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 Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's

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Fou-Lu
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PostSubject: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Thu 11 Mar 2010, 4:24 pm

Well as some know I and a group of others where working on a Valis fan game secretly. Recently we decided to ask Vic Ireland who now speaks for Sunsoft about how the company feels about them here is his reply:

"If by fangames, you mean stuff like the fan-made Kings Quest, Chrono Trigger etc, I think they're cool, but as a business you can't allow them or you lose control over your copyright and trademark and the IP essentially becomes public domain. You can license them so they're legitimate to a point, but most fan efforts are a labor of love and the parties involved have no money for licenses, even if they're cheap."

For those having trouble reading between the lines due to the casual way he tends to address things I'll spell it out for you:

You may not make fangames based on Valis or other IP's that Sunsoft owns unless you buy a license from them. If you do make them anyways they will do the same thing Squaresoft did to the Chrono Trigger game when they find out about it.

Obviously this means mine is canceled. However we've been working hard on a commercial original game that will see the light of day sometime in the near future. I think you all will enjoy that. News on that later.
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Lord Adrian
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Thu 11 Mar 2010, 7:09 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your project sad eyes ... Now come to think of it I wonder what this means for my Valis V YouTube project Oops...Well since I haven't gotten a "Cease and Desist" order from them---yet--- I'll just continue with my project until further notice Arrogant... Again I'm sorry to hear about your project Crying or Very sad.


Last edited by Lord Adrian on Mon 15 Mar 2010, 2:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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RayguardKnight (SS7)
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Thu 11 Mar 2010, 8:09 pm

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That's disappointing, but personally I would never have expected them to say anything else. You said it yourself:

Fou-Lu wrote:
evilreiko wrote:
I mean, the bad side is: they may try to use the copy-right bullshit to ruin fan projects

In my opinion they will, generally speaking companies that own the IP will kill anything they see as direct competition. I would expect cease and desist orders if you create anything falling into that line.

Anyhow I'm sure your other game will be more interesting Smile.
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Shadow Blade
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Thu 11 Mar 2010, 8:32 pm

It's uspposed I must cancelled the Valis V project...
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evilReiko
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Fri 12 Mar 2010, 4:57 am

Doing things officially will ruin your project. Having a license for a fan project?! That's ridiculous from them to say that!
It's like saying: "You should get a license for drawing fan-arts!" huh COME ON! huh

Now I remembered, there are cracked games in torrents, the cracker have his nickname on the torrent "Hacked by Mr.Hacker" lol Although these hacked games are breaking these business, but they can do nothing about it lol

Now, a fan game (which is not breaking their business, no, it's even supporting their business) can't be done that way!? (the torrent way)

If every fan-project should get a license, then there will be no fans
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Fou-Lu
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Fri 12 Mar 2010, 5:29 pm

Quote :
Now come to think of it I wonder what this means for my Valis V YouTube project ...Well since I haven't gotten a "Cease and Decease" order from them---yet--- I'll just continue with my project until further notice
It's more likely that youtube would do that then Sunsoft. That'll only happen if some random person reports you to them for copyright infringement.

Quote :
Again I'm sorry to hear about your project .
At first it did bother me that I couldn't continue the project but it allowed me to come up with and focus on a commercial project of much higher quality. So I suppose I'm happy about it now in a way.

Quote :
Anyhow I'm sure your other game will be more interesting .
It will be, we're going about some legal copyrighting procedures next month, after that I'll be more inclined to show it off to people (yeah I'm a little paranoid) It's high res with good animation.

Quote :
It's uspposed I must cancelled the Valis V project...
Probally, however you could take your original characters replace the Valis cast with new characters and make something like that. If you wanted to sell it when your done then you'd want to switch the engine if your using mugen.
For my personal opinion I think you should start a game from scratch and make more original character designs tho. Your current ones seem heavily inspired by Saint Saiya and Valkyrie Profile. That's just an opinion based on how I've been doing my current project which is the first one I've stuck with. My only reason for this suggestion is personal experience so please don't take it personally.

Quote :
Doing things officially will ruin your project. Having a license for a fan project?! That's ridiculous from them to say that!
It's like saying: "You should get a license for drawing fan-arts!" COME ON!
Making an entire game that essentially directly competes with the company that owns the copyright VS drawing a picture of a copyrighted character. There's a significant difference there imo.

Quote :
Now, a fan game (which is not breaking their business, no, it's even supporting their business) can't be done that way!? (the torrent way)
It appears that the Japanese agree with you to some extent. Seeing as there is a thriving market of doujin games. But the best ones are actually licensed doujin works (such as melty blood, Eternal Fighter Zero, and the Touhou fighters)
However the United States has stricter copyright laws and stricter business practices. Hense this essentially "cease and desist" from Sunsoft.

