Here’s a free Kickstarter lesson…or general game developing lesson, when planning a campaign or developing a game make sure you’re not violating any copyright laws or things may not go in your favor. Ghosts ‘N Goblins: Demon World, the unauthorized sequel from indie developer Phantasm Studios, has been cancelled by Kickstarter due to an intellectual property dispute.
The campaign met its early demise by the request of Capcom, who on November 19th filed a request to have it removed from the website. To Phantasm Studios credit, they were trying to obtain a developers license for the game, which would have not continued with the same design but “reimagined” many of the Ghosts ‘N Goblins’ original concepts, like you see in movie reboots and spin-offs. If the studio failed to obtain the rights, it planned to rename Ghosts ‘N Goblins: Demon World to King Arthur.
Kickstarter does have rules about these sort of situation and have posted their copyright notice on the now defunct campaign page:
The project acknowledges its goal is to create an update to the Ghosts ‘N Goblins franchise based upon the characters, stories, music and other copyrightable elements of the Property. Such unauthorized update would clearly violate Capcom’s exclusive rights under copyright law to create derivative works of the Property. It would also violate Capcom’s trademark rights in the Property. The project admits it will need Capcom’s permission to proceed and has not received one. To its knowledge, Capcom has not been contacted by the project.
The game had been in pre-production and planned to release on the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. Phantasm Studios has yet to comment on the situation.