Readers ask: How To Legitimately Remake An Abandoned Video Game?

Is it legal to remake old games?

It’s completely illegal to remake any games unless they specifically give you permission legally to do so and in writing.

Is it illegal to recreate a game?

Only if you distribute it (free or paid). You recreating a game isn’t going to cause the owners of that game to lose any money – assuming your copy isn’t pirated – and therefore there’s no money to sue you over. If you distribute it though, the owners may see that as a threat to their sales.

Can you get sued for remaking a game?

Ergo, if you make a copy or derivative work, you are violating those rights and the copyright statute. Your lack of intent to distribute does not stop the copying from violating the copyright statute. However there are 2 caveats: As others have said, if you don’t get caught then they can ‘t sue you.

Can I buy the rights to a video game?

Some games are sold and resold without the owners actually ever releasing a game under that name. They just buy the rights, so they can use the ideas if they want. If you really want a specific game name and IP then you’ll need to contact the company who owns the rights and see if a deal can be made.

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Can I remake a game?

It depends on the game and the nature of the remake. Game mechanics cannot be protected by copyright, trademark, or patent. You can freely copy the mechanics of any game you want, as the basis of a new game.

Are Fan games illegal?

Both fan games and fan art are illegal copyright infringement if either involves making copies or derivative works of someone else’s creative content without permission.

Are console clones legal?

Some clones are illegal to sell because they infringe the patents of the original hardware manufacturer, or contain pirate copies of games; however not all clones are illegal – for example Nintendo’s patents on the NES hardware have expired, making it legal to sell any NES/Famicom clone that does not have pirated

Is it legal to make a free fan game?

Yes you can create a fan game for free. Yes – you will be violating copyright and probably trademark if you use the soundtrack and assets from the show. If the creation stands on its own – the number of downloads won’t be directly linked to the IP which the content is originally from.

Is Mugen legal?

The MUGEN exe license explicitly prohibits commercial distribution. As for characters ripped off commercial characters, they are legal as long as they stay in the fair use domain. However commercial use of original characters is fine so long as they’re no bundled with MUGEN exe.

Is fan art illegal?

The answer is, if you are creating fan art whether for profit or not, any copyrighted character or use of trademark in a description or title without prior written consent from the copyright owner, then selling fan art is illegal but making fan art is not illegal.

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How do I get copyright permission for a game?

In general, the permissions process involves a simple five-step procedure:

  1. Determine if permission is needed.
  2. Identify the owner.
  3. Identify the rights needed.
  4. Contact the owner and negotiate whether payment is required.
  5. Get your permission agreement in writing.

Can you copyright a game concept?

The Copyright Office factsheet on games explains exactly this: Copyright does not protect the idea for game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game.

How much does it cost to copyright a video game?

There is a fee for registering your work. It’s usually a one-time charge in the $50+, which is a pretty reasonable price for extra peace of mind.

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