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Jacob Groeblinghoff

Scared that Nintendo will say that one word: "NO!" (need input)

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*If this has already been answered, then can someone direct me to a thread similar to this?  Thank you!"

 

So, just recently I got ahold of Nintendo's "legality issues" e-mail address (I put legality issues in quotes because, I don't know what else to call it.  Their legal department?  lol, whatevs.)  See, I have this really awesome idea for another Paper Mario game.

 

The only problem is, in order for me to proceed with this project I would obviously need to have their characters, backgrounds, etc... right?  

 

Now, before anyone says anything, I understand that most game companies, especially the big ones like Nintendo and such are very strict in giving rights to anyone.  I've tried this before, probably 2 or 3 times hoping for a "yes" but would always receive a no.

 

But this time, I put something in the e-mail I sent, that I didn't normally put before, only because at the time I wasn't completely literate with copyright law.  I put that I would give them due credit, and that I wouldn't make any money off the game.  I said I would just do it out of pure fun and my love for the game.  I also gave them a semi long, but not-too-long background of the game.  

 

Now, I've sent this e-mail to them 2 days ago, and I still haven't gotten a response back.  Now, granted, it's the weekend and seeing how big Nintendo is, I seriously doubt they have people work weekends, but I'm just kind of getting tired of being shot down.  And, something else I put in my e-mail that I really thought long and hard about mentioning (because this is where I have this sneaky suspicion that they're going to say no period) is, this game would also be using characters from Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars.  Well, I want the style of Paper Mario to remain the same as it has throughout the series.  That's why they call it Paper Mario.  However, I asked if it would be ok if I could alter the characters so that they could look the same style as the characters in Paper Mario.  And, I bet that's the dealbreaker, knowing Nintendo.

 

So, my question is this:  If you were Nintendo, what would you say?  AND, if you were to say no, in the future what would I need to show Nintendo to even get a possible yes?  Would Nintendo want, for example, a Game Design Document?  

 

Help!  Please!

-PaperMariolover

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Also, please know I have great respect for the gaming community and the laws surrounding it and for video game companies, and if Nintendo says no, then I won't continue on respectfully.

 

And thank you guys for all of your answers.  Guess my game Paper Mario 2 is out of the question :/ (The actual title of the game was going to be Paper Mario 2: The Star Princess, and is supposed to be somewhat of a sequel to Paper Mario.  Crappage...I just really loved the concept.  Oh well, thanks!)

Edited by PaperMariolover

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Also, please know I have great respect for the gaming community and the laws surrounding it and for video game companies, and if Nintendo says no, then I won't continue on respectfully.

I think I understand what you mean, but the way that's worded, it reads like you'll continue on disrespectfully wink.png

Edited by Cornstalks

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0. Scared that Nintendo will say that one word: "NO!"
1. *If this has already been answered, then can someone direct me to a thread similar to this? Thank you!"
2. So, just recently I got ahold of Nintendo's "legality issues" e-mail address (I put legality issues in quotes because, I don't know what else to call it. Their legal department? lol, whatevs.)
3. See, I have this really awesome idea for another Paper Mario game.  If you were Nintendo, what would you say? 
4. AND, if you were to say no, in the future what would I need to show Nintendo to even get a possible yes? 
5. Would Nintendo want, for example, a Game Design Document? 

0. Yes, they will say no.

1. Here are three:
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/631562-how-to-write-a-letter-to-publishers/
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/625262-getting-copyright-permission-from-companies/
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/624535-regarding-a-proper-way-to-get-permission-to-make-a-fan-game/
I had to dig back 9 pages to find all of those. But that's all I had to do, was click and scroll and scan subjects. You need to be willing to work harder to find answers.
2. "Legal department" is the usual term for the legality department. But what you want in this case is Business Development, or New Business, or Licensing.
3. "What's in it for us?"
4. A solid business plan that shows how Nintendo could make a profit and how your game will enhance the IP without diluting Nintendo's ownership of it. Even then, it's likely to be turned down.
5. At some point, sure.

