (100 ton) instead of a heavy mech, remove the shoulder armament, in favor of something more streamlined, such as a PPC, or a Large Pulse Laser. Include a Inferno Missile, (Which if you are cognizant of the battletech universe will more likely cause a reactor shut down of the opposing mechs. (A great tactic against that hulking atlas) Scrap the remaining ammo of the Warhammer in favor of a full inferno laser load out with smalls in the arms, and the heavy/mediums in the torso C/L/R sections. Understandably the lasers make lots of heat so to counteract that the mech would need about 40 tons of double heat sinks (20 of them.. Change the gun arms (Those clunky tubes sucked anyways)give it true hands, with the arms hosting the SPL (Small pulse Lasers) at the shoulder.. Modify the cockpit so that it’s more in the central torso, remove the head. I would be willing to offer a more detailed sketch of the ideas plus a suggested loadout, if you would like. I am a hardcore battletech fan, and well Yikes, can’t help but want to help design the reboot of my favorite franchise (After Final Fantasy) I’m a diehard vet of MW2 with some of the craziest loadouts you never thought of. I have a list of the unseens (and I have a good idea of some of the ones that have been totally kicked.) Should you be interested, contact me through hotmail at, and I will try my best to assist. I have no fees, but a request instead. Should you be interested and use my ideas, all I ask is credit (my name shown) for the work submitted and used.

  8. So does that mean that those 12 will stay unseen permanently, or are you still trying to work something out?

  9. Thanks for all the great feedback…most importantly, thanks for your dedication and passion…it’s why we’re here as well. Don’t have any more details at this time, obviously…but we’ll keep our heads down and keep trying to put out great product…thanks!

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