Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Square Enix Shuts Down Fan-Made Chrono Trigger Sequel

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the suspicious-timing dept.

Games 455

KIllagouge writes "Just days before the release of Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes, SquareEnix sent a Cease & Desist letter to Chrono Compendium to stop everything to do with Crimson Echoes. People might remember when they did this with Chrono Resurrection. Seems to be the growing trend; instead of listening to their fans, which would net them even more money, game developers continue to lock down old gaming IP. A copy of the C&D letter is available online." The fan project had been in development since 2004 and was 98% complete.

cancel ×

455 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Nonsequitor in the summary (-1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919659)

Seems to be the growing trend; instead of listening to their fans, which would net them even more money, game developers continue to lock down old gaming IP

There is no proof that listening to their fans would net them more money, especially since those fans are creating their own games and not necessarily buying the real product.

It's almost the same argument as the filesharing canard that says that companies need to either give away their music for free or face going out of business.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (5, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919665)

No, not at all. Your handle is indeed apt, sir.

The argument is that a merchandise so popular fans make unofficial sequels is one that you can easily produce titles for and sell them to make money.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919679)

And he's saying that argument does not have any logical/statistical/whatever evidence to back it up, thus making it an empty opinion.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (5, Insightful)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919765)

And he's saying that argument does not have any logical/statistical/whatever evidence to back it up, thus making it an empty opinion.

Any idea how much an original Chrono Trigger fetches? Do you know how many people bought it originally (SNES)... the second time (PSX)... and the third time (DS)?

Then there's Chrono Cross. Care to take a shot at how many purchased that game? It made the "Best Seller" reprint list.

Square-Enix could make a king's fortune selling a third Chrono game. They know this... we've been begging (literally) for another Chrono game. But no... S-E is too busy milking the Final Fantasy cow to really care. Who wants a turn-based RPG anymore? It's all about the flashy graphics and real-time combat.

By the by, S-E, how's that mumorpurger of yours going?

Put simply, if they released another one, we'd buy it in a heartbeat (well, maybe not so much now). We don't make fangames or listen to symphony orchestras perform the music of those games because we hate 'em...

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919795)

Great, what does that have to do with the profitability of fan made mods?

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (2, Informative)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919985)

Great, what does that have to do with the profitability of fan made mods?

Mother 3.

Any idea how many copies would sell if the fan mod were sold officially in cartridge format? I'd buy it at 50 bucks and not think twice. Millions would.

Wherever there is demand, there is money to be made. There are no exceptions.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920299)

Sadly, that's the same thing people said about a Firefly movie, and yet...

There is a long and storied tradition of a huge fan upswell convincing a company to put for money on a project only for it to fail due to lack of actual sales when the time comes.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920147)

considering that S-E wouldn't have to develop it, and someone else already did? Tons.

S-E could take 10 percent, and they'd still rake in a fortune. 10% profit off of something that costs you 0 as you didn't even have to develop it, is a pretty good profit. Even better than patents/copyright/trademarks.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920335)

Same arguement could be made for Potter Slash fics and yet somehow, I don't see Rowling taping this unlimited market. She keeps muttering something about "purity of the source".

Re: By the by, S-E, how's that mumorpurger going? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919957)

By the by, S-E, how's that mumorpurger of yours going?

Seven years now and it's still rocking...

Vana'dielian Population Tops Two Million! (22/04/2009)

It is our distinct pleasure to announce that during the third week of April, the total number of active characters across all worlds in FINAL FANTASY XI has exceeded the two million mark for the first time!
Since the commencement of service on May 16th, 2002, Vana'diel has gone on to become a vibrant gathering place for adventurers hailing from all corners of the globe. Boasting four expansions and one add-on scenario with two more in the pipes, FINAL FANTASY XI continues to evolve into an ever richer realm of magic and adventure.

Not bad from the development team responsible for making Chrono Cross really.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (1)

etherealotaku (1041710) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920251)

Any idea how much an original Chrono Trigger fetches?

A few years back, I sold an original copy of Chrono Trigger on ebay with box, manual, and strategy guide for the tune of 110$ I can only imagine the value has increased of late.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (2, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919715)

The argument could be that this is a ROM mod. Aka you need to download the game (likely illegally) to play it.

I wonder if it'd be different if it had a separate engine, or would they send a C&D letter for that too? Hmm... they probably would.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919775)

Although that is a fair point about needing to download the ROM to play it, I'd wager that most of the people interested in this project do already own a legal copy of Chrono Trigger for either SNES or Playstation. It's not like some obscure game only available in Japan that you couldn't ever be bothered to find a copy of on ebay... it's Chrono Trigger.

So where can I buy a SNES copier? (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919899)

I'd wager that most of the people interested in this project do already own a legal copy of Chrono Trigger for either SNES or Playstation.

But they probably do not own the equipment to copy their Super NES cartridges to the PC. Per UMG v. MP3.com, owning a lawfully made copy doesn't entitle you to download another copy elsewhere.

Re:So where can I buy a SNES copier? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920121)

Why not? It's not the physical thing that counts it's the license, right?

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (0)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920149)

Should have offered to buy the project and put it out as Wiiware if it was any good. Closing a project down with no release is such a waste.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (4, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920267)

Yes... Square Enix should listen to their fans and release sequel with a crono x Magus love story! Heck there's plenty of relationships in the fanfics they could choose from. Frog x robo!

Just because fans want something doesn't mean you should do it . Yes Square could easily show off a cheaply made Chrono Trigger 2 for the DS and it would sell a ton of copies. However it would cheapen the brand unless it's a stellar game and they'd lose most goodwill to it.

Likewise giving fan made games like this a nod cheapens the brand.

It's not easy handling cult classics. You try to cash in on them and you just end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Look at Lucas Art's reputation for making games in the 90's. Look at their reputation now.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920381)

Well duh. So to maximize their profits they need to close down the fan stuff. Pretty simple logic, if you're not a complete freetard.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (2, Interesting)

mark_hill97 (897586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919699)

If you can't make money off a product so popular that people want to invest 5 years of thier lives to make sequels and give it away then you are doing something seriously wrong. The production of the sequels indicates large demand, yet no supply.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920031)

A dedicated cult fanbase does not automatically mean that it's a marketable audience. It does not take many fans to make a fan game, especially if they aren't shooting for commercial polish.

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (1)

Morphine007 (207082) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920211)

True, but it's a fairly good indicator. C'mon though, it's Chrono Trigger ffs ... who doesn't have memories of playing that game for hours and hours on end?

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920447)

Then doesn't it come down to worst-case-scenario money? If they spent $0 on it, and at worst, make $0 from it, why spend $$$ on lawyers to shut it down?

This looks like they stand to make between $0 and $$$ on it. How does that justify spending any money to shut it down?

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919743)

It's almost the same argument as the filesharing canard that says that companies need to either give away their music for free or face going out of business.

Boy, you really do live up to your name, don't you?

Re:Nonsequitor in the summary (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920407)

Their 'fan game' is a modification or patch to the real game. You have to have romdumped the real game (or obtained a ROM through other means), in order to apply the patch.

It is not as if this was being distributed as a download that a non-owner of the game could just fetch and play.

They're trying to prevent people from pirating (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919669)

So I looked at the fan-made sequel... it's a ROM hack. Not that I really have anything against such modifications, they do encourage people to pirate the game (search Google for a ROM, get the game illegally!), especially since hardware to legitimately dump the ROM images are expensive and rare enough that it's unlikely even the mod authors have them.

Square Enix has quite a legitimate case here and I understand it much better than if they shut down a project making a game from scratch (eg, a typical PC game).

Re:They're trying to prevent people from pirating (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919733)

The game was made in 1995 I think they recovered their development and capital costs. Not to mention made fistfuls of cash. It should be in public domain by now anyway. They've re-released the same game quite a few times now I think they've made enough money, why not let their fans play with it?

Re:They're trying to prevent people from pirating (1)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919819)

It is not even close to being in public domain now, and won't be for a very long time. There are probably a multitude of aspects of the game that are under copyright and will exist for a very, very long time; including characters, story, music, etc, etc.

The wikipedia article on public domain [wikipedia.org] will give you a better understanding.

