MLP: Fighting is Magic team receive a C&D from Hasbro

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FluxWaveZ

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#1  Edited By FluxWaveZ

Mane6, the developers behind the non-profit fighting game My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic, have received a Cease and Desist letter from Hasbro asking them:

to cease game development, remove any materials that might contain My Little Pony characters, names, locations or related elements from the sites we control (Our site, our youtube, our twitch), and "cease any further use of [their] MY LITTLE PONY property".

They've tried negotiating with Hasbro, but they haven't received a response yet. Nothing's finalized, but this doesn't look good for the game.

Source

Despite not being a fan of the show, FiM certainly looked like a competent fighting game which was on track to being the 8th game at Evo 2013 (until it was removed for not being a complete one). I would have linked a video, but they've all been removed now.

The creator, executive producer, writer, creative/character designer and storyboard artist behind the show Lauren Faust has proposed to help the development team with a potential new project, so we'll see if anything comes from that:

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StarvingGamer

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#2  Edited By StarvingGamer

I'm surprised it took this long, honestly. It's a shame, but I think the developer would do well to get away from the perception of being a gimmick so their game can be appreciated on its own merits.

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panahinuva

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#3  Edited By panahinuva

Yeah, using an official property without talking to the official property's owner first (especially one as C&D happy as Hasbro) is incredibly risky. They must've known this could happen at any time and it's hardly the end of the world. They still have all the game's resources, they just need a new skin for it.

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deactivated-589cf9e3c287e

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@panahinuva: Copyright law being as it is I wouldn't be surprised if Hasbro took them to court over completing any version of this game, MLP skinned or not.

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panahinuva

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#5  Edited By panahinuva

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1: Even if the assets have nothing to do with MLP and they develop it under a new name? That seems...stupid.

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StarvingGamer

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#6  Edited By StarvingGamer

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1 said:

@panahinuva: Copyright law being as it is I wouldn't be surprised if Hasbro took them to court over completing any version of this game, MLP skinned or not.

Really? It seems like it would be a total waste of their money/time to try and shut down a not-for-profit game that bears no resemblance to their IP.

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deactivated-589cf9e3c287e

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@StarvingGamer: @panahinuva: They have proof that it started from the beginning with MLP as the face of it, so they could chase it down if they really wanted to. But you're right it would be a little silly, but there is precedent for corporations being silly.

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Make_Me_Mad

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#8  Edited By Make_Me_Mad

The worst part is that it happened so late in the development, after they'd already worked on it for quite a while. If they were gonna flip out and smack the game down before it could be completed, waiting until they were almost done was a shitty thing to do.

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Carousel

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#9  Edited By Carousel

Good.

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topsteer

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#10  Edited By topsteer

Aw man this sucks, the game was looking great. I wonder if the push to get it on EVO had anything to do with this.

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Phatmac

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#11  Edited By Phatmac

Makes sense.

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EXTomar

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#12  Edited By EXTomar

I have been following along their progress for awhile now where they had just added the last of the main characters. I have also wondered how long Hasbro was going to let this go: Although it is highly "cannon accurate", it flies in the face of what Hasbro wants the series to be about (ie. having their characters beating up their other characters is something they don't find valuable). They could have "looked the other way" or "brought them in house" but that would in theory created "brand confusion". The toy and TV series are more valuable so this had to go.

The last thing I wondered about is if Hasbro let it go for so long because they didn't think Mane6 would get so far and almost complete it. Surprise surprise, they nearly pulled it off.

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deactivated-61356eb4a76c8

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Haha

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#14  Edited By inknail

Been following this game's progress since seeing the first video that they released. It's always been a risk that they would eventually see a C&D, but it's terrible to see it happen so close to a viable release. I can't imagine how the devteam must feel after two years of working so hard on this. Hopefully they'll get something sorted out with the legalities of this, even if it's a longshot. If they are unable to continue on Fighting is Magic, I hope they can at least salvage things and make a completely original game apart from MLP (as they've mentioned being a possibility, once the MLP game was finished).

