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Indie game Chroma Squad runs afoul of Power Rangers owner

Posted on July 18, 2014 AT 01:33pm

In a message to the game’s backers on Kickstarter, Chroma Squad developer Behold Studios has announced that their game is facing legal action from Power Rangers owner Saban Brands.

“The producers and attorneys from Saban, the company that owns the rights for Power Rangers in the West, have been in contact with us for a while now. They have been playing our game and making some questions about it,” part of the note from Behold Studios reads.

“This week they’ve contacted us to offer a deal. They see two options in this negotiation: the first one being using the court to make sure that our game wouldn’t get released. The second option would be that they would join our project with a royalty share. We both prefer the second option, considering that going into court would be painful for both sides. So, we started a win-win negotiation.”

So, now, my personal opinion on both sides of this matter.

On one hand, it’s easy to feel like this is a giant company bullying a small indie developer, and demanding a cut of the profits from a game that is in no way tied to the Power Rangers brand seems like paying money for nothing in return. As well, Saban isn’t even the creator of Power Rangers technically, as a majority of the footage they use comes from the wide variety of tokusatsu super sentai programs Toei develops and produces in Japan. Given developer Behold Studios originates from Brazil, their influence may have nothing to even do with Power Rangers, instead coming from the original work of Toei and other Japanese companies. (As Toei certainly isn’t the only production studio making these kinds of stories.)

On the other hand, Chroma Squad, being fair, does bear a lot of resemblance not only to Toei’s efforts, but the portion of those efforts that have been brought over to become Power Rangers in the States. Had the developers not made the main characters in the game look so much like that specific line of sentai, then this problem probably would never have cropped up. If all I knew of Chroma Squad was what I saw in screenshots or videos, it would absolutely be easy for me to assume it’s a Super Sentai / Power Rangers game—so if Saban thinks there could be brand confusion over the game, those arguments are probably pretty valid.

Either way, having played Chroma Squad and being pretty excited for it, hopefully this issue doesn’t hurt the game going forward—or the ability of Behold Studios to make enough money from all of their hard work to move on to making another game in the future.

Source: NeoGAF

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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