Square Shuts Down Fan-Made Chrono Game

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Square Shuts Down Fan-Made Chrono Game

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The release of Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes, a full-length RPG in development by fans since 2004, has been halted in response to a cease and desist letter sent by Square-Enix.

Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes, a fan-made Chrono game based on the Chrono Trigger ROM, had been in development since late 2004 and was scheduled for an online release on May 31 this year. According to its creators, Crimson Echoes boasted 35 hours of gameplay, 10 endings, and 23 chapters. It was, they said, an "unprecedently exhaustive work in the ROM modification community."

Why all the "was" talk? All work on Crimson Echoes has been halted and the release canceled in response to a cease and desist letter sent by Chrono copyright holders Square-Enix. What may have seemed like a labor of love to Chrono fans was "an act of copyright infringement" that was "deliberate and willful," a "ROM hack game" that can command up to $150,000 in salutary damages.

The Crimson Echoes team immediately complied with Square-Enix's request, canceling and destroying all work on the title, something they had promised to do from the beginning. "Should Square Enix perceive the project as a threat...Kajar Laboratories will immediately cease operation on the project and comply with Square Enix's orders," the readme file to the demo of the game declared.

"We thank those fans who followed the game's development, and also those who poured countless hours into the vision of a fun, new Chrono game, made by fans for fans without copyright claim or intent to make profit," developer ZeaLitY wrote.

ZeaLitY hopes that Square-Enix's action could be a sign that the company "cares about the franchise and intends to produce future titles, and not merely a shortsighted legal exercise that will further alienate a tired, neglected fan-base." Let's hope so, too.

[Via Ripten]

Permalink

Now let's hope somebody secretly made a copy of the code and releases it anonymously a few years later...

It has been in production since 2004, and it is cancelled just weeks before its scheduled release? What a waste of effort. Oh well, maybe this means that Square-Enix is looking at this old franchise again. Or, it could mean that they are just being a bunch of money-grubbing Griefers by telling them to throw it all away just "For the Lulz". Not quite sure which to believe just yet.

Square Enix is being a bunch of cockbites latly
they removed my cloud vs sephiroth vid form youtube! D=
i didnt say it was mine at all i said it was fan made i dont know why they are suddenly going through the "MINE!! YOU CAN HAVE ANY OF IT" phase

Well they do have the right.

Edit - But its annoying

grinklehi:
It has been in production since 2004, and it is cancelled just weeks before its scheduled release? What a waste of effort. Oh well, maybe this means that Square-Enix is looking at this old franchise again. Or, it could mean that they are just being a bunch of money-grubbing Griefers by telling them to throw it all away just "For the Lulz". Not quite sure which to believe just yet.

Square Enix, for all their success, are complete dicks about their trademarks and copyrights. Of course, in this case they simply felt that with the recent "remake" for the DS, they might lose sales due to people confusing the titles or some rubbish.

I know why. Because the game would of been really good. Then square-enix being the genius's that they are found copyright bullshit or whatever and stopped the release ONLY to release it themselves later on this year and making a good chunk of money.

That's what I think.

Teiraa:
Square Enix is being a bunch of cockbites latly
they removed my cloud vs sephiroth vid form youtube! D=

What a loss to our culture...how will we ever recover from this?

Keane Ng:

Teiraa:
Square Enix is being a bunch of cockbites latly
they removed my cloud vs sephiroth vid form youtube! D=

What a loss to our culture...how will we ever recover from this?

Play FF7 i suppose?

Ollie596:
Well they do have the right.

Edit - But its annoying

Same, I won't deny them excercising their copyrights...

But yeah, it doesn't change the fact that they're being giant sacks of dicks about the whole thing. It'd be like Obsidian suing Team Gizka, something I'm damn sure they won't do.

I thought it was only copyright infringement if they intended to make money from the product.

Ollie596:

Keane Ng:

Teiraa:
Square Enix is being a bunch of cockbites latly
they removed my cloud vs sephiroth vid form youtube! D=

What a loss to our culture...how will we ever recover from this?

Play FF7 i suppose?

play chrono cross of chrono trigger

ffxfriek:

Ollie596:

Keane Ng:

Teiraa:
Square Enix is being a bunch of cockbites latly
they removed my cloud vs sephiroth vid form youtube! D=

What a loss to our culture...how will we ever recover from this?

