Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog: Marvel Brothel Forced Off The Interwabs!?

If you read my last blog then you'll know that I was pretty excited for fellow amateur developer Calunio, whose game, Marvel Brothel, had managed to get a thousand-or-so downloads over the course of a weekend. This was all thanks to a few features by websites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun and, although a couple of thousand might not seem like much to people used to the mammoth view counts on sites like YouTube, it would've been a massive deal to Calunio; to get such a spike in activity and interest is every amateur developer's dream.

Not only is it every amateur developer's dream to see their game take off like that, it was probably extra special for Calunio because I know he had waited a long time for his game to be taken anything close to seriously. A lot of people saw the title of the game and thought it was a joke or something and I guess I can't really blame them because I did the exact same thing the first time I saw it. However, after playing it (thanks to a review request, which I never actually got around to writing...) I found out that it wasn't a joke at all; I discovered that it was a well-built management sim that deserved to be taken more seriously!

Unfortunately, especially for those of you who tried to follow the link in my last blog, Calunio was forced to take the game down from the internet. Why? Because someone at Marvel caught onto what was going on and decided to issue him with some sort of request to take it down. I imagine there were threats of a legal kind or something similar but...

Why would they do this?

The amateur community, especially the RPGMaker community, is full of games that rip material from other sources, yet very few of them are forced to be taken down. There are games made with resources from established companies; there are fan-games for a multitude of different series; there are games that take characters from a mish-mash of different sources and try to smash them together; and there are even a load of total clones floating around. Hell, there was even someone trying to de-make Final Fantasy VII using RPGMaker 2003 once over. What makes Calunio's work different from all these other titles?

I see only three options:

a) The popularity of the title: I don't think I have ever seen a download rate like the one Marvel Brothel was getting at its peak over the weekend. The argument here is basically that the popularity of the game meant it was more likely to be seen by a Marvel employee and hence more likely to be pulled.

b) It was pulled purely because of the content, which would be ironic since there isn't much in the way of lewd material contained in the game; there's certainly nothing that would make you blush.

c) Marvel are cunts.

The first of the two options seems the most likely at first, but games like Kentona's Hero's Realm have managed to be featured in magazines and amass thousands of downloads without being forced off the internet. This makes me doubt that this alone is the reason.

The second reason then becomes the most likely candidate. If you were the one who originally designed or wrote a character, would you be peeved that they were starring in a game about a brothel? I guess you probably would. But would you be so annoyed that you'd force a fairly harmless game off the internet? Probably not unless:

You were a cunt.


  1. they are, i mean cmon they already have tons of money

  2. Feels bad man. Too bad about the game.

  3. it was probably the last explanation no doubt

  4. very interesting
    keep up the good work

  5. ya thats gay i wanted to play it too...

  6. but yea i dont think they deserved it

  7. this one piqued my interest the most... keep it coming

  8. this is a good follow up to your last post

  9. nice, I'm looking forward to the next one

  10. Thanks for this! Yes, that sucked big time... and I was very surprised by that, because I don't think my game is unique in any way to deserve that special kind of attention from Marvel. Anyways... it's sad, but there are still some downloads of it around, posted by people who got it in time. I wrote a blog post about it too.
    By the way, your blog is really cool! Originally I thought you were just going to post old reviews and some new ones. But it looks awesome. Good work!

  11. that's a unique perspective on it