• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

New versions of old games - is against the law?

This topic is 2303 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

I'm thinking of creating a game based on an existing old game ...
I wonder if this is allowed ... Well I see several versions of mario, pokemon .. and do not know if this violates the law.

I wanted to create a version of the Pokemon Game Boy Advance for android (Pokemon Fire Red), is this allowed? You may use the name "Pokemon" or even in another Pokemon game?

What about older games have abandoned? As "Alex Kid" and Mario?

In any case the game would be free with ads.

Thank you very much

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Hello everyone,

I'm thinking of creating a game based on an existing old game ...
I wonder if this is allowed ... Well I see several versions of mario, pokemon .. and do not know if this violates the law.

I wanted to create a version of the Pokemon Game Boy Advance for android (Pokemon Fire Red), is this allowed? You may use the name "Pokemon" or even in another Pokemon game?

What about older games have abandoned? As "Alex Kid" and Mario?

In any case the game would be free with ads.

Thank you very much


No its not legal (unless you have permission).

You are allowed to make games with similar gameplay though.

(Free remakes of abandoned or older titles might be ignored by the copyright holder, but that is entierly their decision (Its far better to obtain permission before you start than to get shut down or possibly even sued later on)).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Regardless of whether the game is released for free or not, it is still illegal. Mario certainly isn't abandoned (Mario is even more famous to our generation then Mickey Mouse), and even most 'abandonned' games still have owners (even if the original company went bankrupt).

So yes, it's against the law. Not criminal law, but civil law or something like that - I'm don't know the real difference between them.

Yes, many other people illegally use Mario, Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc... but it's still illegal. Some get caught, some don't, but it's still illegal. smile.gif

Good news though: ideas cannot be copyrighted (hence Yugioh, Digimon, Jade Cocoon, etc...). If you created your own series of monster-capturing/training/dueling games, with your own monsters, your own characters, your own rule sets, and don't call it 'Pokemon', you can safely make whatever game your own creativity allows you to.
Ofcourse, not calling it 'Pokemon' will make alot less people play it... because Nintendo (who created and owns Pokemon) spent millions and millions and millions of dollars marketing it, and making it popular. Which is why it's illegal for you to use it without their permission; it's not right for you to profit (whether financially or not) from their invested money.

But uh, don't take my word for it, just read this: http://www.sloperama...dvice/faq61.htm
After you read that (don't worry, it's short and pretty entertaining), you might want to check out a few other articles on that site. The end result though, is: Against the law? -> Yes! But you can create your own idea with your own creativity, and it'll actually probably be more satisfying then (re)making someone else's idea for them, especially when they don't want you to. wink.gif

[Edit:] Oh also, Nintedo is notorious about how heavily they defend their intellectual property (It is their property, after all). So much so, that Nintendo's legal representatives have contacted GameDev.net directly, and requested a blanket block of anyone recruiting teammates for making Nintendo-copied games. So uh, if you decide to ignore everyone's advice and make your 'illegal' (civilly illegal, not criminally illegal) game anyway, don't recruit on this site. tongue.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Technically it's not illegal, you won't go to jail for it per say.

It is however breach of copyright, so you can be sued and taken to the cleaners.

Either way, don't do it, as Simon says ( *snicker* ). There are dozens upon dozens of stories about fan based projects getting shut down, especially around the Pokemon license, which coincidentally is very much not abandoned.. Generally if you aren't doing it for profit, you get at worst a cease and desist letter. Do it for profit, which running ads would do, and the lawyers will come after you hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm coming up on this issue myself. There is an old B/W Mac game called Scarab of Ra that I have been wanting to remake for years now. I did ask the original developer if I could do the remake back in 2007 and he gave me permission, but with some caveats. My biggest stumbling block is the graphics. They need to be updated and I am no artist.

My personal view on this is that if you think enough of a game to invest the time and effort (and possibly money) to remake it, have enough respect for the original author to get permission.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, many other people illegally use Mario, Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc... but it's still illegal. Some get caught, some don't, but it's still illegal. smile.gif


Frankly half of the products on the Android marketplace are brutally in violation of copyright, this is one of those things that always staggered me and I am somewhat surprised Google isn't a bit more active in protecting copyright as you would think they would suffer some sort of culpability nice they take a cut of sales.


I mean... https://market.andro...rio&so=1&c=apps 3,200+ results, the majority of them about *that* Mario, and again the majority actually using Nintendo's artwork. Then there are projects like this which is a Mario clone using ripped Mario graphics and charging money. It just fathoms me this stuff makes it to the market. I don't like Apples oppressive App Store policy but.... come on man! Not making at least a token effort to protect IP rights is going to get Google in hot water one of these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly half of the products on the Android marketplace are brutally in violation of copyright, this is one of those things that always staggered me and I am somewhat surprised Google isn't a bit more active in protecting copyright as you would think they would suffer some sort of culpability nice they take a cut of sales.

I mean... https://market.andro...rio&so=1&c=apps 3,200+ results, the majority of them about *that* Mario, and again the majority actually using Nintendo's artwork. Then there are projects like this which is a Mario clone using ripped Mario graphics and charging money. It just fathoms me this stuff makes it to the market. I don't like Apples oppressive App Store policy but.... come on man! Not making at least a token effort to protect IP rights is going to get Google in hot water one of these days.


Google already has, with YouTube and Google Video and whatnot. laugh.gif But if they actually accept a portion of the money (Not familiar with android) and not just generating revenue off of ads, it is rather surprising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm coming up on this issue myself. There is an old B/W Mac game called Scarab of Ra that I have been wanting to remake for years now. I did ask the original developer if I could do the remake back in 2007 and he gave me permission, but with some caveats. My biggest stumbling block is the graphics. They need to be updated and I am no artist.
personal view on this is that if you think enough of a game to invest the time and effort (and possibly money) to remake it, have enough respect for the original author to get permission.


That is totally the right way to go about it and it's startling how often smaller devs will actually be flattered at the idea. Although with the popularity of remakes on App Stores and the DS, these old platforms having surprising value at times. That said, I followed the wiki link and have to say.... WTF? :)


You found one hundred fifty-one ounces of gold.
You found a monkey.
The monkey stole a piece of charcoal!


What a remarkably random collection of things to happen!

Also, considering that an ounce of gold currently trades at 1738$, that was a quarter million dollar pay day! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[font="arial, sans-serif"][color="#333333"]
Thank you all for the answers! It really helped me.

I'm a fan of 2D games old and already finished my engine to make 2d games mario style, I'm working on a pokemon style engine now.

But now I will have to worry about creating my own graphics and characters and I'm a terrible artist lol.

I am currently looking for a captivating animal to be my main character in a 2D scroller game, any suggestions? laugh.gif

Thank you![/font]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[font="arial, sans-serif"] [/font][font="arial, sans-serif"][color="#333333"]But now I will have to worry about creating my own graphics and characters and I'm a terrible artist lol.
[/font]
[font="arial, sans-serif"][color="#333333"]There's nothing wrong with being a terrible artist. Make your game with terrible art. Once you have a functioning game then show it to some artists and if the game is fun they'd jump at the opportunity to replace the art in your game with more detailed works.
I am currently looking for a captivating animal to be my main character in a 2D scroller game, any suggestions? laugh.gif
[/font][/quote]
A tiger-like lynx. smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the answers! It really helped me.

I am currently looking for a captivating animal to be my main character in a 2D scroller game, any suggestions?

Closing this business/legal thread. Mid, if you want game design ideas, post in Game Design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 2303 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement