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Futurama for 2600 pulled from distribution


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#1 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 3:43 AM

Hey gang,

Well, I got a letter from Fox TV threatening legal action for the Futurama video game I was going to produce for the CCAG meeting. There has been some speculation as to whether this letter is legit or not. Doesn't matter. I'm pulling the game and it will not be produced. I am working on a replacement game that will instead be released at CCAG. Thanks for those of you who voiced excitement and encouragment and sorry to disappoint those who were looking forward to this.

Tim Snider
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#2 JCroniger OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 4:59 AM

That's terrible news. If Futurama is so important to Fox, why are they talking about cancelling it?

#3 Osmeroid OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 5:34 AM

That's a shame, I'm sorry to hear that Tim.

The game looked damnded good too!

#4 Joel D. Park OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 5:54 AM

The game did definately look cool. Oink is great anyway.

#5 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 7:18 AM

I have seen the letter Tim received and while it does have some dubious aspects that might cause one to question its authenticity, I agree with Tim that it's not worth the potential legal hassle to continue with the planned release. Which is a shame, because I'm sure everyone would have enjoyed it. But we live in a very litigous society and Fox does have the right to protect their Futurama trademark and copyright. One thing I found amusing is they mention that Futurama has already been licensed for a third-party game and they feel that Tim's release might "interfere with our ability to fully exploit our licensed goods."

Tim, maybe you could write to them and obtain permission for your limited release, explaining it's a fan effort that will have no impact on any modern game being developed? It's obvious that Matt Groening is fond of classic videogames, given the recent episode that aired with a segment revolving around them (as well as references to classic games in other efforts). Perhaps he would be sympathetic to your cause and could cut through the Fox legal red tape? Permission has been granted for other properties, such as Garfield and Bugs Bunny, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

..Al

#6 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 7:23 AM

I agree, the letter is a bit too "vague" - it's missing a contact name, phone number, used a box number and not a street address, etc. Lots of red flags. On the other hand, the e-mail address this came from was a legit Consumer Products address from fox.com. I have no reason to doubt this would be difficult to fake.

Regardless, it's not worth the effort. Besides, there are *two* strikes here. One, using the name and characters from Futurama without permission. Two, it's a hack anyway, so there's THAT muddled mess of legalities. I'd rather just drop it.

I posted this message over on Digital Press. I'll paste it here too:

Look, I don't want to drag this out. It was a Futurama "fan-thing." Wasn't meant to be a mass-production or competition for Fox or whatever. I like the show, I like Atari, I combined the two, and I got my **** knocked into the dirt for it. Live and learn.

Ironic though: Fox treats the show like crap, gives it the worst timeslot imaginable, doesn't promote it at all, pre-empts it for each and every football game that's on, and all but cancels it when they don't order new episodes for the coming season. But appear like you're about to tread on their "intellectual rights, and the lawyers descend like vultures. Incredible.

Anyway, the matter is closed. The game is gone. The web site's closed. End of story.

Crap.

[ 05-02-2002: Message edited by: Snider-man ]

#7 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 8:30 AM

Let's see it positive:

Now you have more time for "The Ravenous Dead".

Or are you expecting copyright problems there too?

#8 Uncle Duke OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 9:34 AM

I dont think George A. Romero would mind much,


Im looking forward to that game being a HUGE HUGE fan of Romero living dead films.

#9 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 10:01 AM

quote

Let's see it positive: Now you have more time for "The Ravenous Dead".


*Absolutely.* I wanted to get this project out of the way so I could re-focus on that.

quote

Or are you expecting copyright problems there too?


Ugh. No way. There are a zillion zombie movies, so everything's cool. Though I think I'll re-name it "The Evil Dead" or "Resident Evil." Think there'd be a problem? Are those taken?

#10 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 10:05 AM

Suggestion: Perhaps you could change the name to "The Ravenous Coffee-Drinking Dead". They could be coffee-brown in color, and ....

#11 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 10:17 AM

Cafeman.... You definately have the right idea....I had the same!!! (We think alike!) However my idea involved changing the name to "The Ravenous Bologna Eating Dead " I think this will appeal to a wider audience for the fact that some parents don't approve of all the gore in todays games.... Am I on to something???