Re:They're trying to prevent people from pirating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919875)

To nitpick: why would you link to the section on United States law? Square Enix is a Japan-based company, as was Squaresoft before it. Chrono Trigger was also developed in Japan.

Re:They're trying to prevent people from pirating (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919919)

To nitpick: why would you link to the section on United States law?

As CmdrTaco wrote [slashdot.org] : "Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S." Besides, the minimum copyright term across all WTO members (life plus 50 years) is still long enough that Atari 2600 games will probably stay copyrighted for the rest of your life.

Re:They're trying to prevent people from pirating (1, Insightful)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919763)

OMG ITS A PIRACY GET IN THE CAR!!!!!

Remember kids, IP infringement is bad and evil and scary no matter what the circumstances are. Remember the Constitution! Copyright was established to " ... promote the progress of science and useful arts ... " Therefore anything that infringes on copyright automatically detracts from science, Art, and Culture. WHEN YOU CREATE AN INFRINGING WORK, YOU KILL SCIENCE!

Also, all works of fan fiction and fanart must die. Not because of IP laws, just cause they suck. /sarcasm

I'd really like to let the above stand, but I also want to make an additional point: this game is derivative Art. It may or may not be worth the attention being paid to it at the moment, but because of copyright and presumably trademark laws, it is being withheld from the public, and will remain so for many, many years to come, by which point no one will remember about it or care. Square Enix's case is solid, the law and its guiding principles are firmly on their side. On the other hand, they are choosing to suppress something that would otherwise enrich our Culture in a general sense, and not enrich the developers in a financial sense.

So, while I cannot claim that they are in error for doing that, I really wish they hadn't.

Re:They're trying to prevent people from pirating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919977)

YOU KILL SCIENCE!

You forgot puppies, kittens and babies

Re:They're trying to prevent people from pirating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919997)

No, that's not how you kill kittens :)

Re:They're trying to prevent people from pirating (3, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920113)

Also, all works of fan fiction and fanart must die. Not because of IP laws, just cause they suck.

You are George R. R. Martin, and I claim my 5 pounds.

Are these people stupid? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919687)

Step 1: Find Copyrighted work
Step 2: Create derivative work without appropriate agreements/contracts
Step 3: Get sent cease and deist letter

Come on guys, wake up. This is someone else's work, you obviously misjudged the company you are dealing with. Why not start something from scratch, so that you don't end up in a situation like this.

Re:Are these people stupid? (1, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919709)

Replace X characters with new Y characters.

Is it still infringement?

It's a ROM hack (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919931)

Replace X characters with new Y characters.

Is it still infringement?

Yes. It's a ROM hack, meaning that it uses most of the same computer program as the original game. Putting new characters in a non-free program doesn't make it not a non-free program.

Re:It's a ROM hack (1)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920089)

I really, really wish they had a way of moving their operations offshore and sending S-E a letter that was nothing more that a large picture of them giving the camera the finger.

Alas, I doubt they have the funds for such a thing.

Re:Are these people stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919859)

Because that was not what they wanted to do.

Re:Are these people stupid? (3, Insightful)

Jahava (946858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919993)

Step 1: Find Copyrighted work Step 2: Create derivative work without appropriate agreements/contracts Step 3: Get sent cease and deist letter

Come on guys, wake up. This is someone else's work, you obviously misjudged the company you are dealing with. Why not start something from scratch, so that you don't end up in a situation like this.

This isn't some company stealing IP and creating a franchise. This isn't even a group of people attempting to destroy or dilute Square's market. CT:CE was simply an attempt by fans to continue the (arguably) deceased storyline that they loved.

Fan bases creating not-for-profit derivative works have created, sustained, and/or resurrected numerous corporate franchises, enough so that there's plenty of precedent of intelligent companies taking note of such behavior, supporting and encouraging it (World of Warcraft, Halflife, even Snakes on a Plane). Hell, most of the reason Chrono Trigger is still even relevant is because of its sustained Internet fan base! They complete the feedback loop, providing a voice to the creative consumer in the digital marketplace. This is not about IP; it's the suppression of digital culture itself.

Not only is Square just plain stupid to have let a franchise with clear fan interest die ... they're beating that interest out of the community themselves!

I'll end this with a link to a relevant presentation by Lawrence Lessig [blip.tv] that I saw posted earlier on /.. It portrays quite nicely why behavior such as that taken by Square is destructive to culture, art, and human interests. Using IP laws to break the feedback loop and force art into a strict producer-consumer model is harmful to everyone in the end.

Never heard of them (-1, Troll)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919691)

Now that I have heard of them, and know how they behave towards community projects, I'll avoid them at all costs.

I can make do without their game. Can they make do without my money?

Re:Never heard of them (5, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919719)

Never heard of them

I can make do without their game. Can they make do without my money?

So far, so good.

Re:Never heard of them (0)

auLucifer (1371577) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919877)

Awww man. I was hoping for an analogy. Something like 'Toast with butter on top is still really good and even though I don't have your money I plan to eat it and live long and happy' or something just as terrible =(

Re:Never heard of them (0)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920139)

Your logic has a certain flaw, right there. No business can do without expansion nowadays. It doesn't matter anymore, whether you make a billion dollars in profits, it's important that you make more profit than you did last year.

Even ignoring that, people who buy your products aren't automatically addicted to them. Sometimes they even have the nerve and die. That means you need new customers to replace those who no longer can or want to buy from you.

So basically, his question makes a lot of sense.

Re:Never heard of them (3, Interesting)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920237)

So basically, his question makes a lot of sense.

No it doesn't. Practically no company tries to be everything to everyone and for good reason. When a company is looking to expand its customer base it will focus its effort on a couple customer demographics that it believes make sense (safe bet is people who haven't even heard of S-E, but are willing to boycott them over this isn't one of them).

Re:Never heard of them (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919721)

Now that I have heard of them, and know how they behave towards community projects, I'll avoid them at all costs.

I can make do without their game. Can they make do without my money?

Yes, probably.

Re:Never heard of them (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919935)

You've never heard of Square Enix? Why are you even reading an article about games?

Re:Never heard of them (0)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920081)

I just looked them up. I dislike Manga, especially the Final Fantasy series.

The first turn-based combat game I played was "Swords and Serpents" on the NES. I didn't really like it then, and I don't like them now. I guess that's how I've never heard of them, and why I can still comment on a game article.

Re:Never heard of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920173)

NEEERD RAAAAGE!!!

Re:Never heard of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920315)

They've made do without your money so far: signs point to yes.

Feel free to boycott them anyway, if it makes you happy.

In all seriousness, though, if you want to punish a company for taking a painfully hard line against fan projects set in their universes---consider directing your wrath against Fox. Put the words "Aliens" and "mod" in excessively proximity together and you may find yourself in mortal peril from the velocity of incoming cease and desist letters. Google turns up results pretty easily, if you don't believe me.

Chances are, there're a few Fox products you could be weaning yourself off of.

alienateyourcustomers (-1, Offtopic)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919697)

No Slashdot, you are the Aliens.

And then CowboyNeal was eaten by an alien.

DisgruntledCoward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919771)

I see Time Trigger: Crimson Echos being released with similar but distinctly different looking characters.

I mean, come on square - they weren't looking to make money off it, it wasn't costing square anything and if it was good it would only yield positive results surely?

I'd say I'd never buy anything from Square ever again out of protest but they are partners with Gas Powered Games on Supreme Commander II and there is no way I'm missing that.

Re:DisgruntledCoward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919809)

I'd have morals too, if they weren't so damn annoying.

So well-timed. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919781)

It always seems the "IP"-holder sends a cease and desist letter when the project is nearly done, almost like they want to cause as much pain as possible to the people trying to remake something.

What frustrates me most is that these projects then aren't worked on to completion and then simply distributed by anonymous torrents, working for several years on something and then getting cut off at the last minute is simply a dick move.

Re:So well-timed. (2, Insightful)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919869)

Fishined product would be too obvious show of no "cease and desist" happening, regardless of how anonymous torrent would be.

