Capcom Kills Ghost 'N Goblins Demon World Kickstarter Campaign

December 13, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Capcom has put the brakes on a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign for an unlicensed Ghost 'N Goblins game. Phantasm Studios' campaign is now the subject of an intellectual property dispute initiated by Capcom, and has been shutdown. The Kickstarter page for the campaign now features a DMCA notice from Capcom.

"The project acknowledges its goal is to create an update to the Ghosts 'N Goblins franchise based upon the characters, stories, music and other copyrightable elements of the Property," said Capcom's DMCA notice. "Such unauthorized update would clearly violate Capcom's exclusive rights under copyright law to create derivative works of the Property. It would also violate Capcom's trademark rights in the Property. The project admits it will need Capcom's permission to proceed and has not received one. To its knowledge, Capcom has not been contacted by the project."

This news isn't particularly shocking - even to those who launched it on Kickstarter. When the Kickstarter began, the studio highlighted the fact that it did not have permission from Capcom but vowed to secure it if the Kickstarter was successful.

"Capcom only promised to review our submission, and nothing more. We have only discussed a possibility of a developer's license if the game is up to their standards. We do not currently have one and may not get one," said Phantasm Studios CEO and founder Monty Singleton when the campaign launched. "If we can't secure a developers license we will change King Arthur and the name of the game, but that is all. Thankfully werewolves, demons, skeletons, reapers, ghosts, goblins, etc. are all public domain. The modifications will be so minor, the changes will be easy and will not change our release schedule."

Phantasm Games has not publicly commented on the shut down.

Source: GII


Comments

Re: Capcom Kills Ghost 'N Goblins Demon World Kickstarter ...

I am actually not ok with this and see it as an abuse of process.

Let us take kickstarter out of the picture and pretend this was a more traditional situation.  You have a studio that wants to produce a game with IP they do not own.  Normally before the IP owner would ink a deal they would expect things like mockups and proof that you have the resources to follow though.   If the deal does not pan out it is up to the studio to go to its backers or VCs and say that they were not able to obtain the IP.

However in this case, rather then Capcom rejecting the deal, they bypassed the studio and went strait to their funding source to shut them down.  A funding source that was made fully aware of the IP negotiation and business plan if that fell though.

Capcom:s behavior was massively inappropriate and unprofessional, and I suspect they would not have done this if it were not crowd funded.   Kickstarter also acted unprofessionally, and if not for the "screw you" agreement they make people sign they would probably be in a bit of trouble for breech of contract.

Re: Capcom Kills Ghost 'N Goblins Demon World Kickstarter ...

Capcom still has 152 Million dollars in the bank, not doing a IP negotiation with fans before shutting down the Kickstarter in question may be a bad idea. Capcom denying the rights to create such a game may cause them to lose money from fans as they won't buy their products in the near future, if this continues then we may see Capcom end up like THQ in the near future.

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Capcom Kills Ghost 'N Goblins Demon World Kickstarter ...

You don't seem too far off. They have a lot of killer IPs that would make money on nostalgia alone, and they're just sitting on them.

 
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