Sega Puts a Stop to Streets of Rage Fan Game

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Sega Puts a Stop to Streets of Rage Fan Game

Eight years of work may have been wasted on what could have been the grandest Streets of Rage game ever.

Fan projects are like the mayflies of the videogame world, in that they seem cursed with a very short lifespans. The most recent causality is Streets of Rage Remake, a fan game inspired by Sega's classic Streets of Rage titles for the Genesis, which was available for just a few days until Sega pulled the plug.

Street of Rage Remake was the result of eight years of work, although the word "remake" was something of a misnomer. SORR wasn't based on any individual Streets of Rage game, but was rather a new game that incorporated elements of them all. According to the project's official blog, all the information about the original Streets of Rage games was gathered by visual comparisons, and all the code in the game is original.

Bomber Games - the site behind the game - said that it had previously contacted Sega about using its copyrighted material, via email at first and then later by way of a formal letter. This doesn't seem to have protected it however. Sega contacted Bomber Games' owners and asked it to remove the download links. One of the site's forum moderators relayed the news, and asked anyone who had downloaded the game, not to make it available anywhere else.

It seems unlikely that Bomber Games will be able to work anything out with Sega. It's not as if Sega really has anything to gain from SORR's availability; quite the opposite in fact, as it is still selling the Streets of Rage games, both via downloads and as part of compilations. It doesn't bode well for projects like the Sonic Fan Remix either, which is a remake of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a game that Sega also still sells.

Source: Kotaku

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It was an awesome fan game, I remember playing it and they got everything down. The soundtrack was also great and I still listen to it every so often. It's sad that after all that it gets taken down for no good reason.

Fuck you Sega, try making some decent games again.

Why?
They're not making any money from it- if anything it's free advertising.

Dick move, Sega.

Sega likes to shut down any fan remakes of anything that proves to be better than the original.

Basically, they did this because they suck.

Sega: its pussy hurts because their fans make their own games better than they do.

-Zen-:
Sega: its pussy hurts because their fans make their own games better than they do.

this, all around this.

♫Already got it!♫
So yeah, fuck you sega. Pulling this shit after the dude has already finished it.
Shit like this is why fans turn on companies.

Iglock:
Why?
They're not making any money from it- if anything it's free advertising.

Dick move, Sega.

If Sega are still selling SOR games, then this could detract from their sales as some customers might get this version instead of paying for one.

Still sucks for the people who worked on this though :-(

Ugh...why publishers do that,especially when the project is complete and years of work have been poured into it,is beyond me.It's digusting really.Then again,this is the same soulless husk of a company that demands sequel after sequel of gradually worsening games.

I could never picture Valve shutting down Black Mesa.

Eight years of combined effort, and they checked with SEGA too. If SEGA are so threatened by a fan game, they need to just up n quit, if they really don't think they can do better.

The biggest dick move is that the makers went out of their way to check with SEGA, then when they showed they know how to make SoR better than SEGA, the bigger kid started throwing his toys out of the pram.

If SEGA had a clue, they'd HIRE the team involved and get SoR 5 a PSP/Steam/XBL/PSN release for $10 instead.

It's out there now, and SEGA getting all legal on it has probably given it more publicity than it ever would have got.

On top of that, stomping all over a fan game may get them maybe 3 more sales of SoR on Steam, but it'll all send a lot of other people looking for the fan game, which will now only be available on torrents, newsgroups and the like, where people who never considered piracy before, will now find all Sega games ever for free. I can guarantee the reaction of the people who've already got this game, will be to upload it to every possible outlet as a huge middle finger to SEGA for acting this way AFTER they'd bothered to ask permission.

Good move lawyers.

That bulldozer... The repressed memories... The horror...

Now I want this "remake"...

A bit too late for that surely? They can 'ask people not to make it available' but they can't exactly compel them. It got plenty of attention, I'm sure quite a few people have it on their hard drives now. Still, sega deserves this. If you ignore an email and written letter, let a team spend so much time on something, and only then try and shut it down, then you're being a deliberate dick, and I hope it gets nice and widely redistributed.

JoJoDeathunter:

If Sega are still selling SOR games, then this could detract from their sales as some customers might get this version instead of paying for one.

Still sucks for the people who worked on this though :-(

True, but that's not really a valid argument.

If people prefer a low-budget fan-made game over Sega's high-budget official games- don't you think maybe Sega should work on making their own games better instead of shutting down fan-games?

SenseOfTumour:
snip.

Agreed.

I wounder why didnt these people go to sega and say here a game already made. you can buy it from us and make money off it or you could ignor it and shut it down. your choice.

To play the devil's advocate, it says they "contacted" them, never that they got permission. Perhaps that would be something to consider before making the game.

