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News: MechWarrior reboot in licensing blunder

Posted on : 07-09-2009 | By : | In : News

Hardware: , ,



Back in the 80’s when the early iterations of Battledroids (then later Battletech) surfaced, many of the designs had been not very surreptitiously lifted from various anime shows. Notably that of Dougram and Macross. FASA were suitably sued for their troubles. That said, over the years FASA did their best to throw several olive branches in the direction of the anime industry. Especially when they hired Shoji Kawamori to pen the designs for the Japanese edition of Battletech.

Fast forward to the recent trailer for the MechWarrior reboot featuring a Warhammer (or a destroid Tomahawk from Macross in case you’re wondering) and it seems that this has opened up the legal can of worms all over again. Considering the original case was with FASA it is interesting that the same designs can come under dispute when the rights are owned by another institution.

Personally, I don’t understand why they just didn’t get Hajime Katoki, Yutaka Izubuchi or Junji Okubo to pen new designs for the reboot and be done with it. At the very least they’d have had mecha that at least looked awesome.


Comments (11)

Seems like the devs originally thought they were in the clear:

The post there doesn’t make much sense to me, though. The court case was common knowledge, and everyone knows how it turned out, but the article implies there was more to the case than what was made official–which doesn’t make too much sense, as it seemed the official result was the same as the one they claimed was part of the secret agreement. Probably some sort of legalese we don’t know about, maybe.

Either way, it seems like less of a blunder and more like an honest misunderstanding.

So which automobile company is going to sue who for having 4 tires on the ground? I can only see simularities in the mechs. I think some cars look alike also.

This is the Tomahawk from Macross…

…and this is the Warhammer from BattleTech

It’s no wonder they got sued (and lost)!

They just took what FASA already stole and brought it forward. This isn’t the only mech either. Should look at the Marauder if I remember correctly…

Indeed, almost all the original designs were directly copied from a number of anime series. The Marauder

…was actually the Glaug from Macross…

…and, my favourite, was the Shadowhawk actually being…

…the Dougram – with much of the mecha’s base capabilities forming the backbone of BattleTech’s ruleset…

Indeed, almost all the original designs were directly copied from a number of anime series. The Marauder

…was actually the Glaug from Macross…

…and, my favourite, was the Shadowhawk actually being…

…the Dougram – with much of the mecha’s base capabilities forming the backbone of BattleTech’s ruleset…

i heard that the original battletech game had permission to use those mech but when fasa bought the game they didn’t get or thought that the models were included. so the lawsuit. I have a huge stash of the “lawsuit mechs” they are great!

That’s because FASA sorted the legal issues out eventually. However, when MechWarrior was sold to Microsoft the legal issues resurfaced as they haven’t paid for the rights to use these mecha.

In point of Fact, The court case was set up by Harmony Gold and Palaldium Games, instigated by Kevin Siembieda of Palladium Games, the gaming company wich had secured the rights for the Robotech RPG from Harmony Gold. Based on the sole idea that since HG had the sole rights to use the Macross footage in this country and that Palladium had secured the license for the game from HG, they were the only possible licensee in this country.

HOWEVER. When Battledroids/Battletech came out in the mid 80’s they had secured the licenses from the ORIGNAL Japanese owners of the images.

In point of Fact FASA had a really good case and if they had decided to actually fight the case out to the very end, had a terrific chance of winning. But FASA was a small company despite their relative success, and the whole gaming industry was in a problematic place at the time.
So it would have destoryed the company financially when it could least afford the expensive court case. So they surrundered their claims to the images willingly, and went about creatign new ones. In point of fact recently they regianed the licenses for everything BUT the so-called Macross 13.

Whoever wrote this article made it sound like FASA was intellectual property thieves, they were nothing even remotely like it. The Japanese owners of the properties did a deal that in the end had no real weight to it.
My reccomendation is for the authors & publishers of this article to research the topic material and actually print the truth. Not this slanted tripe.

Not quite, as you gloss over the initial and substantial rights issues between Harmony Gold and Big West/Tatsunoko/Bandai and the problem isn’t just related to Macross either. As the above pictures show; FASA ripped off Dougram too.

Only one answer for this debacle:

Macross – Battletech – Dougram Crossover!!!

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