Play FF7 i suppose?

play chrono cross of chrono trigger

I have mine sealed in a undisclosed location.

That is rather disappointing. I would be thrilled if I made a game a decade or so ago and someone spent five years making a game off of that. Look at a company like Valve. Someone's remaking Half Life 1 under the name "Black Mesa," with redone graphics and gameplay, and Valve is looking forward to it. Why can't Square hold that same philosophy?

This is old news, found this out ages ago. Still sad though.

PedroSteckecilo:

Ollie596:
Well they do have the right.

Edit - But its annoying

Same, I won't deny them excercising their copyrights...

But yeah, it doesn't change the fact that they're being giant sacks of dicks about the whole thing. It'd be like Obsidian suing Team Gizka, something I'm damn sure they won't do.

Sadly true, but they are momumental dickheads for doing this. If they'd say early on "Stop it now", I'd say, 'Ok, not particularly nice, but tis there right'. But waiting right up to the last moments to yak the project? Fucking dickheads. At least Microsoft/Bungie actually support Rooster Teeth's RvB, something even Valve won't do, I'll say that much.

Earthbound:
That is rather disappointing. I would be thrilled if I made a game a decade or so ago and someone spent five years making a game off of that. Look at a company like Valve. Someone's remaking Half Life 1 under the name "Black Mesa," with redone graphics and gameplay, and Valve is looking forward to it. Why can't Square hold that same philosophy?

Because unlike Valve, square likes to milk their successes to DEATH! Just look at all these FFVII fans clamoring for an remake that would be better in Fan Hands, Square isn't going to let that go, that's a whole lot of money... assuming they ever decide they want to make one.

Square likes to keep their Remake Options open basically.

PedroSteckecilo:

Earthbound:
That is rather disappointing. I would be thrilled if I made a game a decade or so ago and someone spent five years making a game off of that. Look at a company like Valve. Someone's remaking Half Life 1 under the name "Black Mesa," with redone graphics and gameplay, and Valve is looking forward to it. Why can't Square hold that same philosophy?

Because unlike Valve, square likes to milk their successes to DEATH! Just look at all these FFVII fans clamoring for an remake that would be better in Fan Hands, Square isn't going to let that go, that's a whole lot of money... assuming they ever decide they want to make one.

Square likes to keep their Remake Options open basically.

Valve hasn't milked the Source engine at ALL.

Damn, this is a serious blow. While Square does hold the copyright, as near as I can tell the project was an labor of fan-love and aspiring game designers who, like a good chunk of the game writers out there, chose to adapt something they liked rather than do something more original (I blame this mentality for all the character and game similarities we see). That's fine, it game them a chance to focus more heavily on learning the craft without having to focus too heavily on game mechanics and plot. If anything it was probably a great learning experience and might even impress some companies if shown as a demo of their work. Plus as far as I know it wasn't a for profit project. So pretty much SE was just alienated the mod community (I'm lumping modders and rom hackers together for simplicity) and ruined a 5 year magnum opus that might of gotten some of these 'kids' (I have no idea how old they are) a nice bit for their resumes.

At least one of the designers probally has the game hiiden away somewhere...

Lvl 64 Klutz:

PedroSteckecilo:

Earthbound:
That is rather disappointing. I would be thrilled if I made a game a decade or so ago and someone spent five years making a game off of that. Look at a company like Valve. Someone's remaking Half Life 1 under the name "Black Mesa," with redone graphics and gameplay, and Valve is looking forward to it. Why can't Square hold that same philosophy?

Because unlike Valve, square likes to milk their successes to DEATH! Just look at all these FFVII fans clamoring for an remake that would be better in Fan Hands, Square isn't going to let that go, that's a whole lot of money... assuming they ever decide they want to make one.

Square likes to keep their Remake Options open basically.

Valve hasn't milked the Source engine at ALL.

Valve is an FPS company that was started by modders, it's to be expected that they would encourage modding of their work.

Squeenix, thanks to their millions of mergers, is a big evil corporation with a whole building full of lawyers.

Very different companies, Valve is (excuse the pun) much closer to the source of their market. They're gamers like us, they understand.

