Hasbro Forces Closure of MLP: Online

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Hasbro Forces Closure of MLP: Online

image

A trademark infringement claim has brought the My Little Pony MMO to a quick halt.

I'm not a Brony and I know nothing about My Little Pony except that it's about brightly-colored cartoon animals who learn important lessons about friendship and sharing and crap like that. I don't get the appeal, but it's powerful enough that the property was made into an unauthorized MMO entitled MLP: Online, the first episode of which was released just a month ago. But now it seems that the game's creators have learned another important lesson: making an MMO based on someone else's IP isn't very smart.

Shortly after the launch of the first episode, the developers received a trademark infringement complaint, which they at first assumed was a troll. After some investigation, however, they learned that the complaint was real, leading them to pull the download link and halt development. "Discussions continued through the month, but it came down to one fact: MLP: Online had come to an end," MLP: Online forum administrator ToastyJustice explained.

"Hasbro is not to be blamed here. As per U.S. Trademark law, as soon as an infringement comes to light, they are obligated to defend the trademark, or they will lose it," he continued. "They had no choice in the matter, regardless of what they thought of the project or how it benefited them."

The good news for all the Bronies out there is that roughly 75 percent of the development team is sticking together, with a new name - Starlight Studios - and a new project. "It is pony related, but otherwise we're keeping most of the details secret," ToastyJustice wrote. "It is our goal to have it completed by Bronycon 2013, though this may be ambitious."

More information about the new project are expected to be unveiled this summer and in the meantime, anyone who wants to help bring the new project to fruition can find out how to join up right here.

Source: MLP: Online

Permalink

Hm, Hired by Hasbro perhaps?

Interested to see where they were going and what they will do now.

They started on this without knowing that you couldnt make something based entirely on someone else's property?

Well thats...unique!

And this is why Street Fighter X Megaman is awesome. Because Capcom could have done this instead.

Prepare for the Brony rage!!!

FelixG:
They started on this without knowing that you couldnt make something based entirely on someone else's property?

Well thats...unique!

There have been many free games created using MLP and Hasbro's Trademarks. MLP: Fighting is Magic is the most prominent. Videos, Music, Fan-Made Episodes, art, has all been created. Except for the Episodes on Youtube, Hasbro has not created any "Ceast and Desist".

My guess is that MLP: Online was creating the people money, in which case isn't a good thing.

Tyranicus:
Prepare for the Brony rage!!!

Why rage? What point is there in that?

Hmm, which MLP MMO was this? The top-down one with the turn-based battles, or the 3D WoW-style one?

(Yes, there's more than one. This fandom's got more than its fair share of creative types.)

Either way, that's a real shame. Hopefully, no one forces Hasbro to look into Fighting is Magic or My Little Investigations.

Kavonde:
Hmm, which MLP MMO was this? The top-down one with the turn-based battles, or the 3D WoW-style one?

(Yes, there's more than one. This fandom's got more than its fair share of creative types.)

Either way, that's a real shame. Hopefully, no one forces Hasbro to look into Fighting is Magic or My Little Investigations.

Shhhhhhh! Don't tell them anything XD

Kavonde:
Hmm, which MLP MMO was this? The top-down one with the turn-based battles, or the 3D WoW-style one?

(Yes, there's more than one. This fandom's got more than its fair share of creative types.)

Either way, that's a real shame. Hopefully, no one forces Hasbro to look into Fighting is Magic or My Little Investigations.

Well, as long as they don't start making money off of it, I don't think those will be much of an issue. Just like all those Pony Flash Games.

Their first mistake was picking an obviously copyright infringing name... Then, the list goes on.

As long as they're not closing down Fighting is Magic, I'm cool with Hasbro closing down games.

Indeed, I'm seriously looking forward to Fighting Is Magic

Well, they have an official paid mobile MLP game now, so this was inevitable. In fact, Hasbro had no choice due to the requirements of trademark law.

