Fan-Made GoldenEye Remake Rebrands After Legal Action

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goldeneye remake

This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour from the British isles.

A fan-made recreation of GoldenEye 007 has been forced to swiftly rebrand after a legal challenge from the IP holder. In a post this morning, the creators of GoldenEye 25, an attempt to recreate the classic FPS in Unreal Engine 4 in time for its 25th anniversary in 2022, said that they had been asked to cease development.

The team’s statement says that the IP holder (MGM/Danjaq) had issued the request, and that it would be complying. Legal action “was always in the back of our heads as a possibility but we’ve tried out best to keep going.” The Twitter account pertaining to the account has since been deleted.

Not to be held back by anything as minor as the threat of legal action, however, the team says it’s going to continue its work, which it started back in 2018; “we cannot do a Bond game but we can still do a great game with all the beloved aspects of our favourite 90’s action shooter.”

With that in mind, it directs fans and followers to its new project – dubbed Project Ianus – where it’s sharing the few tweaks it’s making to attempt to dodge around the copyright. I hope things work out for them – this is yet another example of the ways in which well-meaning fans can get stymied by the lawyers, but a quick pivot to something original means all that work is less likely to be for nothing.

Comments

  • This happens every time.
    Finish it first!!!
    You need to release it and let it get out there. Once that happens it can’t be put back in the bag.

    • Ianus is an alternative spelling of Janus, the name Roman god that Alec Trevelyan uses as an alias in the Goldeneye movie. By that respect, by using a reference to the movie but using a different spelling of it, it actually appears to be extremely well thought out.

  • “Legal action was always in the back of our heads as a possibility”… its not a possibility, its inevitable, always.

    Fan projects need to stop using copyrighted art, assets and start calling them “spiritual successors”

    If they want to use copyrighted material… don’t put it in the releases game. Mod it in after release.

  • Why don’t IP holders just work with the fan remakes. In the case of quality fan work, the development has already been done. Sign a deal to split some % of the profit to the fan Devs and publish the game. Win-win situation

    • because especially in the USA they have weird copyright issues. it makes not persuing legal action a problem because not doing it about something known can cause problems in the future with infringment.

      that said it’s a fan game that didn’t reach out and try to gain permission from the ip holders at any time. can’t make a business using the starbucks logo without permission from starbucks first. no one complains about that.

      • You’re thinking of trademarks: there’s no “enforce it or lose it” laws for copyrights.

        But even for trademarks, there is no requirement that enforcement requires you to send cease and desist letters to everyone in the fan community. You can also license use of the trademark under certain conditions, which won’t weaken the holder’s ability to prevent unauthorised use outside of those conditions.

    • Also IP rights are not that simple, it’s a real nightmare to even find out every party who owns a part of that product.

      GOG and other developers who specialise in seeking permissions to digitally sell old games (and make them compatible to modern systems) have said sometimes no one knows who actually owns the legal rights to something, or there are two many parties from source code, music, intellectual property, story, graphics… that it just takes one person to say NO that it just grinds to a halt.

      Remember this is just the movie IP owner saying No, not the developer, publisher or the author. Just one No.

      Also a lot of IP holders are sitting on this stuff with their own “plans” that will never happen, or don’t believe a small fan project is worth their time or money. Also a lot of fan projects just don’t know how to “pitch” a project and win approval.

    • Social media. That is what is different.
      MGM didn’t hear about this project, a media watch company that scrubs social media feeds for keywords found it, sent it to MGM

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