Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Thought to Chew: An Opinion on Cease-and-Desists

The video game world is one shrouded in a thick layer of copyright. Companies fear that indie developers could utilize their characters for personal monetary gain, a common practice int the heydays of the '90s, where companies around China and Russia created such endearing classics as Somari. Naturally, they make it their sole objective to take down the project.
This, of course, is a shame.
The first notable instance of a cease-and-desist was the destruction of perhaps the most lovely labor of love ever churned out by indie devs, going be the name of Chrono: Resurrection. The whole game was a 3-D remake of the beloved Chrono Trigger, set to be released on Christmas, 2004; unfortunately, the gift gamers received was disappointment, in the hands of Square no less. Fans released an entourage of anger and outcry, but alas, it was to no avail.
The game set the standard for other fangames to follow; a lovely game dramatically collapsing as a gaming company kicks it down.

Most recently, and much to my agony, one of the most beautiful remakes I've ever seen, A passion project of Erik Roystan Ross, a computer science student, the game fully recreates the area of Bob-omb Battlefield in beautiful HD graphics (of course, with the help of some models from Galaxy). Its popularity soared over the last few days. It spread across the gaming community like wildfire, except less dangerous and more intriguing without the risk of killing yourself.
Then, the whole thing fell apart faster than a Jenga Tower on its last straw.
Nintendo, a company which often didn't pester indie game devs, decided to slam the doors shut on its distribution. All of the sudden, the game's future was shattered. You can no longer download it except from rips.
Now, does anybody see the glaring issue with this? If you didn't know, I'll tell you.
Chrono: Resurrection was a fangame to be sold on the indie game scene.
Super Mario 64 HD was not.
While the cease-and-desist of Chrono: Resurrection ruffles my feathers, I at least vaguely understand why. The indie devs would be making a profit off of their copyrighted material and characters. Meanwhile, though, all Ross did was create a 3D Mario environment with stunning realism, and let anyone download it. For free. No costs.
Now I'm not gonna go around saying I'm a  professional with any of this copyright stuff, but that seems wrong. You can see how much effort was put into it simply from this picture, and it was free. To suddenly stomp your foot and say no is an injustice. Nintendo, the same people who allowed the likes of Meme Runner and murky flash games on the EShop, refused to let a project much more beautiful and infinitely cheaper be realized. I love you, Nintendo, but this will take a long time to forgive. I may support you, but I advise to wield your power more carefully with thought instead of smashing open such an innocent project like a hellish Gallagher show.

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