As far as last-minute letters go, I think that publishers do not want to cause pointless damage (most such projects never take off so it is pointless to scout for them and send letters asap - that leaves big that of pissed people who now have target to point at "look, our project was great and we had skill and determination to pull it off, but these evil guys stopped us.", same people that would give up/loose interest after few weeks.)

Re:So well-timed. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919903)

It always seems the "IP"-holder sends a cease and desist letter when the project is nearly done, almost like they want to cause as much pain as possible to the people trying to remake something.

What frustrates me most is that these projects then aren't worked on to completion and then simply distributed by anonymous torrents, working for several years on something and then getting cut off at the last minute is simply a dick move.

I would like to add that it can be a bad PR move by Square Enix. A lot of customers may have mixed feelings about it. The game company would be better off sending cease and desist letter to Chrono Compendium during the early stage of the game development so it wouldn't be well noticed by the public.

Re:So well-timed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919945)

Rather, they want to see what the game turns out to be so they can use the idea if it is a good one. And because it won't be distributed, they can make money on it. Fan-made games like Counter Strike have been incredibly successful.

It'll hurt a few fans but the boss doesn't care about that.

Re:So well-timed. (4, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920033)

Or maybe they really did just find out about it. I'm an avid gamer and identify as a 'core gamer' and 'RPG fanatic', yet I'd never heard of this project or group. Is it really that hard to believe they hadn't heard about it either?

Don't forget that the longer a project has existed, and the closer it gets to completion, the more noise is made about it. Fans start talking more, devs start showing it off, etc, etc.

Re:So well-timed. (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920111)

What projects should they be going after? The 99% that never actually go anywhere, or the 1% that look like they're going to be finished?

Odd decision (2, Insightful)

agorist_apostle (1491899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919827)

I can see that they'd want to make sure they are still driving the storyline in whatever direction they want it to go...on the other hand, given the costs of developing RPGs (in particular), with an obviously interested fanbase who'd buy something like this, it seems like they're missing an opportunity to get together with the people developing this and put it out on the DS or whatever. IIRC, there was a fan-based mod of Half Life which went on to be sold as a standalone game in its own right (can't remember the name -- like a western in space or something).

Counter-Strike for Xbox (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919955)

IIRC, there was a fan-based mod of Half Life which went on to be sold as a standalone game in its own right

That might have been the port of Counter-Strike to Xbox.

(can't remember the name -- like a western in space or something).

"Wagon Train to the Stars" would describe Star Trek [wikipedia.org] .

Fan-based mod that went on to be a stand alone gam (1)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919959)

IIRC, there was a fan-based mod of Half Life which went on to be sold as a standalone game in its own right (can't remember the name -- like a western in space or something).

It's called "Counter-Strike."

Re:Odd decision (3, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920179)

The difference in that is that Valve officially released dev tools and gave people permission to develop mods.

Most console games expressly forbid modification.

Re:Odd decision (1)

WoRLoKKeD (1142351) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920225)

IIRC, there was a fan-based mod of Half Life which went on to be sold as a standalone game in its own right (can't remember the name -- like a western in space or something).

Gunman Chronicles!!! Oh, you bastard. Now I'm going to have to find that game again.

Re:Odd decision (1)

OK PC (857190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920297)

IIRC, there was a fan-based mod of Half Life which went on to be sold as a standalone game in its own right (can't remember the name -- like a western in space or something).

I think you are talking about Gunman Chronicles.

Re:Odd decision (1)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920329)

That was Counter-Strike. The stand-alone was a spin-off named "Condition Zero" [mobygames.com] that, IIRC, attempted to give the game a storyline of sorts.

Square+enix=fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919843)

Squaresoft used to be a great game maker but went the way platypus and had way to much useless added to it. Now it is an anime company plain and simple. Does it care about the final fantasy series? No has it cared about the legacy of good rpgs? No. It makes games that are anime with no depth.

Re:Square+enix=fail (2)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920187)

seconded

Chrono Trigger is one of my all time favorite games.
All recent Square Enix titles are awful, never live up the the expectations.
I want a proper Chrono Trigger sequel, I don't care about Chrono Cross.

But of course... (5, Insightful)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919857)

... they only had it shut down because they are developing their own sequel, right?

