How A Mickey Mouse Parody Killed A Fan Game

In Japan, "doujin" titles are the video game equivalent of fan fiction. A very, very small percentage of doujin game developers go pro. The vast majority is confided to making fandom for fun.

Because of that, many Japanese game companies look the other way. Disney is not a Japanese game company, and Disney is so not looking the other way.

In doujin visual novel Hanako, players encounter Mickey Mouse as a Dragon Quest role-playing game type monster. The game looks like Mickey Mouse. The character is called "Mickey Mouse", and it gets its head beaten off.

The game's developers claimed that this was a "parody" and thus fair use, but according to website Japan-America News, Disney was pissed and sicced its lawyers on the game's developers, a doujin group called "AmoRico", for ¥6 million or $75,000 in reparations.

Hanako's developer ceased development, posting a message in both English and Japanese. Here's the English:

Thank you very much for playing Visual Novel "Hanako"

Due to a major and intricate reasons, we were unavoidably close our site and stop the development of our game.

From today, year 2012 January 26, We're closing "Hanako Official Site" for indefinite period.

We appreciate the players whom supported us. Thank you very much.

From what has been shown of the game, this doesn't look like a Mickey Mouse parody. It looks like, well, Mickey Mouse.

ミッキーマウスを殴り倒したゲーム作者「600万円で起訴」 海外の反応 [Japan-America News]


    They killed their own game by even attempting that.

    Do NOT. F***. with Mickey...

    I think these guys need to get a dictionary and look up the meaning of the term "parody"

      You realise that doujin soft do the same thing all the time w/ Jp games/anime characters and get around it as a parody by conveniently replacing "*" for vowels or parts of the names =P

      Of course most Jp studios really don't give too much of a crap about this stuff (it still feeds off the otaku/fan mentality) but Disney of course doesnt see it that way =P

    Parody would be to have Micky appear in invincible copyright armour.

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