To call My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic a fan-made game is doing the tremendous effort by the Mane6 development team a great disservice. They've assembled an amazing team of programmers, animators, artists and musicians. They've recruited amateur voice actors. They've shown the game at the EVO 2012 Fighting Championships. What they are doing, really, is making a fully-realised retail-quality fighting game that they can never, ever make money on.
They've even put together a team of QA testers, one of which took their test code and dumped it onto the internet this week. So yeah, no more QA testing program.
According to the game's official website, one of the testers of the unofficial My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic PC fighting game "broke (their) trust and a NDA agreement", zipping up the EVO build of the game and casting it to the internet winds. That build, featuring four of the six main characters from Friendship is Magic — Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Twilight Sparkle and Rarity — is now wandering about the internet for all the digital underworld to see.
Needless to say, Mane6 is very disappointed, and they're taking steps to ensure this sort of thing doesn't happen again.
For now, Fighting is Magic will be going on a closed development cycle. No further QA, alpha, beta or testing program will be started or maintained until we have the remaining two characters done for the initial build. In addition BSUs will be cancelled, and no major content-related updates to the website will be forthcoming until further notice, while we at Mane6 deal with this situation and discuss changes for the future of the project.
What's the big deal? This is a game they plan on distributing for free eventually anyway, right?
I think that makes it worse, actually. This isn't some corporate-backed game that will eventually be vying for consumer cash. Mane6 doesn't even take donations for all the work they've done, despite an entire planet of bronies that would gladly hand over all of their cash. It's a labour of love, and that sort of thing should be revealed on their own terms. To be betrayed by someone they trusted like this, well, that's not magical at all.
Open Letter [Mane6]