Unlicensed Ghosts ‘N Goblins Kickstarter Terminated

Capcom shut down Phantasm Studios’ reboot project due to an intellectual property dispute.

By Anthony Vigna. Posted 12/17/2013 12:00 6 Comments     ShareThis

A while back, indie developer Phantasm Studios decided to launch a Kickstarter for its upcoming game, Ghosts ‘N Goblins: Demon World. While the developer launched this campaign without the license for the series, CEO Monty Singleton assured gamers that Phantasm already had a chance to talk Capcom about the game.

“Capcom only promised to review our submission, and nothing more,” he said. “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.”

Singleton said that even if Capcom decided not to support the project, he would make the game as a spiritual successor by removing notable Ghost ‘N Goblins elements, like King Arthur himself, from the final product. However, it seems that this is now an impossibility, as Capcom has shut down the project in its entirety over an intellectual property dispute. The company even stated that it never actually talked with anyone from Phantasm Studios!

“The project admits it will need Capcom’s permission to proceed and has not received one,” said Capcom’s DCMA notice. “To its knowledge, Capcom has not been contacted by the project.”

What do you think of the situation? Are you completely unsurprised by the outcome, like myself? Do you wish you were still able to play a new Ghosts ‘N Goblins game? Sound off in the comments below!

Sources: Indie Statik, Nintendo Life

6 Responses to “Unlicensed Ghosts ‘N Goblins Kickstarter Terminated”

  • 945 points
    penduin says...

    Not the least bit surprised. I sure wish Capcom would warm up to the idea of revisiting their beloved classic properties though. On their own, or through these indie developers who love those old games so much that they risk and suffer legal action attempting to revive them.

    Like many companies, Capcom is acting like an infant. You don’t even want Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Capcom, you’re just bawling because someone else was trying to play with it.

    Thumb up 0
  • 612 points
    ejamer says...

    @penduin:
    Wow, Capcom certainly has their problems but it’s silly to blame them in this situation. They have a legal *obligation* to squash the project because it is blatantly stealing their IP.

    I’m all for an homage or even a reskinned remake/update of the old games. But if the dev team making the game is so creatively bankrupt that they can’t even rename the game or redraw the assets before appealing for public funding, how can you trust them to provide a solid game?

    To me, “acting like an infant” is a better description for people who act without thinking and actively refuse to respect the rights and properties of others.

    Thumb up 0
    • 945 points
      penduin says...

      It’s true that Ghosts ‘n Goblins is Capcom’s property, and they must protect their trademarks, and long live capitalism, and all that stuff. I can see that.

      What I find sad is the jump to legal action before engaging in a real conversation. If there’s a team of developers out there willing to do the work and revive a beloved franchise, one that Capcom is doing absolutely nothing with, why not see if they can strike up some kind of contract or license or other iota of good faith communication before jumping right to the lawyers?

      Slamming doors instead of listening to diehard fans and potential partners just seems childish, as does the corporate culture which, as you point out, makes that almost the necessary course of action.

      Thumb up 0
      • 612 points
        ejamer says...

        Your perspective is skewed – perhaps by youth or naivety. Perhaps for some other reason.

        If YOU want to use someone else’s property for your personal gain, then YOU need to ask permission first instead of hoping they will just be ok with what you did after the fact. In real life, this is common courtesy and common sense. In corporate culture, it’s a legal requirement because (unfortunately) far too many people don’t have the brains or respect to play fair otherwise.

        None of this is on Capcom; fault is entirely and very clearly on Phantasm Studios. How could they possibly not understand that this would be a problem when submitting the project? Using someone else’s property without asking doesn’t show respect, professionalism, or that you are a trustworthy potential partner. If someone took stuff from you without permission, would you approach them with a smile and offering to cut a deal or just ask for your stuff back?

        The unfortunate part is that it really wouldn’t be hard to do a “spiritual successor” that was legally in the clear and then try to get on-board with Capcom to transition the game to an official Ghosts ‘n Goblins title afterwards. The fact that they weren’t able to put together a campaign with that in mind pretty much convinces me that they simply weren’t competent enough to think funding would be successful without stealing a notable franchise tag for advertising purposes.

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        • 945 points
          penduin says...

          I won’t argue about this (or my age, thanks for calling me young!) any further. You’re entitled to your opinion and you understand reality; my position is that reality could use some work. Hit archive.org and check out the pre-takedown campaign. Phantasm’s plan was exactly as you say it should have been. Maybe they were dishonest about having contacted Capcom first, or maybe Capcom’s legal team didn’t do their homework. Maybe both.

          As a gamer, I’m bummed that Capcom isn’t as interested in there being a new Mega Man or Ghosts ‘n Goblins as I am. Fair?

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  • 612 points
    ejamer says...

    Fair enough.

    Also, my apologies – I have no idea what your age is and suggesting that you might be young wasn’t intended as a slight. That comment was added because majority people that I know who have similarly idealistic opinions are 25 or under. Certainly not everyone, and some would argue that mid-20s is far from young anyway. All depends on your perspective (and mine is much too old by now).

    Although we disagree where to put blame (I’m still raw at Phantasm for mismanaging a great idea for a new game; you seem to be disappointed in Capcom for killing a project that sounded interesting… although I suspect your disappointment may be a “pattern of behavior” thing where fans have been let down multiple times across multiple franchises) we do agree about the end result. Everyone interested in the franchise is worse off for not having a new entry in the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series – regardless of who developed.

    Thumb up 1

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