Final Fantasy Fan Film Kickstarter Project, Apparently With Square Enix's Tacit Approval

from the good-signs dept

Video game giant Square Enix has never had a great track record when it comes to opting for lawyers over any kind of fan-created works built off of its properties. In fact, far from even making any attempt to encourage its fans, Square instead seems to enjoy the sledgehammer approach. Whether it was shutting down a fan-game set in the enormously popular Chronno Trigger universe, or a similar effort to create an OpenCarmageddon, the trend you'll notice is that these legal moves are made against some of the most rabid fans of some of the most beloved game franchises around.

So what would Square do if someone wanted to build off of what is almost certainly its most beloved franchise, the Final Fantasy games? Well, apparently the company will quietly okay it. At least, that's the case with the Kickstarter project for Final Fantasy 7: The Web Series, which has reportedly secured some of the necessary rights from Square Enix to move forward.

Today the team launched a Kickstarter to raise $400,000 for the project, which is now a 5-6-episode webseries based on Square's popular role-playing game. They say they've got the blessing of series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi—and the rights to use music from Final Fantasy VII.

"We have been in contact with SE for several months, and have attained full music rights," producer Dan Purcell told me in an e-mail today. "We have not however been endorsed or backed by SE. We have passed all necessary steps, including Kickstarter's review process."
Now, this doesn't explicitly say that the company, Square Enix, has given everyone involved the go-ahead for the project, but it's hard to imagine the film creators going through the steps of securing music rights, contacting Sakaguchi, and then leaving it all to risk of the game developer's lawyers. In addition, the Q&A on Kickstarter indicates that the filmmakers have been reaching out to Square, that Square's general counsel is definitely aware of the project, and that the trailer for the series has even appeared on Square's website. I would guess that there has been at least some assurance made that nobody is going to get sued over this and, before anyone rushes to point out that the fans went the route of securing rights, that's only true of the music and no project of this kind is going to be able pay the kind of massive costs rights-holders have previously required. From all appearences, it looks like Square is playing nice.

And if that has indeed happened, it's a huge step forward for Square, and a step that might just be becoming a trend. The company recently went a little more lax when OCRemix, famed video game music organization, wanted to pay tribute to Final Fantasy 6, and Square gave its blessing. If it was now to give a muted nod to this fan film project building off of one of its most popular games ever, it might just be an indication that the company is rethinking its legalistic ways. And that'd be good for all fans of the game, because the web series looks fantastic.
If the films are as good as the trailer, they're a big old kick in the crotch to all those that decry fan-generated content. Not to mention a boon to those of us that go all teen-girl-at-a-Bieber-concert for anything related to Final Fantasy 7. I'll be keeping an eye on this to make sure Square doesn't poop the bed, but so far it looks like the company is probably going to play nice.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 12:16am

    But if they allow fan made films to take off and start a  trend how will the corporate bigwigs tie in the product placements and exclusive brand partnering with the fast food joints?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 12:44am

    Re:

    I suspect that any attempt to do this with a product that's currently in development would be met with lawyers. You'd be unlikely to see an Assassins Creed fan movie met with such open arms, for example (not least because there's an official movie in the works).

    But, a 15 year old product with a rabid fanbase but expensive official spin-offs that haven't made huge amounts of money (IIRC, anyway)? Why not, palm off the risk, gain the reward...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 12:51am

    correction: Chrono Trigger

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 1:02am

    Remember that one time Square Enix was like "It's perfectly okay for you to go ahead with Chrono Resurrection" but then when they were six months away from the release date, they immediately sicked the lawyer-dogs on them?

    Yeah, Square Enix is like a Hippo. It looks cute and unsuspecting in pictures or when you see it at the zoo, but it is extremely prone to suddenly going berserk and murdering tourists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    WeChat for PC, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:11am

    Insane

    It is really insane

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Lurker Keith, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 3:28am

    Yay!

    I hope I get to see this one. I missed the Zelda fanfilm that Nintendo let be shown, then pulled by the end of that year, by just a few days. v_v

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Mega1987 (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:17am

    FFVII series!?

    Seriously?
    Am I expecting the story of the main FFVII game, from disc one to three?

    SHUT UP YOU CRITICS AND TAKE MY MONEY, BODY AND SOUL!!!!

    MAKE THIS A REALITY!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:37am

    Re: FFVII series!?

    I want to see the infamous Cloud cross-dressing scene, that part was hilarious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Mega1987 (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    Re: Re: FFVII series!?

    don't forget the sidequest he must do to get to that part... hehehe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re: Re: FFVII series!?

    Like the part where he ends up in a hot tub full of muscular porn-stached wrestlers and says something along the lines that he was gangbanged? Oh yeah, totally didn't understand it when I saw it as a kid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: FFVII series!?

    Don't forget the chocobo races

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Mega1987 (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: FFVII series!?

    and near the final chapter of Disc one... the dates man.

    I who's gonna be Cloud's date?

    Aerith?
    Tifa?
    Yuffie?

    Barret...!? XD (to those who are new to the series... yes, you can date Barret... :P)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    OCRemix

    The company recently went a little more lax when OCRemix, famed video game music organization, wanted to pay tribute to Final Fantasy 6, and Square gave its blessing.
    Only after first shutting down the project. (OCR is bound by NDA now, so there aren't a lot of details available.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    horse with no name, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 7:14am

    difference

    It would appear to be the difference between asking permission and begging forgiveness - and doing the begging in front of well paid lawyers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 7:25am

    Like to point out that the FF6 ocremix project was initially c&d'ed by square off kickstarter. Ocremix apparently did not seek permission initially. After negotiations the project was allowed to continue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 7:26am

    The point is you still need to ask for permission regardless of legal standing. You will get lawyers otherwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    So these fan artists are being allowed to raise money, but will they be allowed to make money from their work once it is complete? Oh no. That would be illegal. Hooray for copyright! It helps artists make money!

    (Forgive me. I'm a little bitter that I can't sell my fanfiction.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 24th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Well, they certainly couldn't do any worse than Hollywood did with "The Spirits Within".
    "Advent Children" wasn't too bad, but "Spirits Within" SUCKED.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    [citation needed or GTFO], Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: FFVII series!?

    Maybe Cloud can go the harem route and try to juggle all four dates at the same time. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Swappers, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 3:51pm

    Final Fantasy

    I don't know about you, but I can't wait for Final Fantasy XV to come out! I have been waiting for that game because I think it will go back to classic game play like what we want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Tusshar Rajput, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 2:41am

    Something really nice you have posted here, I really like it very much!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This