Also, if I was Bomber, after showing respect to SEGA and having it thrown in my face, I'd rename it 'Beats of Rage', rename all the characters, and release it as a legally protected 'parody' work. Possibly adding a paypal button so people can donate to Child's Play or the like too. Show just how much above Sega they can be. Maybe add a tired, burned out guy in a hedgehog cosplay suit called Chronic as a very easy boss fight.

After all, I'm assuming Activision can't sue over EA's 'Duty Calls', right?

If the creators of these fan projects did the right thing and asked permission to use what doesn't belong to them then they wouldn't get all the way to the end of their project and be surprised when they're told to take it down.

If you've got the time to make something based on worlds and characters that don't belong to you, surely you've got the time to make something original. You may even get to make some money off it.

As a community, gamers tend to have a go at devs for relying on the same IPs over and over. Yet when a fan does it with an IP in which they had no creative input they become a martyr.

EDIT: Rereading suggests they had contacted Sega. If they were truly given permission to make and distribute (without charge) the game, then I'd say they should refuse to remove it. I think its more likely however that they misconstrued "yes you can make it" as "feel free to make it available to the whole internet".

Iglock:

True, but that's not really a valid argument.

If people prefer a low-budget fan-made game over Sega's high-budget official games- don't you think maybe Sega should work on making their own games better instead of shutting down fan-games?

In my opinion it's Sega's IP and it's their right to protect their copyright and products, it would be nice if they let fan projects exist alongside their own products but they are business and they've got to do what brings in profit. Shame they didn't pick this up, touch it up a bit and then release it properly as some others have suggested, that would have been a worthwhile solution for all though maybe the legal stuff would be too complicated.

JoJoDeathunter:

Iglock:
Why?
They're not making any money from it- if anything it's free advertising.

Dick move, Sega.

If Sega are still selling SOR games, then this could detract from their sales as some customers might get this version instead of paying for one.

Still sucks for the people who worked on this though :-(

If a fan game is legitimately threatening sales of a game made by a large company like Sega then they have bigger issues to deal with.

It's kinda like a major author giving a cease and desist to a large fanfic project (somehow I think this might have happened before) or sueing a garage band for covering a major label song.

umm, this may sound like a foolish question but couldn't there be some form of agreement where in sega would get a portion of the money? i mean, everyone would win, sega would have free money, developer gets compensation for 8 years (not as much but anyway) and consumer still gets game...oh wait, its free?

in that case sega could buy it and sell it as it sounds like it was better than what their selling anyway

Segac
A company that used to make quality games,
but now shuts down free fan projects.
Probably.

JoJoDeathunter:
In my opinion it's Sega's IP and it's their right to protect their copyright and products, it would be nice if they let fan projects exist alongside their own products but they are business and they've got to do what brings in profit. Shame they didn't pick this up, touch it up a bit and then release it properly as some others have suggested, that would have been a worthwhile solution for all though maybe the legal stuff would be too complicated.

Also true, but I don't really see it as copyright infringement (although I'm sure legally it probably would be).

If they were making money from the game and/or they didn't acknowledge that the games characters and content are owned by Sega- then yes, it'd be fair of Sega to take legal action. However, the game is free and they have clearly acknowledged that the content is owned by Sega.

Hence why I don't personally think there's anything wrong with it.

Glad I downloaded this before Sega came down on it.

JoJoDeathunter:

Iglock:

True, but that's not really a valid argument.

If people prefer a low-budget fan-made game over Sega's high-budget official games- don't you think maybe Sega should work on making their own games better instead of shutting down fan-games?

In my opinion it's Sega's IP and it's their right to protect their copyright and products, it would be nice if they let fan projects exist alongside their own products but they are business and they've got to do what brings in profit. Shame they didn't pick this up, touch it up a bit and then release it properly as some others have suggested, that would have been a worthwhile solution for all though maybe the legal stuff would be too complicated.

I agree with this. I love when people bitch when companies come down on independent developers who make games based on copyrighted properties of other companies. It's easy to just yell, "Way to kill creativity! What are YOU doing with your IP?! EPIC FAIL! This is better than what the company could make anyway!"

Imagine if it happened to you. It's easy to take the poor developer's side versus the Juggernauts like Activision, Sega, and EA. But imagine you're an independent developer who makes an insanely popular game, and then some guy comes around and uses your title, characters, and plot in their own game and pays you no royalties for it. Odds are you are going to lose money in this endeavor. These laws aren't any less valid based on how much money your company makes.

Did they actually can it or did Sega ask them to come to the table quietly to hammer out an agreement over usage?

Well, at least someone is making something decent out of Sega's IPs these days. All Sega do nowadays is release old games on XBL and make those terrible new Sonic games, seemingly.

I can't help but think that surely they saw this coming, though. If you use a company's coprighted stuff without their legal permission, you can quite easily expect them to come down on you pretty damn hard.

Man, that sucks.

Now it's going to completely disappear.

