Abandonwares assets?

Hello.
I found a lot of games where the developers went bankrupt, or untraceable. Mostly they are old games, from the DOS area and such.
The question is, would I be penalized for using their assets (textures, music, ect)?
Lets take this game for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerSlave, it seems abandoned. Would I be in trouble for using their assets for commercial use?

It depends if the copyright is still in action, if it is, the developer(s) has right to make a copyright claim.
So for PowerSlave, no one can make any lawsuit as the company is no more, which makes it impossible for anyone to make any lawsuit.

If the company/developers are still out there as a registered company, then you can end up in a lawsuit if they decide to file one.

What does this means?

" In a May 2015 interview, it was announced that publisher Night Dive Studios had acquired the game rights for a digital distribution re-release."

Night Dive Studios got permission to distribute a re-release?
Does it mean Night Dive Studios control all the rights, including the original DOS version sprites, or it is that they only got permission to redistribute the remake of the game?
Does it prevent other people from using the original abandoned version assets?

It would be much safer if you just make your own assets or pay someone for equivalents. The last thing you want is to discover that the game is covered under some publisher that you didn’t know about because the IP was sold in a package deal to somebody at some time and you get slapped with a DMCA or lawsuit.

When you plan to bring anything to sale, you better make sure that every pixel, triangle, and waveform is legally locked down. Mods and ports featured on this forum can get away with it because there is no money changing hands (officially, publicly), and it’s niche enough that usually the publisher doesn’t know or care. Independent titles do not fall under this category.

As Night Dive Studios has claimed a legal right to re-distribute the game, they own the rights to it, making them able to file any lawsuit if needed. So the game itself is not really abandon-ware any more, as it has a company that works on/sells it.

It’s all up to the current rights holder. As Night Dive Studios has claimed rights for PowerSlave, they can sell the old, original version or they can make a new and fresh one, they still have the legal rights to do both.

Also, it is solely up to the company if they allow you to use their assets or not. If they say no, it’s a big no. If they agree on it, then go right ahead.

Think of it as asking someone else if you can eat their cookie, if you just go ahead and eat it, consequences will come, but if you ask them and get a clear “yes”, then they cannot do anything against you as you heard them say yes!

If you want to use their assets, ask them and see if you are allowed or not, most of the times you’ll get a green light, if they’re not like EA.