Right?

No? Yeah, that's what I thought too.

Re:But of course... (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27919951)

Oh, if people are wondering what I mean by that comment, I'm referring to Microsoft's Cease and Desist order [joystiq.com] to the makers of Halogen, an RTS mod that used many of Halo's assets. Halo Wars was announced shortly thereafter, so one can see why the request was made. You have to wonder, however, if Halo Wars was never created, would MS still have ordered it shut down..?

Re:But of course... (2, Informative)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920001)

Yes, because you aren't allowed to use someone else's non-free assets without their permission.

Re:But of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920157)

Square is being assholes about this and they know it. They have no intention of making another Chrono sequel. The ROM hacking community is nearly all diehard fans. Pissing them off does not sound like a good way to do business. This decision will certainly make me think twice before buying a Square-Enix game new.

Re:But of course... (3, Insightful)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920331)

They have no intention of making another Chrono sequel.

So what? That doesn't allow someone to take their non-free assets and do with it as they please.

The ROM hacking community is nearly all diehard fans. Pissing them off does not sound like a good way to do business.

And the ROM hacking community probably makes up a hugely small fraction of game buyers so I really doubt Square Enix could even care less.

This decision will certainly make me think twice before buying a Square-Enix game new.

I'm sure they are quaking in their boots over that.

Re:But of course... (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920333)

It's not even been a year since they last released a version of Chrono Trigger (which had new content)...

It's hardly abandonware.

They're also required to actively protect their trademarks or they risk losing them.

Dear Square/Enix, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27919911)

Dear Square/Enix,

This is a bad move. I would consider it childish. Listen to your fans! Learn how the new economy works or you will fail.
Don't give me that story about your sucessful games. You will go broke if you don't adapt quickly. This is a sign that you're venturing on the wrong path.
This is your wake-up-call Square/Enix, you're about to miss out on new business-opportunities. For which I'm very thankful.

Signed,
A small dutch gamecompany-startup which shall remain nameless.

That C&A seems quite circumventable (2, Interesting)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920029)

They request that all work and copies be deleted.

As far as I know, copyright law doesn't prevent me from doing what I want with the copies I own as far as I don't redistribute it.

Also, they could just say their computers were hacked by some anonymous person that put the file on peer-to-peer websites, hence it can be distributed illegally without them officially doing so.

All that remains is the DMCA that forced them to shut down their website because they explained how to "circumvent" copyright.
They just have to choose a web hosting in a country that doesn't have that kind of stupid law and problem solved.

Re:That C&A seems quite circumventable (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920141)

Unless he personally ripped the rom of chrono trigger he owned. Yes they can. You only have a right to backup copies of stuff you personally own, even if it's identical to something someone else owns. SNES carts also contain protection measures that would be covered by the DMCA (region locking is one universal example)

You would never get away with the "but hackers..." defence. The onus would be on you to show you were hacked as the fact a file only you owned has appeared on the net already tips the scales way against you. Even if you successfully argued you were hacked, they would counter with the argument that as you were already engaged in a criminal act, and you were not thorough enough with your security, you are liable for the effects of the distribution.

Unfortunate (1, Redundant)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920045)

A lot of great PC games were even more successful than they otherwise might have been because they opened themselves up to the mod community. It's sad and wrong that a fan-produced work that was to be released for free is seen as a threat to the commercial interests of the original IP creator. It's especially bad that Square/Enix decided to wait until the game was nearly completed before the C&D.

I'm afraid that ROM hacking of older systems is going to see this sort of C&D treatment with more frequency. It's the downside of the Virtual Console and the rise in popularity of retro gaming -- when Nintendo put the Virtual Console into the Wii, they basically eliminated the "Abandonware" argument that emulator fans had clung to.

Is there any way they might possibly work a deal out with Square/Enix to have their game put out as an official title, distributed through Virtual Console/Live Arcade?

Re:Unfortunate (0)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920067)

A lot of great PC games were even more successful than they otherwise might have been because they opened themselves up to the mod community.

A lot is a huge stretch. I doubt you can name more than a half dozen.

