They’re still on Steam, though
GOG.com (née Good Old Games) has removed the Descent games from sale after developer Parallax Software terminated its contract with publisher Interplay over unpaid royalties. According to a post on GOG’s forums from developers Matt Toschlog and Mike Kulas, Interplay has not paid any royalties to Parallax since 2007.
“We’ve talked to [Interplay] 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.)” Toschlog and Kulas said.
The duo are correct. As of publishing, both Descent and Descent II are available for purchase on Steam (and they’re even on sale). Interplay still owns the rights to the Descent trademark, which explains the existence of recent Kickstarter success Descent: Underground.
Parallax Software’s original agreement with Interplay was originally forged 21 years ago, and gave Interplay exclusive rights to sell the Descent games. With the dissolution of the contract, Descent and Descent II are in limbo, unable to be sold by any party. Toschlog and Kulas hope to work something out with Interplay, eventually putting the games back on sale.
GOG Takes Down Descent From Store Because Interplay Did Not Honor 21-Year-Old Agreement With Parallax [reddit]