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casper_

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#15  Edited By casper_

sad to hear as we need more community developed fighting games. i imagine the attention they got because of the money they pulled in for the EVO donation drive led to this.

hopefully they can continue on with this engine and create original characters (which i think is a better idea overall anyhow)

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Morbid_Coffee

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#16  Edited By Morbid_Coffee

Sucks for the developers pretty much throwing away the last two years of their lives, but it was inevitable. A part of me is glad that it got shot down, though, and now maybe they can put their skill to making something good.

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algertman

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#17  Edited By algertman

Good. Whatever can be done to stop feeding the brony community the better.

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WasabiCurry

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#18  Edited By WasabiCurry

Haven't this kind of story happened before? I remember a particular group of people trying to make a LoTR style game, yet they got a C&D from Warner Bros.

From what I have seen of the MLP fighting game, it looked fairly interesting and quite good. Maybe they can create another great Indie fighter; that would be awesome!

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psylah

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#19  Edited By psylah

@FluxWaveZ said:

I would have linked a video, but they've all been removed now.

The game was shaping up so well.

@StarvingGamer said:

@c0l0nelp0c0rn1 said:

@panahinuva: Copyright law being as it is I wouldn't be surprised if Hasbro took them to court over completing any version of this game, MLP skinned or not.

Really? It seems like it would be a total waste of their money/time to try and shut down a not-for-profit game that bears no resemblance to their IP.

Saying it bears no resemblance to their IP would be an out-and-out lie, they were using characters that are directly based on the show characters, with the same names. Default color schemes are the same as the main ponies.

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cloudymusic

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#20  Edited By cloudymusic

That's a shame, but not entirely surprising. Hopefully, they'll still release the game with the characters changed. Though, I'm curious whether it will see a drop in interest/popularity, or if all the "THE FACT THAT IT HAS PONIES IN IT IS TOTALLY A COINCIDENCE, WE'D LIKE IT REGARDLESS" guys out there are telling the truth.

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psylah

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#21  Edited By psylah

@Keres said:

That's a shame, but not entirely surprising. Hopefully, they'll still release the game with the characters changed. Though, I'm curious whether it will see a drop in interest/popularity, or if all the "THE FACT THAT IT HAS PONIES IN IT IS TOTALLY A COINCIDENCE, WE'D LIKE IT REGARDLESS" guys out there are telling the truth.

My Diminutive Mare: Conflict is Conjuration

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ImmortalSaiyan

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#22  Edited By ImmortalSaiyan

That is a bummer. I was looking forward to the game. I'll be honest that if they are somehow salvage this and make new characters I am much less interested in that on the surface. Hope Lauren Faust and the team can help them work on the game.

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#23  Edited By inknail

@psylah: There's also the Canterlot Gardens stream recordings, it's newer and has examples of technical tournament play, even if RD is still obviously unfinished for animations.

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FluxWaveZ

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#24  Edited By FluxWaveZ

Glad there's still some footage of the game here and there. Again, don't know much about MLP, but it seems that the dev team put a lot of effort into having the moveset of the characters reflect their personalities and abilities.

@psylah said:

Saying it bears no resemblance to their IP would be an out-and-out lie, they were using characters that are directly based on the show characters, with the same names. Default color schemes are the same as the main ponies.

I think they were talking about another game using the assets from MLP: FiM, but reskinned into an original IP.

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Slag

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#25  Edited By Slag

Not at all surprising.

To mane6's credit the game looks good enough someone might actually think it's an officially licensed Hasbro game, which for them unfortunately means Brand protection police have to step in.

however mad props to Lauren Faust for being pretty darn cool about it.

Can't say I'm a fan at all of this MLP stuff, but I'm very much a fan of how she conducts herself.

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FaPaThY

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#26  Edited By FaPaThY

This sucks and was a pretty dick move on Hasbro's part for waiting nearly 2yrs to do it. Hopefully something happens with Lauren Faust's offer so all that time and work they've put into it doesn't go to complete waste.