Re:Unfortunate (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920135)

Morrowind
Oblivion
Tribes
World of Warcraft
Second Life (wait, nevermind, that's not a game)
The Sims (2)
Neverwinter Nights
Source engine games, sort of?

Here's six wildly popular games that were vastly improved by massive modding opportunities. There are many more that were slightly improved by less powerful modding (Team Fortress 2, recently), and more that are less popular but similarly improved (Dwarf Fortress).

Re:Unfortunate (1)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920313)

Here's six wildly popular games that were vastly improved by massive modding opportunities.

But that wasn't their claim. Their claim was that "A lot of great PC games were even more successful than they otherwise might have been because they opened themselves up to the mod community".

Re:Unfortunate (4, Insightful)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920345)

A lot is a huge stretch. I doubt you can name more than a half dozen.

Off the top of my head without much thought:

Doom, Quake, Quake II, Quake 3, Half-life, Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander, Civ 4, Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, Battlefield 1942, World of Warcraft, STALKER, Oblivion, Morrowind, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Unreal Tournament (all) , Rainbow 6 (all), Warcraft III, The Sims

I'm sure if I put my mind to it I could come up with another hundred or so. While with some games the availability of mods is just a bit of icing on the cake of a good game with others like Neverwinter Nights or Oblivion the mods form a massive part of the experience.

Adventures created by the modding community kept NWN alive for years after release, paving the way for the sequel to be the success that it was. The Elder Scrolls games have also always had a very active modding community and knowing that when Oblivion came out made all the difference. Knowing that you can customise a game to your playing style, or that it will last months opposed to days due to player made maps and modifications can really sell a game. As well as extending the life of sales past the first couple of weeks after release.

Re:Unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920437)

Let's see:
Start with every major PC FPS. That is dozens right there.

Then there's the FO games where the only way to finish is to get the fan-made bugfixes.

Re:Unfortunate (4, Informative)

snerdy (444659) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920443)

Here's fourteen titles off the top of my head: Half-Life, Neverwinter Nights, Quake, Doom, Unreal, The Sims, Spore, Elder Scrolls, Civilization, Fallout 3, Bard's Tale, Lode Runner, Boulder Dash and Raid on Bungling Bay.

Some of those titles can be broken down into additional individual games (for example, The Sims was a significantly different game from The Sims 2, especially from a modding perspective) so this list could be expanded quite a bit. Some of them make modding a necessary part of their structure (Spore) and others wouldn't have garnered any attention at all if not for their mod tools (Raid on Bungling Bay) and others have just been outright owned by the mod community (Doom). And it's worth noting that even this short list of games represents a substantial portion of the entire market for video games on personal computers. The Sims and Half-Life alone have sold more games than the rest of the top ten list put together [wikipedia.org] , and that includes World of Warcraft.

So, yes, modding is a significant factor in the success of "a lot" of great games on the PC.

Re:Unfortunate (0)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920383)

A lot of great PC games were even more successful than they otherwise might have been because they opened themselves up to the mod community.

While that may be true, it's irrelevant to this story. Chrono Trigger has never been a PC game and is already highly successful both in terms of sales and its influence on the console RPG market. The brand never has and never will need the "help" of the mod community or fangame creators.

Sadism (1)

drfool (1535489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920083)

Why would Square Enix allow Chrono Compendium to spend 5 years of development time on a project just to threaten legal action 18 days before release? The only really good explanation is sadism. I really wish that Chrono Compendium didn't omit the name and address of the lawyer(s) responsible for the cease and desist letter, I would have liked to have known these bastards names, perhaps we could have traced back their lineage and gained some crucial insight into what compels people to deliberately and willfully spit on the face of their fellow man. We may have discovered that they were the products of incest, that really would explain a lot. Until the names are uncensored from the cease and desist letter, I'm going to place my money on incest.

Re:Sadism (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920171)

Why would Square Enix allow Chrono Compendium to spend 5 years of development time on a project just to threaten legal action 18 days before release? The only really good explanation is sadism.

Might also be that they were trying to avoid the bad PR from this by hedging their bets that it became another sourceforge-like dead project. For every "Crimson Echos" there are maybe a dozen unnamed, never-got-off-the-ground projects dead in the ether.

