Ubisoft Teams Up With Mystery Rights Holder To Remove Fun Fan-Made 'GoldenEye 007' Maps From 'Far Cry'

from the no-fun-for-you dept

We have seen our monumentally absurd permission and copyright culture kill off all sorts of cool fan projects. Perhaps no industry is impacted by this more than the video game space, where you have the combination of rabid fans of particular games and franchises coupled with an above average level of technical skill in exhibiting that fandom. This combination sees an absolute ton of fan-made projects, including ports of games to different hardware, fan-made games, and even the re-creation of old games within new ones. It should be obvious that all of this carries very little monetary risk for the game makers, and, in fact, often times could be a boon, and yet it is all too common for publishers and developers to sic lawyers on their own fans rather than figuring out a way to coexist or benefit from them.

But sometimes this nonsense gets down to an absurdly granular level. Such appears to the be the case with one YouTuber going by Krollywood, who spent hundreds of hours recreating the maps for the classic N64 game GoldenEye 007 in Far Cry 5, only to have those maps removed by Ubisoft in response to a copyright claim.

You could find and play these levels yourself by hopping into Far Cry 5’s arcade mode and punching in Krollywood’s username. As of this writing, you no longer can. Ubisoft removed them all from Far Cry 5, a move that Krollywood described as “really sad,” noting that he probably won’t be able to restore them since he’s “on their radar now.”

“I’m really sad—not because of myself or the work I put in the last three years, [but] because of the players who wanna play it or bought Far Cry just to play my levels,” Krollywood told Kotaku in an email today.

Ubisoft hasn't responded as of this writing as to who made the copyright claim, but it appears the rights are held by MGM, the film studio that put out the movie of the same name. Notably, it's unclear just how valid a copyright claim would even be. Ubisoft owns the code used to make the game and used by fans to make new levels. Krollywood recreated the levels, rather than borrowing any digital assets from the original. Also, the maps were not for sale; they were free to download.

But even if we granted that MGM or someone else could make a valid copyright claim on these maps... why the hell bother to do so? What precisely is the threat being staved off here?

Players just want a taste of nostalgia, and MGM has a track record of shattering the plates before they’re even delivered to the table. (Recall GoldenEye 25, the fan remake of GoldenEye 007 remade entirely in Unreal 4 that was lawyered into oblivion last year.) MGM has further neglected to do anything with the license it’s sitting on—for a game that’s older than the Game Boy Color, by the way. At the end of the day, shooting this latest fan-made project out of the sky comes across as a punitive move, at best.

“In the beginning, I started this project just for me and my best friend, because we loved the original game so much,” Krollywood said. “But there are many GoldenEye fans out there … [The project] found many new fans and I’m so happy about it.”

Sadly, it appears happiness is not on the menu at present, to keep the analogy going. Instead, the only dish served is cold, hard copyright.

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Filed Under: fan made maps, fans, far cry 5, goldeneye 007, video games
Companies: ubisoft

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  1. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 30 Jun 2021 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re:

    It just shows how sloppy these devs are in their copyrights.

    [Sloppy developer Tero Pulkinnen, who has never once made a truthful statement about copyright law, Projects facts not in evidence]

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