I know that CoG has a general policy against fan fiction type games, but what if we got permission from the people that actually hold the license? And if it were for free?
I am not in the know on this but from other conversations I gather they will not support this.
I think if you have the ok and wanted to do it on your own, but this would never be published by CoG.
I would say that if you have permission from the holder of the license then you could write a fan-game set in the world. I would imagine you’d need separate permissions in order to sell it.
I believe there was one game being written that was set in someone elses world and the writer had explicit permission. I can’t remember its name now. I actually think I’d have preferred the game if it had been original.
“that the game doesn’t infringe other people’s intellectual property (we can’t host a Harry Potter or Star Wars game” is the bit of the rules important for hosting.
Most authors who allow you to write fan-fiction in their worlds have a rule that you can’t make any money off of it, and you can’t generally publish it. Since Hosted Games are published, even if they’re being given away for free, I’d think there’d be issues on placing it on the hosted page.
Well the reason I ask is because there’s this game I love that some of you may or may not be familiar with called Homeworld, and they have an upcoming game in the works. So I was thinking of doing a fan fic type game set within it, as this would help me in that most of the major back story elements are already set in place, allowing me to concentrate on making the game itself. Basically, the primary purpose being that I have something that I can practice coding in CS in while making something that hopefully myself and others would enjoy playing.
I’d say do the project as a personal project just for yourself. There are rights issues otherwise. If you can get permission from the IP holder to create your game you may be able to put it up on the forum. I can’t see it getting published even as a free hosted game though.
If you do create the game you could always file off anything that makes it identifiable as being from Homeworld though.
Now first, a caveat. The rest of this post is focused on the US. CoG’s an American company, so that’s where things will be considered to happen in a legal sense. What precisely is or is not legal may change depending on where you live. No matter what though, CoG’s reaction will be the same.
Okay, to clarify so you understand, CoG’s statements against hosting or handling any kind of Fan Fiction is a legal necessity. Fan Fiction is, at face value, illegal, no matter whether it’s free or not. The only reason it does continue to exist is simply the owner of any particular Intellectual Property not cracking down on it, most often just because it’s a pain to hunt down. That’s why we call it a ‘grey area’. Technically it’s not supposed to be done, but the people that have to tell you to stop, generally don’t bother (that’s not to say they can’t which is why certain works you’ll find little fan fiction about, because some copyright owners do actively hunt down fan fiction). That said, if a larger entity (such as CoG) does something ‘fan fiction’, it’s easier to target by copyright owners, and therefore ends up sued.
Now, all that said CoG can’t tell you to *not* use CS for such things (remember the license for CS is presented ‘as is’). However, CoG is not responsible for it, nor will it do anything to assist it. The exact extent of what that means is, as of yet, undetermined, but could include everything up to it not being allowed to be discussed on the forums.
tl;dr: The short is that CoG literally cannot afford to associate itself with fan fiction in any way.
@Reaperoa Yes, but what if I got official permission from the people that own the rights? That’s mainly what I’m wondering about.
Some writers do actually allow people to create fan-fiction based on their IP. Those who do generally have rules against profiting from it though. Then again there’s that new Amazon thing which does allow you to sell your fanfiction, although I think it’s only a few companies who’ve signed up for it.
@Fantom If you manage to get permission from those who hold the rights it’s a different story. You would have to find out if it’s permission to create a commercial venture, or just to do something for yourself.
@fantom If you get official permission, then we don’t refer to it as fanfiction anymore. : ) That said, with Homeworld, it’s owned by Sony I believe at the moment, so actually getting permission is pretty much impossible.
@FairyGodfeather I’m not actually looking to make money off it. Mainly it would be a creative exercise for me.
@Reaperoa Its actually owned by Gearbox now, having recently acquired it during the THQ auction a few months ago, and they’re actually being pretty lenient about such things.
Well you’ve nothing to lose by asking. Hopefully they’ll say yes.
When you publish a game with us, we’ll ask you to sign an agreement in which you affirm that you have the legal right to publish/sell your game. If your game is based on someone else’s IP, we’ll ask you to provide proof that you have their permission (for example, a copy of a signed agreement with them).
If Gearbox will sign something saying they’re OK with you writing (and *selling*) a game based on their IP, then you should be OK to sign our agreement.