MechWarrior 5 Legal Troubles Brewing

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.

  • theholylancer
    I believe I say it for all gamers to these cash whores: fuck them
  • fitzergerald
    Another copywrite law kicking the consumer in the ass…
  • jellico
    Damn! I was really looking forward to a new MechWarrior game. It's been WAY too long! I hope they can work this out. It's really irritating when legal crap gets in the way of a really anticipated title.
  • NocturnalOne
    Yeah yeah copyright laws are annoying until *you* come up with content you want to protect. I bet you'll sing a different tune then. Sure you can release everything you do into the public domain but just like most people don't walk around handing out money to everyone they meet, most people want to get paid for their work.

    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.
  • igot1forya
    I don't see the problem... just rename the Mechs make cosmetic changes, the auto and airline industry has been doing it sense the beginning of time!
  • thearm
    Lawyers. I do not feel bad about downloading media. Because, it's not about the art to a fat fingered fat cat, and it should be. They should work something out.
  • tenor77
    This is an old story really. I believe it was the Phoenix Hawk that got them in arms. That mech was pulled long ago.

    "Harmony" Gold? Try Passive agressive we can't make a good mech game Gold
  • hellwig
    Apparently, some of those trademarked figures appear in the trailer used by Pirahna Games in its announcement of the MechWarrior reboot earlier this year
    If you know you aren't allowed to use trademarked figures from someone else's works, why would you include them at all? Mech Warrior has been around for ages, but you couldn't find a way to reboot the game without using copyrighted works created after the original game? How stupid do you have to be?

    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.
  • hunter315
    I thought they had settled this issue years ago, thats why the mechs always looked different from the macross stuff. They will probably just get some royalties off the sales and be happy with that, if not they are just being asses.
  • khaydin
    Wow... you must have to be pretty drunk to think anything from Macross/robotech looks like a mech from mechwarrior. I don't believe any mechs from mechwarrior turn into planes/spaceships. I hate people who look for any reason to take people to court. If I knew people IRL who did something like this I'd punch them in the face and sue them for breaking my knuckles.