I think we need to bring up how bullshit copyright law is again.
Jim if you will.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5268-Piracy-Episode-One-Copyright

Capitano Segnaposto:
Hm, Hired by Hasbro perhaps?

Interested to see where they were going and what they will do now.

If Hasbro has even a half brainy staff member among them.

Ready made MMO, no initial investment, no development costs, established user base, perfect. With any luck they won't turn down a chance for income, licensed being better than destroyed and so on...

Kavonde:
Either way, that's a real shame. Hopefully, no one forces Hasbro to look into Fighting is Magic or My Little Investigations.

US law forces them, if they don't enforce their copyright, they lose it. Not just for MMO's, but the merchandising, knock off cartoons, you name it, a precedent will be set and that will be that.

LoneWanderer:
I think we need to bring up how bullshit copyright law is again.
Jim if you will.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5268-Piracy-Episode-One-Copyright

Actually, in this case, copyright law seems to have served its purpose, at least if the game was generating revenue (if it wasn't, then it's a whole lot more ambiguous and I really don't want to get into that discussion). Simply put, you shouldn't be able to profit off of someone else's intellectual property, especially if they're still using it.

Don't get me wrong, the current copyright laws can go burn in a fire, but I really have a hard time feeling sympathetic in this case.

I hope that this is the thing where you pay tens of dollars for costum ponies. That was ridiculous.

Easton Dark:
As long as they're not closing down Fighting is Magic, I'm cool with Hasbro closing down games.

Exactly, I think they'd actually invade Hasbro headquarters. Although I wouldn't think so since they aren't expecting to make any money from it.

Aaron Sylvester:
Indeed, I'm seriously looking forward to Fighting Is Magic

This. Looks. AMAZING! D:
My bronymeter just blew up in excitement.

OT: So we had the precedent with Capcom which took a fangame and gave it official support. I don't know if that qualifies as "enforcing one's IP". Makes me wonder if Hasbro could do the same. If so, they'd be stupid not to.

They probably shut this one down because it overlapped with the iPhone game and the official online flash games. It's worth noting they haven't touched Fighting is Magic, despite knowing about it for over a year now.

So they created an MMO, based on an IP that is being actively used, and they didn't own, and they got a C&D, and they thought it was a troll? What kind of world do these people live in (Ponyworld I guess? Is... is there a name of the world of ponies? It's a pun, right?)

I'm pretty sure Hasbro could have cut them a deal, but I don't think trying to deal with an MMO based on a franchise that appeals both to young girls and middle-aged men is an idea worth pursuing.

The Random One:
So they created an MMO, based on an IP that is being actively used, and they didn't own, and they got a C&D, and they thought it was a troll? What kind of world do these people live in (Ponyworld I guess? Is... is there a name of the world of ponies? It's a pun, right?)

I'm pretty sure Hasbro could have cut them a deal, but I don't think trying to deal with an MMO based on a franchise that appeals both to young girls and middle-aged men is an idea worth pursuing.

They thought it was a troll because a lot of fan produced stuff has received C&D orders, which most of the time turn out to be fakes.

In general, Hasbro supports fan-produced content. It isn't all the strange to think a C&D is a troll in this case.

Also, the MMO would appeal to far more people than "little girls" and "Middle aged men".

Trust me.

The Random One:
So they created an MMO, based on an IP that is being actively used, and they didn't own, and they got a C&D, and they thought it was a troll? What kind of world do these people live in (Ponyworld I guess? Is... is there a name of the world of ponies? It's a pun, right?)

I'm pretty sure Hasbro could have cut them a deal, but I don't think trying to deal with an MMO based on a franchise that appeals both to young girls and middle-aged men is an idea worth pursuing.

Hmm, considering the amount of trolling that happens to certain parties (The Tumblr take downs, all the work of a lone troll with a hatred of pony and too much time on his hands; the first wave of Youtube removals by "Habsro, Inc."; Etc. etc.). I can understand why they would assume it's a troll. Obviously the pursued the matter further and found out it was real, and acted accordingly.