They're still dicks, though.

Re:Sadism (2, Insightful)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920261)

So, killing it after people have invested 5 years of their life at 98% completion is better PR than doing it earlier in the process?

Re:Sadism (2, Interesting)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920351)

You see this in patent lawsuits also. The supposed owner of a technology will not sue until the supposed infringemer has proven that there is a market or has revenues which can be seized through litigation.

Re:Sadism (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920385)

No, but now they don't have a choice because it looks like THIS group actually followed through.

Kind of like "Why kill it if it's already going to die" vs "Oh shit! It got better."

IANAL, etc...

There's a simple solution (2, Insightful)

wick3t (787074) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920129)

It should have been obvious this would happen. A few years back Square shut down a 3D Chrono Trigger remake project.

Assuming they did not rip off too much, they should just rename the game, characters, locations, redraw the character sprites so they bare no resemblance and then release like that. If they are still not happy and are feeling daring, they can later "leak" a patch which changes everything back to as it was originally intended.

Re:There's a simple solution (1)

drfool (1535489) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920181)

That then would be patent infringement.

Pointless (0)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920153)

I am sure it is pointless. But Kajar Laboratories should at least publicly state their willingness to assign all copyrights on any original work to Square for some nominal fee.

If it is truly of interest to the fans, how much could it cost Square to release it as a legit cart? (V. how much Valve made on CS:Source and TF2:Source)

Patch? (0)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920161)

Can't they just release their work as a patch to the ROM? Then they're not distributing the infringing IP themselves. They'd have to either leave artwork alone or create artwork from scratch but other than that, I'm not sure what Square could do about it. Get your own ROM, patch it, and play the Chrono sequel. Sound pretty straightforward to me but maybe I'm missing something.

It does make sense (4, Interesting)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920163)

I began to write a rather angry email to Square Enix after reading the articles. However, halfway through, I realized where they might be coming from.

They have a DS version of Chrono Trigger that was first released at the end of 2008, and is still fairly "new" around the world. If people download the original ROM in order to hack it, or through CT:Crimson Echoes find out that they can easily play CT for free, the DS version might lose those potential sales.

Personally, I think the value of free advertisement and brand recognition that CT:CE would have given Square Enix would outweigh this. I also believe those people who buy the DS version do so for other reasons, such as portability. But I do see where Square Enix is coming from, and why they chose to stop the project now.

Re:It does make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27920287)

If the fan made game blacks out the one being sold then maybe their remake isnt that good at all

Re:It does make sense (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920399)

Imagine this mod really sucks. People would likely have to play it for a few hours before they'd confirm it (given the nature of RPGs). That would seriously dampen their enthusiam for a new official game.

Even if it was passable, there'd still be the prospect of over-saturation, where you've played so much CT that you lose interest.

Let's just trust Square Enix... (2, Insightful)

Keyper7 (1160079) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920169)

...after all, they did release their own 3D remake of Chrono Trigger after they shut down Chrono Ressurection.... right?

Oh, yeah, they didn't.

And we probably won't see a Chrono sequel either. Ever since they simply gave up on the "Chrono Break" trademark, I'm pretty much convinced that the franchise does not interest them anymore. Not enough to work on it beyond releasing ports.

Re:Let's just trust Square Enix... (3, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920393)

Truth be told Chrono cross sales probaly disappointed, Chrono Cross (spiritual successor to chrono trigger) was not a real sequel and did not feature anyone from the original cast really. Truth be told Chrono Trigger is a classic game how anyone could fuck up a sequel is anyone's guess but square managed to make it too different in many ways, even though it was an alright game.

So... (5, Insightful)

Godman (767682) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920305)

Where's the torrent?

Keeping it secret? (3, Insightful)

sirroc (1157745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27920435)

I understand the need for people to show off their hard work. In this case however; they could have easily kept it internal/quiet, until the mod was released.

Once out in the open C&D letters aren't even worth the time for a lawyer to write them up.

Will this(among many others) start a trend of keeping these mods/hacks secret to avoid C&D letters?

Of course in a perfect world SE could have offered them a big fat check for all the new material.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>