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The VGM Lover

Is Star Fox too small to compete against ANY universe?

38 posts in this topic

The VGM Lover    194
The VGM Lover

Star Fox, Star Wars, Star Trek, Mass Effect... Over the past two years, I've become aware of how Star Fox, both as a franchise, and as a universe, is significantly weaker than any other popular series. It can't be compared to anything without almost immediately coming up short of any perks to stand up on.

And needless to say, this is extremely unfortunate. The only thing I'm left to do while thinking about this is just, what can be done? Is there ANYTHING in the sci-fi genre that Star Fox has even a fool's chance against? How do we go about recommending improvements to it that'll finally bring it to the public eye for more than a week?

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ArwingFan    112
ArwingFan

The thing is Starfox is a niche franchise. It's built with a 90s arcade mindset, very little world building even compared to other Nintendo franchises, inconsistent releases, constant tampering the formula and a very split fanbase. Also it has to compete with Metroid, another Nintendo sci-fi with more consistency with game quality and world building. 

Unless Nintendo does some serious remodeling to appeal to a wider audience, it's going to stay as a niche franchise.

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unoservix    546
unoservix

does Star Fox really have to be some giant pop culture colossus like Star Wars? why are we assuming that's better?

i mean first things first can we just settle for Star Fox's video games to stop being shitty? that's probably a bigger problem for the franchise than whether or not it has enough obsessive nerdrage fans to economically support the production of bullshit sourcebooks delving into the rules and structures of a fictional technological system that future writers will just as likely ignore

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The VGM Lover    194
The VGM Lover
On 26/12/2016 at 10:11 PM, Park Won-il said:

I don't really care about the popularity itself, but more demand means more content.

The question then is, how do we drive it?

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The VGM Lover    194
The VGM Lover
8 minutes ago, Park Won-il said:

Like, maybe a Star Fox mod for an Arma game, which is more popular than Star Fox, so people who play Arma games will find out about Star Fox and become more interested in it.

Ok, I can sorta see how that can be done, but the risk here is that it'll probably take years of work, and the end result could still be potentially limited.

Even so, if it gets done, it definitely might drive interest... and, if I could be the devil's advocate again, shut it down again. It would leave so much for that particular community to be desired, that they could easily stop caring as quickly as they started, and because it's a mod, and Nintendo's reputation as DMCA and C&D lover, we could lose the mod itself as quickly as it. I really hope that doesn't happen, and instead, the mod would keep fans and the community talking until Nintendo ups their game, and turns Star Fox, their game production, intensity and content level, up a notch.

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unoservix    546
unoservix

the next step after the cease and desist letter is Nintendo actually suing you, which will cost you shitloads of money, probably even if you somehow win. they usually don't bother because they usually don't have to, cease and desist letters cost nothing to send out and most mods don't even get far enough to warrant one before the modders give up or get bored or get jobs or get laid or whatever.

flagrantly challenging their copyrights, though, is not a fight you're likely to win.

most likely, Nintendo hasn't shut down Star Fox Event Horizon because it's too small for them to even bother.

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Kurt    27
Kurt

All I want is boots on the ground combat, do that and I'll be a happy nerd

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The VGM Lover    194
The VGM Lover
1 hour ago, Kurt said:

All I want is boots on the ground combat, do that and I'll be a happy nerd

Can't blame ya. You know one way they could? Remember that Star Fox Assault Remaster idea I talked about  a while back?

I imagine that another way they could improve it is to give the controls and on-foot gameplay the kind of fluidity that I personally found in the first Lost Planet. Or at the very least, faster aiming. In either a new Star Fox game, or Assault remaster, I believe this should work.

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unoservix    546
unoservix

if he's making money through this mod on Patreon then he should probably tread carefully, because other fanworks have gotten C&D letters for the same. making money for your mod through Patreon isn't a way to bypass copyright.

"what if you're too poor to pay" is one of the reasons why it's not generally in the interest of big companies like Nintendo to go routinely crushing their fans in court. but the nature of copyright law requires copyright owners to take steps to protect their copyrights from infringement. otherwise they lose their exclusive rights to that property. and if they lose those rights, they lose the opportunity to profit from the expense and effort of making a Star Fox game, which means they won't bother making Star Fox games. and the fans won't be replacing Nintendo or any other game development company in terms of making Star Fox games, because fans are fickle and have other things to do with their lives.