FelixG:
They started on this without knowing that you couldnt make something based entirely on someone else's property?

Well thats...unique!

That's pretty common, actually.

Devs have a specific project based on an IP, they start working on it but keep the details wrapped up, then they arrange a meeting with the rights-holder or one of its representatives, and show off the project. That way you can have something to show for your efforts and you can prove your ability to handle the IP respectfully.

What's a little less smart is starting a fan project, posting videos of it on YouTube and then acting surprised when the owners of the intellectual property you're using catch on to what you've been doing. You're always better off taking the initiative first, so long as you cover your six.

The Random One:
So they created an MMO, based on an IP that is being actively used, and they didn't own, and they got a C&D, and they thought it was a troll? What kind of world do these people live in (Ponyworld I guess? Is... is there a name of the world of ponies? It's a pun, right?)

Again, given the amount of MLP fan-made games out there, it's no surprise that the devs took this as a troll. This is the first one Hasbro's issued a C&D against; they've been pretty relaxed about fan-made content. Like others have said, the devs might have been making a little money off this, though, which is a definite no-no.

Also, of course it's a pun. Equestria. Not nearly as bad as some of the cities there, like Manehattan and Fillydelphia, though.

Why am I here? What is going on? Is my face bleeding? NO! this has nothing to do with finals tomorrow...

O.T.
...meh..
To be honest, I'm surprised they didn't get totally rolled over by lawyers. But, I can see why they would think they would be in the clear, Black Mesa Source is entirely someone else's IP and they haven't been shot down, at all. But I think they've been talking with Valve about it, plus they didn't go and outright call it "Half Life Source" which would be questionable at best.

Just so people know, even if a company has generally been okay with people making fan-stuff, they are always within their right to pimp slap you for it at any given time. Luckily, if they want to save the game they can always re-skin it and release it as a different project (though it sound like that would defeat the whole point).

Man, I can't wait to be on that side of the fence, wait till a fan made project is done or almost done, see how it does and gauge audience reception, then shut it down.

I understand that these companies have to shut these projects down but it just seems like they always wait till it's finished or nearing completion when they send the C & D notices. These fandoms are not very shy about their creations, it shouldn't take this long to realize the group was productive enough to finish it.

XMark:
Well, they have an official paid mobile MLP game now, so this was inevitable. In fact, Hasbro had no choice due to the requirements of trademark law.

Which is why American laws need updating to allow fan art protection under fair use.

-Dragmire-:
Man, I can't wait to be on that side of the fence, wait till a fan made project is done or almost done, see how it does and gauge audience reception, then shut it down.

I understand that these companies have to shut these projects down but it just seems like they always wait till it's finished or nearing completion when they send the C & D notices. These fandoms are not very shy about their creations, it shouldn't take this long to realize the group was productive enough to finish it.

Chances are the issue was more the overlap between the officially licensed games and this game.

They thought it was a troll...? Even while knowing that they used trademarked characters, settings etc. without permission...? How dumb are they? Well, I guess they'll change the names, colour-scheme etc. and release it as an inofficial, MLP-like MMO then instead.

Captcha: watch c-beams glitter
I don't know MLP, but I'm assuming "C-beams Glitter" is one of the ponies.

Look for Hasbro to turn around and release their own version of this in the near future.

Skeleon:
They thought it was a troll...? Even while knowing that they used trademarked characters, settings etc. without permission...? How dumb are they? Well, I guess they'll change the names, colour-scheme etc. and release it as an inofficial, MLP-like MMO then instead.

Captcha: watch c-beams glitter
I don't know MLP, but I'm assuming "C-beams Glitter" is one of the ponies.

Look at several of the responses above. Between Hasbro being very lenient with fanwork, and the many trolls out there who fake C&D letters, it actually isn't all that dumb.

And, no. C-beams Glitter is not a pony, neither official or fanmade :P

so act within the law, easy :D

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here