Monday, 11 March 2013

A belated comment on Fighting is Magic

There's a simple reason why I haven't said anything before about Mane6 and their ceased-and-desisted Fighting is Magic game, and that's that I'm one of the (minority of?) fans who was never all that interested it in the first place. Don't get me wrong: what I saw of it in videos and so on was very impressive, and it's a great shame that Hasbro's actions came so very close to the end of the development process. But I didn't bother playing the leaked alpha. I just don't find fighting games very interesting, and never have. Driving games, yes. Fighting games, no.

Lauren Faust is, of course, a fantastic person for offering to work with the Mane6 team to turn the game into an original-IP product with some of her own characters. I hope that whatever's eventually released will be a success, assuming it plays as well as Fighting is Magic looked. But will I play it? Frankly, no I won't. If I were a fighting-game fan, I probably would, especially given Faust's involvement. But I'm not, and the MLP angle was the only reason I'd have been interested in playing Fighting is Magic.

All right, so what about Hasbro? Well, they had the right to do this; nobody with a brain can question that. It's their IP. Whether they had to do it is another matter. I'm not sufficiently familiar with these things to say, but if common sense had anything to do with the law (I know, ha ha) they'd have left it alone. This was bad PR for Hasbro, no question. There's actually a case for saying that their worst offence was not doing something about it earlier, since I simply don't believe nobody at the company knew about Fighting is Magic until just recently.

We all know, Hasbro included, that the brony fandom would not exist in anything like its current form and size had Hasbro cracked right down on YouTube, in particular, from the start. They have the legal right to do so; MLP:FiM is their intellectual property. They also calculate, I think correctly, that only a small minority of bronies will do the dreaded "leaving the fandom" thing over this. So it's probably a business decision as much as anything else... and Hasbro is, undoubtedly, a business.


  1. It's all very interesting, because I doubt anyone would ever have expected Lauren Faust to get involved to *that* extent. I seem to remember hearing that she was a fan of the original game idea, but of course that got scrapped. A mutual friend of ours said there were strong rumours that as part of the deal, when Lauren was negotiating the original MLP contract a few years back, Hasbro promised they'd use one of her other projects. And then they backed out of the deal, which didn't exactly make Ms Faust very happy. So this could be seen by some as a bit of a "up yours" to Hasbro, though I don't imagine we'll know for sure.

    1. It would be fascinating to know — but as you say, it's unlikely. I guess that there is (or at least was) some tension between Faust and Hasbro, since if her reason for leaving were something straightforward then I expect we'd know about it. But whether we'll ever find out is another question.