Edited by Tom Sloper

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All of the above posters are right.  I'm not saying it is right, but there are many "fan" games made, and the great majority of them don't get the famous C&D letter.  But they could at any moment.  If it is me, I don't do it.

 

1.  Even using there graphics, sounds, concepts, etc...  you still have to put some work into it.  You'll never be able to legally make any money off of said work.  Don' you think it would be better to put your time to better use??

 

2.  Can you imagine just your luck, you are 95% finished with the game, and then end up with a C&D letter.  Not only can you not finish the game, but you lost all the time you spend on it.

 

3.  There is no law saying you can't use gameplay from other games.  So if you wanted to make an RPG with "paper" graphics and "time-based" hits, all similar to paper mario, you could.  You just can't use "mario" and the respective characters, enemies, graphics, places, etc...  But you can come up with your own story, characters, graphics, etc..  and make almost an identical game with no problems.  Gameplay can't be copyrighted.

 

4.  Lastly, originality(as long as it is fun) sells.  Sure, clones sell too, but for an indie, clones are much harder to sell than original ideas.

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All of the above posters are right.  I'm not saying it is right, but there are many "fan" games made, and the great majority of them don't get the famous C&D letter.  But they could at any moment.  If it is me, I don't do it.

 

1.  Even using there graphics, sounds, concepts, etc...  you still have to put some work into it.  You'll never be able to legally make any money off of said work.  Don' you think it would be better to put your time to better use??

 

2.  Can you imagine just your luck, you are 95% finished with the game, and then end up with a C&D letter.  Not only can you not finish the game, but you lost all the time you spend on it.

 

3.  There is no law saying you can't use gameplay from other games.  So if you wanted to make an RPG with "paper" graphics and "time-based" hits, all similar to paper mario, you could.  You just can't use "mario" and the respective characters, enemies, graphics, places, etc...  But you can come up with your own story, characters, graphics, etc..  and make almost an identical game with no problems.  Gameplay can't be copyrighted.

 

4.  Lastly, originality(as long as it is fun) sells.  Sure, clones sell too, but for an indie, clones are much harder to sell than original ideas.

 

This.

 

Just make a clone, and make it so that you can easily make it 'Mario', all your names and what not being variables so you would just have to change names once and what not. Once you are done, show THAT to Nintendo and say, I want to make this a sequel to Paper Mario, and you will get royalties from it. If it is of good quality, they would be crazy to say no because they have almost nothing at risk. You've already done all the work, paid all the costs, all they have to do is decide if they like it to be a sequel to Paper Mario and won't hurt their reputation in that regard then sit back and collect money.

 

If they don't, then you just release your clone anyways.

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If they don't, then you just release your clone anyways.

HORRIBLE IDEA.

 

Developing a game with a placeholder asset that you don't intent to release, or for the purpose of pitching it to a company, that is one thing.

 

But what you just described is willful infringement.

 

 

Normally, if a fan game made a game and naively copied their IP, the game owners would get a C&D order demanding the content be taken down.

 

But in this case, the person pitched it to the publisher, announced their intent, publicly stated online that they knew they were violating the law and violating the IP owners rights, and that they are going to proceed to violate it knowing full well that it is unlawful.

 

In that case Nintendo will probably skip the polite C&D order.  They will probably jump directly to a civil lawsuit.  And because Nintendo has evidence that you submitted the product to them, and almost certainly will search the Internet and find this thread, they'll have evidence that you willfully violated their IP, just about any court in the country will agree that it was willful infringement.
 

With willful infringement, the courts will usually give the MAXIMUM possible penalty.  If they don't think that is enough, they will also consider "enhanced" penalties, often it is 3X the maximum penalty for 'innocent' infringement.

 

 

 

There is only one correct answer:  Do not steal from others.  Make your own IP.  

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