There is absolutely no chance whatsoever of it turning up on torrent sites. Nuh uh. Won't happen. Never. Ever.

yourbeliefs:
I agree with this. I love when people bitch when companies come down on independent developers who make games based on copyrighted properties of other companies. It's easy to just yell, "Way to kill creativity! What are YOU doing with your IP?! EPIC FAIL! This is better than what the company could make anyway!"

Imagine if it happened to you. It's easy to take the poor developer's side versus the Juggernauts like Activision, Sega, and EA. But imagine you're an independent developer who makes an insanely popular game, and then some guy comes around and uses your title, characters, and plot in their own game and pays you no royalties for it. Odds are you are going to lose money in this endeavor. These laws aren't any less valid based on how much money your company makes.

Fair points, but it's a free game.

My point is that they're not losing any actual money from it (you could argue that they're losing potential sales, but then how do you measure potential sales?).

Like I said, if they were selling it or stating that they owned the rights, then legal action (IMO) would be justified- but they're not.

Sega Could work with these guys to make a better SoR but instead go the typical dick route.

Logan Westbrook:
...all the information about the original Streets of Rage games was gathered by visual comparisons, and all the code in the game is original.

If true rename it 'public thoroughfare of angry' change a coupl of the chars outfit colours and republish, with a title page that says 'f*ck sony in the ass with a (blue) hedgehog'

What the hell? They're not making any money out of it, they're also doing free advertising using a game from the time Sega used to make good games!

Glad I still have a copy of that game on my hard disk, but I think they'll never be able to finish that special ending and extra levels that were still in the works. Screw you, Sega.

Reminds me of the time Square tore down the epic fan made Chrono Trigger 3D remake. Even the soundtrack had been beautifully remade!

Although despite all this, I can still see why Sega would do such a thing... >_<
Still sucks though. It's not like the game will be eradicated from the internet either.

gellert1984:

Logan Westbrook:
...all the information about the original Streets of Rage games was gathered by visual comparisons, and all the code in the game is original.

If true rename it 'public thoroughfare of angry' change a coupl of the chars outfit colours and republish, with a title page that says 'f*ck sony in the ass with a (blue) hedgehog'

Heh. You mean Sega. :P

Though Sony may well deserve it too.

yourbeliefs:
Glad I downloaded this before Sega came down on it.

JoJoDeathunter:

Iglock:

True, but that's not really a valid argument.

If people prefer a low-budget fan-made game over Sega's high-budget official games- don't you think maybe Sega should work on making their own games better instead of shutting down fan-games?

In my opinion it's Sega's IP and it's their right to protect their copyright and products, it would be nice if they let fan projects exist alongside their own products but they are business and they've got to do what brings in profit. Shame they didn't pick this up, touch it up a bit and then release it properly as some others have suggested, that would have been a worthwhile solution for all though maybe the legal stuff would be too complicated.

I agree with this. I love when people bitch when companies come down on independent developers who make games based on copyrighted properties of other companies. It's easy to just yell, "Way to kill creativity! What are YOU doing with your IP?! EPIC FAIL! This is better than what the company could make anyway!"

Imagine if it happened to you. It's easy to take the poor developer's side versus the Juggernauts like Activision, Sega, and EA. But imagine you're an independent developer who makes an insanely popular game, and then some guy comes around and uses your title, characters, and plot in their own game and pays you no royalties for it. Odds are you are going to lose money in this endeavor. These laws aren't any less valid based on how much money your company makes.

Having the law on their side doesn't mean that what they are doing is fair or right. I agree with the law and its purpose. I don't think that's what everyone are getting fussed up about either.

People are annoyed with Sega going to battle cause of principle against this non-profit developer which doesn't try to hide the fact that it's a remake of a Sega original.
No one are showing anger towards the laws or that they are allowed to do this.

Sega doesn't have to do this. They've lost more by doing it.

Wow. Sorry, Sega. I didn't know you were still butthurt about the fact that fans are still capable of doing much better work your franchises than you ever were to begin with. Apparently, they're still in denial about the fact that all they were ever capable of post-Dreamcast is dry-humping their franchises to death and re-releasing old Dreamcast games on the Xbox Live Arcade.

Grow the fuck up, Sega.

SenseOfTumour:

If SEGA had a clue, they'd HIRE the team involved and get SoR 5 a PSP/Steam/XBL/PSN release for $10 instead.

This is what I was going to say.

This is really depressing for me, as a crusty old gamer I remember Sega when they were awesome. I still play and cherish my old Sega Megadrive and the Dreamcast was the best system nobody ever bought.

SEGA seems to be very...unfriendly to their fanbase. One of the worst of the big companies, I'd say. I look back with nostalgia at the old SEGA, but the current one is like a grumpy old man telling the kids to get off his lawn.

I hope these guys take a legal sidestep, rename the game and throw in a pallete swap or something to keep SEGA away. It's a real shame when loyalty is rewarded by destroying years of your fan's work on a tribute.

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