Sega Takes Potshots At DMCA-Happy Nintendo While Being Cool About Fan Games

from the doing-it-right dept

While Nintendo has been making waves for some time with its overly aggressive DMCA takedowns of any fan-work that includes its intellectual property, the company has really ramped things up lately. Recent actions include the takedown of a Mario fan game, a remake of a 25-year-old Metroid title, and engaging in all kinds of craziness over its Pokemon Go title. It was enough that one of Nintendo's biggest rivals couldn't help but take a subtle potshot at it, while simultaneously treating Sega fans like human beings.

Daniel Coyle, on Twitter as SuperSonic68, headed up a team of Sonic the Hedgehog fans in the development of a fan-made 3D Sonic game. Their work has been received rather well as of late, including on gaming blogs and YouTube channels. When one YouTube channel, GameGrumps, did a "let's play" of the fan game, it appears that Sega noticed and reached out in the comments section with a poke at Nintendo's aggressive nature and some encouragement.


This is the kind of thing we talk about a great deal around here: being human and awesome to your fans, while also understanding that not every use of your intellectual property is a threat. In fact, it can be a boon instead. This case is doubly so, with the fan-created work propelling more attention to the Sonic franchise as a whole by getting the brand into the gaming news bloodstream, while embracing fan creations builds up all kinds of goodwill towards Sega in general. This is how you do it.

Where Nintendo is in the news for treating its fans poorly, Sega makes news for treating them well, which will encourage other Sega fans to create more fan-works, which will keep Sega's properties moving around the wider internet as a result.

Sega’s latest dunk on their litigious competition shows a massive difference in how fan content is approached and I think they’ve got it right. Games Green Hill Paradise Act 2 like generate interest in properties and encourage passionate engagement with their franchise. They’ve even brought fans in to work on projects. Christian Whitehead, a long time fan, is now a programmer on Sonic Mania.

This is how you build loyalty, instead of anger, amongst a fan-base.

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Filed Under: dmca, fan games, sonic the hedgehog
Companies: nintendo, sega


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2016 @ 4:31pm

    A quick note

    The mobile ports of the first two Sonic the Hedgehog games and Sonic CD were helmed by Whitehead, who (re)built those games practically from the ground up using an engine he developed—and that his port of Sonic CD started out as a fan project that SEGA eventually picked up for an official release.

    Of course, then there’s the situation with the Streets of Rage remake, which is the flip-side of SEGA’s position here. (Long story short: SEGA put the legal kibosh on that particular remake after its release.)

    You can’t win ’em all. But winning some of ’em still goes a long way.

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