Japanese publisher terminates crowdfunding campaign over copyright ownership

Capcom cuts off Ghosts ‘n Goblins: Demon World campaign

Capcom has eliminated a Kickstarter campaign for a new, independently produced Ghosts ’n Goblins title declaring copyright infringement.

The campaign page for Ghosts ’n Goblins: Demon World, which was started by Phantasm Studios, has now been replaced by a DMCA notice.

“The project acknowledges its goal is to create an update to the Ghosts ‘N Goblins franchise based upon the characters, stories, music and other copyrightable elements of the Property," reads Capcom’s notice.

"Such unauthorized update would clearly violate Capcom’s exclusive rights under copyright law to create derivative works of the Property. It would also violate Capcom’s trademark rights in the Property. The project admits it will need Capcom’s permission to proceed and has not received one. To its knowledge, Capcom has not been contacted by the project."

Phantasm Studios acknowledged that it did not have Capcom’s full approval when it started the campaign in October.

“Capcom only promised to review our submission, and nothing more. We have only discussed a possibility of a developer’s license if the game is up to their standards. We do not currently have one and may not get one,” said Phantasm CEO and founder Monty Singleton at the time.

"If we can’t secure a developers licence we will change King Arthur and the name of the game, but that is all. Thankfully werewolves, demons, skeletons, reapers, ghosts, goblins, etc. are all public domain. The modifications will be so minor, the changes will be easy and will not change our release schedule."

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