Sega Takes Shot At Nintendo, Encourages Fans To Keep Making Sonic Stuff

It's been a pretty good time for fan games. We've had a full scale remake of Metroid 2 and an amazing tribute to Sonic the Hedgehog. Only one of these games has been taken down by corporate forces. Last week, the Game Grumps played Green Hill Paradise Act 2. Sega noticed. And gave a big thumbs up.

Instead of rallying lawyers or striking the Game Grumps and Green Hill Paradise Act 2's team with a copyright claim under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, official Sega social media outreach actively encouraged fans to make more games and content.

On the other side of this coin is Nintendo. They took down Metroid 2 remake AM2R, were hitting enough download sites that the creators of Pokemon Uranium felt they needed to take their game down, placed a strike against the fan mash up No Mario's Sky and even removed hundreds of fan titles from Game Jolt. Now, the Game Jolt matter was a bit fraught. The site was making advertisement revenue while hosting those particular games. Still, the difference is night and day when it comes to fan games overall.

Sega's latest dunk on their litigious competition shows a massive difference in how fan content is approached and I think they have gotten it right. Games like Green Hill Paradise Act 2 generate interest in properties and encourage passionate engagement with their franchise. They have even brought fans in to work on projects. Christian Whitehead, a long time fan, is now a programmer on Sonic Mania.

Now, I'm not saying that Nintendo doesn't have a right to protect their characters and trademarks. But Sega's showing an alternate approach and I think a certain plumber could learn a thing or two from the blue hedgehog.


    Sega is out of ideas for sonic and needs rescuing by the community.

    Also, they were famous for shutting down fan videos on YouTube before it was cool. Have we forgotten how litigious they can be?

      Whatever the reason or history.. It's better to reward good behaviour like this with good PR (like this article).

      Encourages companies to take this path, instead of the litigious one.

      This is also the same Sega that prevents Smash Bros streams from playing games on a certain stage because of the music track that plays on it.

    Always seeking the grey area in matters that are black and white, as usual.

    Game Jolt's a different kettle of fish to a game jam game (to say nothing of the Metroid remake) but bundling them all together in a story about a tweet (of all things) is a bit rich.

      It's a YouTube comment not a tweet. Much more respectable.

    Couldn't Sega lose their rights to Sonic by not protecting the copyright? I thought that was the main reason these sorts of projects get shut down quick smart.

      I think the point of it is to make sure others can't make money out of it. Not to restrict their creativity.

      Plus we show our love for something not by sprinkling them with money (even though we're already and still showering the bad guys namely Nintendo with money) but by creating new things out of existing things (ie. fan art and the whatnot)

      Last edited 13/09/16 1:42 pm

      Keep in mind this isn't a SEGA press release. They won't lose their rights to Sonic this way but it does make it harder to defend it when they need to. Their legal team probably wouldn't appreciate statements like this being made via on official SEGA social media accounts.

      Last edited 13/09/16 3:28 pm

    Sega did shut down an amazing Streets of Rage fan game a while back, so it's not all black and white (worth a look at if you can find it btw)

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