Quote :
If every fan-project should get a license, then there will be no fans
Personally I don't stop being a fan because I'm not allowed to make fan projects. I still like Valis for example despite this.

On a personal note about this we asked Vic what he means by "cheap" should have an answer on that one shortly. Though I wouldn't expect to hear anything to favorable.
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Fri 12 Mar 2010, 5:48 pm

Poop, then I guess the characters can't appear in any other form of fangame, that doesn't fully involve Valis? Cause I had an interesting idea for an RPG, but I don't have an RPG making program of any kind.
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evilReiko
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Fri 12 Mar 2010, 6:38 pm

Quote :
It appears that the Japanese agree with you to some extent. Seeing as there is a thriving market of doujin games. But the best ones are actually licensed doujin works (such as melty blood, Eternal Fighter Zero, and the Touhou fighters)
However the United States has stricter copyright laws and stricter business practices. Hense this essentially "cease and desist" from Sunsoft.

How sad to hear "Your fan project is finished; we own the IP! HAHAHAHA!"
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Shadow Blade
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Fri 12 Mar 2010, 6:54 pm

Fou-Lu wrote:
Probally, however you could take your original characters replace the Valis cast with new characters and make something like that. If you wanted to sell it when your done then you'd want to switch the engine if your using mugen.
For my personal opinion I think you should start a game from scratch and make more original character designs tho. Your current ones seem heavily inspired by Saint Saiya and Valkyrie Profile. That's just an opinion based on how I've been doing my current project which is the first one I've stuck with. My only reason for this suggestion is personal experience so please don't take it personally.

No problem, but you're right, I start to think in more original characters to replace the Valis ones but, also I think a complete new story too, I think this isn't a big problem, whatever, Kenji, Amara, Seanna and Gledyss are mine.
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Keisuke Nonohara
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Fri 12 Mar 2010, 9:15 pm

Shadow Blade wrote:
Fou-Lu wrote:
Probally, however you could take your original characters replace the Valis cast with new characters and make something like that. If you wanted to sell it when your done then you'd want to switch the engine if your using mugen.
For my personal opinion I think you should start a game from scratch and make more original character designs tho. Your current ones seem heavily inspired by Saint Saiya and Valkyrie Profile. That's just an opinion based on how I've been doing my current project which is the first one I've stuck with. My only reason for this suggestion is personal experience so please don't take it personally.

No problem, but you're right, I start to think in more original characters to replace the Valis ones but, also I think a complete new story too, I think this isn't a big problem, whatever, Kenji, Amara, Seanna and Gledyss are mine.

that's the best thing in overall..

sadly for VALIS.. but, I think we can make a very interesting thing about this new TURN
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Fou-Lu
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Sat 13 Mar 2010, 4:53 pm

Quote :
Poop, then I guess the characters can't appear in any other form of fangame, that doesn't fully involve Valis? Cause I had an interesting idea for an RPG, but I don't have an RPG making program of any kind.
I'd go with "no".

Quote :
How sad to hear "Your fan project is finished; we own the IP! HAHAHAHA!"
Companies don't go after every fan project in existence, I think they only go after ones nearing completion because it's far more time effective to kill obvious competition then to chase every single fan creator.

Quote :
No problem, but you're right, I start to think in more original characters to replace the Valis ones but, also I think a complete new story too, I think this isn't a big problem, whatever, Kenji, Amara, Seanna and Gledyss are mine.

I actually think some of the characters you've done look at LITTLE to inspired but that's just a personal opinion. There's a large number of obviously inspired commercial games out there.

Quote :
that's the best thing in overall..

sadly for VALIS.. but, I think we can make a very interesting thing about this new TURN
To both of you: I spent a good ten years of my life on various incomplete projects. Similar to you guys 3 years of that went into a single originally fan project. I hope I can use that experience to help other people not do the same thing. I apologize if that sounds a little preachy. I got some info from a friend of ours that made me think perhaps you could use this type of "I've been there" talk.

Come to think of it I spent ANOTHER 3 years of my life on a project very similar to yours a high res anime fighting game. Canned that when I found out half my characters the anime companies in question where cracking down on fanart of.

Couple of things came to light that we talked about last night so I'll answer those here to. Another guy on this project wants to come here btw but he lacks a webpage and it seems to be a requirement for registration.

rough quotes here
Quote :
What about all the mario metriod and zelda hacks and actual games?
I think Nintendo of America is still very much run by it's Japanese branch when you see them on the news and in commercials you always see Japanese people never Americans. If this is the case it's likely they still have the same mindset of most Japanese companies. Which I guess is fangames and fanworks = free publicity. Only thing I can think of.