Earthbound:
That is rather disappointing. I would be thrilled if I made a game a decade or so ago and someone spent five years making a game off of that. Look at a company like Valve. Someone's remaking Half Life 1 under the name "Black Mesa," with redone graphics and gameplay, and Valve is looking forward to it. Why can't Square hold that same philosophy?

I know, eh. Square is the first dev I've seen to hate their modders, and as everyone knows that is a bad thing. Alienates their users, screws up their credibility and also creates a whole lot of hate.

Maybe they were scared that this freeware remake would be better than anything they've ever made?

I have to say that sucks...98% of the way done before shutdown, apparently. Looked kinda cool, too.

I don't really have sympathy for these guys. They knew they were going to get shut down from the beginning if they directly asked Square, "can we make a fan work based on a hacked version of your game?" So they didn't ask, worked on the project, probably for personal enjoyment, and then figured, "Well maybe we can release this and they won't care."

To no one's surprise Square cared. But my guess is the Crimson Echo guys got what they wanted out of the whole project - fan cred for creating a super secret addition to the Chrono Trigger legend whose true significance will, like Sonic X-Treme, only come to light years later when the code is finally leaked onto the internet. Or something like that.

As mentioned before, Modders are remaking the orginal half life for free while valve are still making plenty of money from it. Are they goign to stop the release? No. All they have done is politely request that the "Source" is removed from the name.
It sounds like a massive amount of work has been done on this mod and sqaure dicks all over them. I have never played a sqaure game but i hate them for this.

square isnt so bad, sure I LOVED chrono trigger but.... oh well maybe square could continue development make it the next big psp/ds title! (I doubt it though since it was destroyed)

Keane Ng:
Square Shuts Down Fan-Made Chrono Game

image

ZeaLitY hopes that Square-Enix's action could be a sign that the company "cares about the franchise and intends to produce future titles, and not merely a shortsighted legal exercise that will further alienate a tired, neglected fan-base." Let's hope so, too.

[Via Ripten]

Permalink

Probably not. It would be nice, and I'd really like to see a new Chrono game, but the type of company who would shut down a fan-made game that they spent 5 years of their lives on just sounds evil more than anything else.

It kind of depends on how copyright law works in various countries as to how bad move on square's part it is. However it is unlikely the rom would have come to their attention before this. Reminds me a bit of the 40k fan movie a couple of years back (witch made it to the internet anyway) but it was nixed because of the way German copyright law works.

Thinking Square is staffed by narrow minded idiots, but we got the first clue with the Final Fantasy movie. Still have bad taste from that.

Achievement Unlocked: You are an extreme asshole.

Square should have shut it down when they were just beginning so they wouldn't have wasted 5 years. This is just stupid.

Geez. I don't see how this was going to cut into Squeenix profits, especially seeing as how they were gonna release it for free...

Go after the people who pirate your game, but leave the modders alone. They're only trying to make your product better, something you should be glad that they do for free.

Wow, even I've heard of this before, and I don't care, so it's not like Square Enix hasn't known about this for ages. I think this is the dictionary definition of a "dick move"...

Another example of a company doing something and it backfiring in their face. They may not have liked it, but taking down the game in this late stage simply creates a lot of interest/press around it and it will almost 100% be negative as the creators were doing it for fun and not profit. If they had ignored it development would have continued and relatively few people would know about it.

Yay for companies producing their own PR disasters out of their own short sightedness...

This is one of the major problems with copyright and why it needs a complete overhaul - perhaps it needs to be dismantled altogether. Copyright was put in place to balance the rights of the consumer between the rights of the corporation, not to give full and unrestricted rights to the consumer. More importantly, even if this was in complete accordance with the laws of today, Square Enix would still be complete fucking morons for shutting a project like this down. Shutting it down only serves as an outright attack of fans of the original Chrono Trigger, and when you give your fanbase the shaft, you're only hurting yourself. If this game was allowed to materialize, it could pose NO THREAT to Square Enix, since it is just a ROM, and, in all likelihood, it would just increase the sales in Chrono Trigger-related products.

But I don't feel bad for the people who worked five years to create this, because their compliance was their choice. What they should have done is shut down the site, shut down everything related to it, and leak the project on to bit torrent. That way, their five years of hardwork is mostly not lost, everybody gets to appreciate it, and Square Enix can't take action against them.

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