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I_smell

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#27  Edited By I_smell
@inknail said:

@psylah: There's also the Canterlot Gardens stream recordings, it's newer and has examples of technical tournament play, even if RD is still obviously unfinished for animations.

Is that the same game?
 
It's sad cos there's genuinely fan-made cartoons that've made more money than these guys.
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#28  Edited By inknail

@I_smell: Yup, the Canterlot Gardens tournament took place approximately a year after the first devteam livestream, they made a lot of changes to the GUI among other things.

@WasabiCurry said:

Haven't this kind of story happened before? I remember a particular group of people trying to make a LoTR style game, yet they got a C&D from Warner Bros.

From what I have seen of the MLP fighting game, it looked fairly interesting and quite good. Maybe they can create another great Indie fighter; that would be awesome!

Chrono Resurrection comes to mind as well. Did Pokemon Type Wild get C&Ded too? I haven't heard about it in a while.

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71Ranchero

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#29  Edited By 71Ranchero

@FaPaThY said:

This sucks and was a pretty dick move on Hasbro's part for waiting nearly 2yrs to do it.

Why did grown men spend 2 years working on a My Little Pony game in the first place?

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EXTomar

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#30  Edited By EXTomar

I believe the answer is they worked on it because they found the whole idea interesting. Although the work is more or less locked up and unreadable, you get the impression they were working on this because they liked the creative framework it was built upon seemed more interesting than other muses.

There are some interesting ideas here including the idea of a fighter built on this engine using entirely new Lauren Faust ideas and designs. Now that could be something worth watching to see what they can create.

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FaPaThY

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#31  Edited By FaPaThY

@Atramentous: Who exactly are you to judge? I'm sure it was more productive than your 5yrs of WoW.

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ImmortalSaiyan

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#32  Edited By ImmortalSaiyan

@EXTomar said:

I believe the answer is they worked on it because they found the whole idea interesting. Although the work is more or less locked up and unreadable, you get the impression they were working on this because they liked the creative framework it was built upon seemed more interesting than other muses.

There are some interesting ideas here including the idea of a fighter built on this engine using entirely new Lauren Faust ideas and designs. Now that could be something worth watching to see what they can create.

That is the best case scenario. I bet this really hurts mane6 as a team. This must break your spirit to see so much of the work of the last couple years rendered useless. Then again they sound as if they knew this was possible all along. I'd like to see Lauren Frost give them all the art and character design to build a unique game off of.

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Sooty

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#33  Edited By Sooty

I can't tell if people on this site are being ironic or genuinely love some of these games. This only got attention because of the "...wha?" factor.

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Mrsignerman44

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#34  Edited By Mrsignerman44

@FaPaThY said:

@Atramentous: Who exactly are you to judge? I'm sure it was more productive than your 5yrs of WoW.

Daaaaaaamn

Anyway, while I think that bronies are a blight on gaming culture these days it's still kind of sad to see all that work go to waste. Unless, however they can actually, you know, be creative and draw up some new assets for the game.

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71Ranchero

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#35  Edited By 71Ranchero

@FaPaThY said:

@Atramentous: Who exactly are you to judge? I'm sure sure it was more productive than your 5yrs of WoW.

Closer to 8 years to be precise.

Who am I to judge? Well I am someone that cant enjoy things ironically of course. They chose to spend all that time working on a game for an IP they didn't own and I am supposed to be mad at Hasbro for shutting them down? Thats 2 years of time that they could have used either skill or determination(or a combo of both) to make an original game. Clearly they have some kind of talent even if they are using fighter maker.

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MocBucket62

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#36  Edited By MocBucket62

Not a surprise that this game would stop in development, but I do feel bad for the developers who worked really hard on it. 
@FluxWaveZ said:

Glad there's still some footage of the game here and there. Again, don't know much about MLP, but it seems that the dev team put a lot of effort into having the moveset of the characters reflect their personalities and abilities.

