IGN is raising questions about the future of the MechWarrior franchise, or in this case, the planned development of MechWarrior 5. IGN claims that--along with its parent company--it received a cease and desist order from Harmony Gold, the co-copyright owner of the Robotech television series. According to the order, the use of certain trademarked figures from the Robotech/Macross universe is prohibited as a result of a 1996 settlement.
As IGN points out, the MechWarrior franchise isn't part of the Robotech/Macross universe, however the similarities between the two intellectual properties have triggered legal issues and have raised questions. "Apparently, some of those trademarked figures appear in the trailer used by Pirahna Games in its announcement of the MechWarrior reboot earlier this year, and a request has been made for that trailer to be pulled from IGN," said IGN's Erik Brudvig.
With that said, it's believed that the development of MechWarrior 5 (working title) could be in jeopardy. On the negative side, a trademark dispute could postpone or even terminate the game's development. On a positive note, the legal troubles could only force the designers to remove certain assets from the game such as specific vehicles, logos, characters and more.
IGN said that it contacted Smith and Tinker, however the company only responded with a "we have no comment on the situation at the time" comment. On an additional note, videos relating to the upcoming MechWarrior 5 games have been removed from YouTube at the request of Harmony Gold.
So someone needs to figure out if MW5 uses protected content. That should be easy to figure out. Then decide to either license the content or INVENT YOUR OWN.
If you really truly believe that copyright has no place in game development why not help out the MW5 guys and offer to develop alternate content and do it for free. No royalties, no rights, no nothing. Just give it to them to use as they see fit.
"Harmony" Gold? Try Passive agressive we can't make a good mech game Gold
Hopefully they remember to remove the Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Harry Potter, and Ronald McDonald mechs before they really have some lawsuits on their hands.