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unoservix    546
unoservix

it doesn't really matter what you think. what matters is what the courts think, and their opinion is more complicated. besides which, you can't really say you're not making money off a copyrighted work like Star Fox if you then turn around and ask people to give you money on the basis of your use of the copyrighted work of Star Fox.

if you are sued and can't afford an attorney or to pay a settlement or an award, and you don't have an insurance company covering the cost for you, then whoever sued you is probably not going to get the full amount, they'll just get whatever you can personally afford to pay. presumably if you're in that position, the court would ensure that your settlement or award is something you can actually pay. that's one of the reasons why big companies like Nintendo and Disney don't go suing every single person who makes a Star Fox video game mod or whatever.

and, like i said before, nine times out of ten they don't even have to lift a finger to put an end to mods and fan works that would threaten their copyrights.

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unoservix    546
unoservix

sigh. alright. story time.

if you decide to make a Star Fox mod for a game you're infringing their copyright, because Star Fox belongs to them and not you. but Nintendo is not really gonna give a shit about it unless you are making money for it or getting a whole shitload of notoriety and pageviews and such for it. that's because you'd be making money off of their property. whether or not it "should" be that way is irrelevant because that is the way that it actually is, and for all the whining people do about how much they hate copyright laws, not too many people seem to be willing to actually do anything about them, so i reflexively roll my eyes at any further whining about copyright law.

UndyingNephilim is undoubtedly infringing on Nintendo's copyright. Nintendo probably doesn't care, because they probably don't even know about it, because it is a small mod for a niche property that doesn't realistically threaten to detract from their ability to make money using Star Fox, and because to be honest, there is a better than even chance that he will eventually lose interest or become too busy or whatever and stop working on it, so it's likely to come to an end without Nintendo having to lift a finger. sorry if you're reading, bro, no offense, but the odds are the odds.

if he does create something that genuinely looks like a Star Fox game and uses Star Fox intellectual property, Nintendo still might not care, because Star Fox is a pretty niche property and if he's not making money off of it for himself using Nintendo's toys, he's not cutting into the money Nintendo could be making for Nintendo using Nintendo's toys. but the chance that they do care goes up, because he's getting further along than most modders.

and if he starts making money off of it, by charging people directly to play his Star Fox game or by asking for donations on Patreon on the basis of making a Star Fox game, then they are definitely going to care and when Nintendo finds out they will almost certainly be sending him a Cease and Desist letter, because he would be using Nintendo's property to make money for himself.

Nintendo would probably rather just let UndyingNephilim get bored of his Star Fox mod or get too busy and drop it, because that way the copyright infringement ends without them having to do anything. if he gets far enough that they feel he might actually succeed at creating something that materially interferes with their copyright, then they'd rather just send a C&D letter and hope he gives up or takes out the Star Fox elements or whatever, because the butthurt North Korean furry fanboys will forget about it in a week and life will go on. they would rather not file a lawsuit against him, because unless he's making mad bank he's not telling the rest of us about, Nintendo wouldn't get much money out of him in a lawsuit and grinding a fan of their property into dust in a courtroom is not really good PR.

but! if he gets that far and starts interfering with their ability to make money off of their property and wipes his ass with their C&D letter or whatever, they have to take these steps to stop him, or else risk letting everyone else make money off of their property too. at that point, Nintendo can't make money off of Star Fox anymore, and if they can't make money off of Star Fox anymore, they have no reason to make any Star Fox media anymore.

but x 2! don't go thinking that fans like UndyingNephilim will SAVE TEH FRANCHIZE, because remember, 99 times out of 100, fan-made video games are never finished. and, honestly, what does get finished will not be a professional, high-quality product in all but the most vanishingly rare of cases (Black Mesa is the first one that comes to my mind, and that one more or less had Valve's blessing*). and what's more, Star Fox is still a niche product that not many people care about. so basically, if Nintendo allows the Star Fox copyright to lapse, then basically you are realistically looking at no more Star Fox.

*while i'm at it, this is also a route you can try! work with the copyright holder and such. you would probably have to give up any possibility of sneaking around the copyright to make money off of their stuff, like via Patreon or whatever, but you would be able to operate with the copyright holder's approval and so not have to fear getting nuked by lawyers one day out of the blue. but whether or not you will get the copyright holder's blessing is up to the copyright holder, because it is still their stuff, not yours. if Nintendo isn't all that cool with letting you play with their toys, well, bummer for you.

tl;dr: the question you should be asking yourself isn't "am i infringing on Nintendo's copyright by making this Star Fox fangame?" because the answer is yes. the question you should be asking yourself is "does Nintendo have any good reason to care about what i'm doing?"

