A fan developer has been sent a letter by a lawyer representing Interplay to remove fanworks created for MUGEN based on Interplay’s ClayFighter series.
For those unfamiliar, MUGEN is an adaptable game engine that allows users to easily add characters of their own design. Since the program’s release in 1999 players have added all sorts of characters never-before-seen in a fighting game such as Hina Ichigo from Rozen Maiden, as well as imported fighting game characters like Ryu from Street Fighter.
MUGEN projects are generally not for profit, as appears to be the case here according to the developer. But even more surprising is how Interplay seemed to rise from the dead just to threaten legal action against a small fan project.
For context, the latest ClayFighter release was 1998’s ClayFighter: Sculptor’s Cut which was actually a “Blockbuster Video rental exclusive”. Interplay is otherwise known for creating the Fallout franchise and publishing the original Baldur’s Gate.
You can check out the trailer ClayFighter: Infinite Clayfare below.
According to the MUGEN Fighter’s Guild thread on the situation, the developer will likely cease their project, though it appears there’s little Interplay could do against individual ClayFighter characters being made for MUGEN.
The developer also appears to be redirecting their energy into an original project in the wake of potential litigation. This type of pivot has been successful before when Them’s Fightin’ Herds was created from a My Little Pony fan game shut down by Hasbro.