 
Yeah I'm like you. I don't know much about the show, but I do admire the fact that the developers wanted to be as true to their source material as possible. Thankfully there's still footage for anyone curious to see how this project was coming.
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ImmortalSaiyan

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#37  Edited By ImmortalSaiyan

@Sooty said:

I can't tell if people on this site are being ironic or genuinely love some of these games. This only got attention because of the "...wha?" factor.

Your idea of good and bad is not universal.

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cmblasko

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#38  Edited By cmblasko

Can someone who knows this stuff explain to me what would happen if they just didn't comply with the C&D? What exactly would someone be facing for making a non-profit game using someone else's IP?

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Gerhabio

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#39  Edited By Gerhabio

Is that woman, Lauren Faust, still head of the MLP show? I'm wondering since she seems to be circumventing Hasbro quite radically.

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EXTomar

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#40  Edited By EXTomar

The original idea was a "...wha?" anyway. :) The game had a lot of detail that lovingly referenced characters and the show but wrapped up in a fighting game format.

I mean really, why do fans do anything? Because they like the material and want to explore it in more ways than the official material is or even can. Remember this the next time we see a Halo "What does this mean?" thread.

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LordAndrew

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Hey folks! I’m so super psyched to be a part of this! I hope I can do my little part to help Mane6 finish up this game in a way that stays true to the spirit of the original—but in a way that can freely be shared! I hope you like what we come up with. -LF

Update time! Hasbro still won't give them permission to use the My Little Pony license. But the game is not dead. Lauren Faust has joined the team and she'll be creating original original characters for the game. Yeah, that's happening.

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FluxWaveZ

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@lordandrew: Oh wow, the site update practically deleted 6-7 pages from this thread. But that's really awesome news.

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Chibithor

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Must be a weird feeling. Here you are making this fan-project and then the creator of it joins your team. Do you think Kojima would join my team if I made a Metal Gear game?

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Slag

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#44  Edited By Slag

mad props to Lauren Faust

I'm not a fan of MLP, but I'm now a fan of hers with the incredibly generous gesture she just made.

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MariachiMacabre

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It deleted the 6-7 pages that consisted almost solely of one guy being a dick and getting yelled at. Cool.

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golguin

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It deleted the 6-7 pages that consisted almost solely of one guy being a dick and getting yelled at. Cool.

I remember because my posts made up a good portions of all those pages concerning the legality of the art assets. In any case getting Lauren Faust is a pretty big deal.

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#47  Edited By inknail

@lordandrew: Oh wow, the site update practically deleted 6-7 pages from this thread. But that's really awesome news.

A convenient thread cleanup, if you ask me. In other news, I am exceedingly excited about the prospects for the future of this game. Can't wait to see what cast they develop to replace the MLP lineup.

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MariachiMacabre

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@inknail said:
@fluxwavez said:

@lordandrew: Oh wow, the site update practically deleted 6-7 pages from this thread. But that's really awesome news.

A convenient thread cleanup, if you ask me. In other news, I am exceedingly excited about the prospects for the future of this game. Can't wait to see what cast they develop to replace the MLP lineup.

Ok hear me out. A 13 year old kid in a white hood, blue shirt and green backpack with a sword....and a dog that can change his shape and size at will.

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@mariachimacabre: A cute, anthropomorphic video game system might make a good addition to such a roster ;)

On the subject of franchises that I'd like to see fighting games made for, I've always thought that the Avatar: The Last Airbender series seemed perfect for such a thing, and yet I still haven't seen any Avatar games in general that look good.

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Bumping the thread because I'm not sure if a new one is necessary or not. Either way, Mane6 teased some silhouettes of a few character designs that they are working on with Lauren Faust for the remade game:

No Caption Provided

Looks like they'll be staying true to the original art direction, but with some more varied hoofed species.

Furthermore, LabZero (the makers of Skullgirls) have agreed to give Mane6 a license to use the Skullgirls engine for free as a stretch goal in their ongoing Skullgirls fundraiser. There are only 2 days left to donate, but the $725K stretch goal for the engine for Mane6 is closer than ever, and it looks like there's actually a good chance of making it with another good push.