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The VGM Lover    194
The VGM Lover

Ok... What I got from all this...

No. Star Fox doesn't hold a candle to anything, and any attempts by fans to help it try are at this point, futile.

... I'm a truly sad Star Fox fan, right now. The future... is really grim for my favorite franchise.

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StarMaverick    29
StarMaverick

I just wanted a new starfox game with Original And longer story,as well as Improvement on the Ground Combat.(And also, Bring back Algy!)

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Robert Monroe    718
Robert Monroe

ya'll crackers are depressing sacks sometimes

 

Starfox is small and undeveloped yes but this isn't a bad thing in and of itself

 

its ok to be a superfan of something niche and low-key you dorks god

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Dr. Orange    1,552
Dr. Orange

in all real talk I'm with Amcintyr on this. SF universe is small as all hell and really needs expanding. Or atleast more fan commitment similar to the zootopia fans. Is not needed to enjoy the games but like it'd keep the fan base more active. Plus it's fun.

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The VGM Lover    194
The VGM Lover

It would be. And I really hope it does happen, cos I would really like to know more about the ins and outs of those ships.

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InfinitySquared    163
InfinitySquared

We definitely do need some sort of group fan-project to rally the fans around. Stuff like AFIS is wonderful, but it's just Fred doing all the work (if he could do all the voice acting, I bet he would), so there's not really much else for fans to do but watch him livestream and maybe talk with him. I'm not saying we need to make the perfect ideal flawless magical Star Fox fangame that pleases everyone and gets GOTY2017, but ya know, just a little project here and there that gets people involved and maybe turns a few heads?

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unoservix    546
unoservix

yeah, all i'm saying as far as that goes is people who make big involved mods like Event Horizon should understand that the further along they get, the likelier it is that Nintendo will tell them to knock it off, and they should be prepared to shut down or retool their work to remove the Star Fox stuff or whatever.

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InfinitySquared    163
InfinitySquared

Hell, I'm surprised that AFIS has been able to slip by under the radar, despite the fair amount of coverage it's gotten. Then again, it's really just an extremely large-scale bit of fanart/fanfiction, and thus isn't in any way, shape, or form competing with any official Star Fox media or masquerading as such. A fan-game, or whatever the hell Event Horizon is (it just looks like dumb fanart tbh), on the hand would infringe upon that boundary, even though of course someone playing a fan-game probably has all the official (and unofficial) games or plans on buying them. That seems to me like the logic behind all these C&D letters.

 

In all honesty, Event Horizon'll peter out, and AFiS could go either way, and that's what Nintendo's banking on.

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OneUnder    1,973
OneUnder

(Sorry to be tardy to the party, folks.  Got home from work late last night and went straight to bed.  I'll work on making sense of the riot that occurred within the posts I just hid now.)

I'm with Rob on this one - small fanbases aren't necessarily a bad thing.  It would be nice to have more widespread appeal, but having tight-knit communities can be just as enjoyable at times.  Star Fox needs some basic groundwork and decent games before expansion of appeal could even dreamed of being attained.

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Dr. Orange    1,552
Dr. Orange
8 hours ago, InfinitySquared said:

Hell, I'm surprised that AFIS has been able to slip by under the radar.

Actually it didn't. Nintendo gave the C&D to him back when it was SFAS. Gave it a rename do hide the relation.

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Wreckingcanon    11
Wreckingcanon

Good thing about a small fan base is that it is much less likely to fracture into several hostile factions against each other.

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StarMaverick    29
StarMaverick
6 hours ago, Wreckingcanon said:

Good thing about a small fan base is that it is much less likely to fracture into several hostile factions against each other.

Thank goodness about that or else fan will fight over which couples is cannon. *Cough Cough* Sonic Fanbase.

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unoservix    546
unoservix
On 12/29/2016 at 8:37 PM, unoservix said:

it doesn't really matter what you think. what matters is what the courts think, and their opinion is more complicated. besides which, you can't really say you're not making money off a copyrighted work like Star Fox if you then turn around and ask people to give you money on the basis of your use of the copyrighted work of Star Fox.

and what should fall out of the sky a few days later but an example of what a court thinks! it's fifteen pages of Star Trek reference-laden motion-for-summary-judgment-denying geekness that also highlights what the courts presently think of this very issue.

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Robert Monroe    718
Robert Monroe

A tad egregious honestly though, fan films have existed for ages. Is this one getting a lawsuit because its adapting a canon character or something? Hrmph. 

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