#12 King Atari OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 10:34 AM

quote:


Im looking forward to that game being a HUGE HUGE fan of Romero living dead films.



Right on! Night and Dawn are still the best!

#13 lonesome_pa OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 10:57 AM

quote

Though I think I'll re-name it "The Evil Dead" or "Resident Evil." Think there'd be a problem? Are those taken?  



I'm not exactly sure if there would be any legality issues in using those 2 names. "Evil Dead" was a movie out a while back and I think with sequels, and "Resident Evil" is a video game on Playstation and Dreamcast platforms.

#14 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 11:08 PM

quote

I'm not exactly sure if there would be any legality issues in using those 2 names. "Evil Dead" was a movie out a while back and I think with sequels, and "Resident Evil" is a video game on Playstation and Dreamcast platforms.  


Er...ummm...thank you?

(Was I too subtle with my earlier comment?)

#15 ubersaurus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 11:09 PM

Are you still gonna make the ROM available? Can't stop us from making copy carts and printing up your label ;p

#16 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 12:23 PM

Actually, they can. The ROM image was specifically mentioned in the letter. The ROM has copyrighted characters. This issue is dead. Gone. Buried.

#17 Chris++ OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 1:18 PM

Dear Tim,
Well, I think I speak for a lot of people here: It doesn't matter in the abstract, because you're still my hero for keeping the flame alive. Now you're a martyr, as well -- maybe there's a TV mini-series in there?
Anyway, my usual bad humor is getting us off the subject. Congratulations on having used your knowledge of the 2600 to create new titles -- dreams that all of us have had at one time or another. And thanks for sharing your creations with your friends in the classic gaming community. You've made a name for yourself, and I feel nothing but pride and happiness for you to this effect. My newsletter co-writer, Adam Trionfo, was thrilled that you mentioned his name in reference to what you learned from his "Re-Programming the 2600" article he wrote a few years back. So everyone's behind you 100%, if you'd like to fire-bomb Fox Studios or something. We all have back-up smart bombs, gleaned from years of playing games; so just say the word.
Sincerely,
Chris Federico

#18 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 1:24 PM

Thanks for the kind words, but don't admire me too much. After all, this game was a hack using copyrighted characters. In the eyes of many, it was double-dipping in the "creative-borrowing" well.

Why doesn't P. Diddy get busted when *he* "samples?"

#19 Cybergoth OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 1:36 PM

quote:


Originally posted by Snider-man:
Actually, they can. The ROM image was specifically mentioned in the letter. The ROM has copyrighted characters. This issue is dead. Gone. Buried.


May this be a warning sign for others trying to sell boxed hacks...

Greetings,
Manuel

#20 Paul Slocum OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 1:52 PM

I hope The Clash doesn't come after me for Combat Rock! So far I've gotten away with it just like P.Daddy.

-Paul

#21 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 1:59 PM

quote

May this be a warning sign for others trying to sell boxed hacks...  


Actually, it's a warning to not use copyrighted cartoon characters that are still a viable franchise owned by a major television/movie/media conglomerate. I daresay I wouldn't have had any problems if it'd been Tennessee Tuxedo, Tom Terrific, Super Chicken or Davy and Goliath.

#22 liquid_sky OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 2:12 PM

Its a shame that Fox got angry at you. I was looking foward to the game, but you know what? You sure do persevere.. with the few people whining about Venture2 to this Fox thing, you still havent given up.

#23 ubersaurus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 3:32 PM

Hmm..If you changed the title and any ingame futurama text, wouldn't that work? Characters are so blocky, you could call it Robot Break-in and it would work ;p

#24 Snider-man OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 5:20 PM

I have the title "Futurama" appearing on the screen during the game. Changing it would mean a new burn of ROMs - a cost I can't afford. As said before, this is dead, done, buried.

#25 ubersaurus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 2, 2002 5:37 PM

Ah. Damn, it certainly sounded cool. Oink was neat, but a dumb premise ;p




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