Quote :
What about MegaPhilX's fan made Megaman game that used to be called Megaman 10 capcom green lighted that right?
This seems to be the case, however you need to know the entire history behind this before making assumptions. A certain Capcom employee stole Phil's work and used it as promotional material. Phil noticed and emailed Capcom about it, they wrote him back apologizing and giving him "various options" I have to assume one of them was a green light for his fan project provided he changed the name (which he did).

Having worked for many companies over the years I think this is what they call "damage control" Phil had real legal ground to sue capcom outright for theft and a real possibility for winning such a case. Generally speaking companies do not like going to court, win or lose it still looks bad for them. If they won well it just looks like they are bastards who think it's just fine to steal from their fans, if they lost obviously they would lose money and either way they lose FACE. Face is the most important thing to a company in my opinion, this is especially true of companies whose main office is in Japan.

Lastly it's important to understand the difference between the main branch and United States branch of a company. Getting an okay with the Japanese branch DOES NOT give you the right to distribute your work outside of japan. You need the okay of the branch closest to where you want to distribute. That'll usually be the US branch. I believe this to be fact as I've done quite a bit of research on this. Feel free to dispute it if you disagree.
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Keisuke Nonohara
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Sat 13 Mar 2010, 8:34 pm

@ fou lu:

of course the characters look like inspired in anime and manga. I've read a lot of manga, played tons of game, a lot of doujin ones.
if you search, you can find that most characters are quite inspired in others..
is certain that some people would flame us because our desings or chars.
even so, if you check GENMU SENKI LEDA, you'll see YOKO and RENA.. in time productions, YOKO is earlier that RENA.
anyway.. the inspiracion comes from everywhere

and shadowblade was thinking a "PLAN B" since the SUNSOFT thing over the telenet IP's ...
the background story is pretty solid here.

we got almos 4 original characters and is not really dificult to reform a few ones to make them original...

i've been a bit discouraged by some factors, but now, since shadow told me to START OVER, seems that I have a second chance to REDEEM myself Embarassed
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RayguardKnight (SS7)
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Sat 13 Mar 2010, 10:14 pm

Quote :
Another guy on this project wants to come here btw but he lacks a webpage and it seems to be a requirement for registration.

Actually, iirc, he can just put anything in that field, including his Facebook or YouTube account URL (or like some people have done, just google.com).
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Sat 13 Mar 2010, 11:25 pm

Yeah I'm the one. I'm also the primary coder behind these other projects, including the original IP Fou-Lu is working with me with atm.

I'm not exactly sure if it is an official cease and desist or not. There's also quite a bit of fan projects that are either let go or are ignored almost entirely. There's a smattering of doujin games out there, and Japanese companies haven't really bogged down on them all that much. Really, the only company I've seen really go after fan projects was Square Enix, and as was mentioned, was hunted down upon just as they were completed. And then of course, there's the Mega Man, Sonic, Mario, and Zelda fangames. I am interested in doing a remake for El Viento, even if I'd have to purchase a license to use it first. I'm trying to see how much Vic means by "cheap" on this.
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Mon 15 Mar 2010, 2:26 am

This is all sad news. I was looking forward to these projects. Bummer.
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Fri 19 Mar 2010, 1:06 am

I think you guys can just change the names and make the characters look a little different and get away with it. But I suppose that's not what you were going for.
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Lord Adrian
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Fri 19 Mar 2010, 4:19 am

doctorx0079 wrote:
I think you guys can just change the names and make the characters look a little different and get away with it. But I suppose that's not what you were going for.


Come to think of it there is a game for the SNES/SFC called Kendo Rage---it's very Valis like although I never played it Cool---> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqnVSnGhdU8
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Thu 01 Apr 2010, 8:00 pm

Lord Adrian wrote:
doctorx0079 wrote:
I think you guys can just change the names and make the characters look a little different and get away with it. But I suppose that's not what you were going for.


Come to think of it there is a game for the SNES/SFC called Kendo Rage---it's very Valis like although I never played it Cool---> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqnVSnGhdU8


I did a lets play of this game.
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Lord Adrian
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PostSubject: Re: Sunsoft's stance regarding fan made games for their recently acquired IP's   Thu 01 Apr 2010, 9:47 pm

Valis77 wrote:

I did a lets play of this game.

I might have a look at it the next time I'm on YouTube afro .
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