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Why fangames could save the game industry

Nothing shows love to your favorite game like making your own fangame to tell a new adventure and even improve on the faults of the original design. Heck, maybe you or a team worked on a fangame and decided to show off “X-Fangame” to the world and hey… maybe you’ll even get your favored company to recognize your devotion to it. Great news everyone! They will recognize you in the most !@#%ing sincerest way possible ensuring you got their attention. Though Sega has seemingly chilled on this issue, Nintendo hasn’t budged at all with fangames.

Fangames, in my opinion, are wonderful. I remember the plethora of WADS for Doom, and man… that was great stuff. John Carmack and John Romero were damn sure to include the ability to do mods (WADS). Read Masters of Doom…no really, read it. To this day, WADS are still keeping the Doom community alive and thriving even more, and it’s a game that came out when I was ten years old. (Note: Also try Brutal Doom if you like going on demon killing rampages. It really quenches the blood thirst). id Software did well with this model and their reputation in gaming is well known and helped Doom sell. Nintendo, you shall have to be my primary target for the rest of the article because I loved your games so much back in the day and still do… But your aggressive behavior and draconian corporate structure are going to hurt you in the long run. Even though I am impressed how Switch turned out, the Wii U was a very very ugly console, along with Mario Maker which has inspired a lot but is not enough. We will see if the game library will keep up and present us even more exciting reasons to sit on the couch.

Hell, there are people making remakes of the original Legend of Zelda and I bet plenty of people would pay money for it… If Nintendo would stop thinking everything has to be in ultra high-grade graphics like, well, every other company thinks to these days with only the highest budget. So many studios are betting an entire studio on expensive games lately. I listened to a Hastings College speech by this filmmaker and actor on how studios are risking the entire studio per movie. His name, I think, was Bruce Campbell. Smart guy, if I might say so, and I may have seen one…two… all his movies… But it’s insane how he explains film studios in Hollywood blow on movies these days. AAA game developers are doing the same thing. I can bet you that if Destiny totally bombed with the price tag it cost to develop and market it, the name Bungie would be memed into the history books forever.

25 million in players is not a failure, that’s a U.S. state population.

With the total costs of Destiny being damn near half the price of a B-2 bomber, you can bet your bottom dollar that #%^holes were puckered at Bungie on release day. Seriously, how much would it really cost Nintendo to make a NES retro sequel to the Legend of Zelda (ignoring the 2d side scrolling sequel that’s been hotly debated)? It shouldn’t be difficult (for Nintendo this should be a joke to make) or costly, and it nearly advertises itself. I know good and well Nintendo hasn’t suddenly developed overnight an explosive allergic reaction to making money. Nintendo has even shot down our developers for outdoing their original, which Larry Bundy Jr. (Guru Larry) explains this very well in a video about Shigeru Miyamoto. As if Miyamoto were worried he would be pushed into a broom closet one day. Come on, he is Shigeru Miyamoto, he wasn’t going anywhere in the hierarchy of Nintendo. You got to prop up your subordinates for the next generation of developers. Inspire, teach, lead and learn from another to produce a fun and entertaining experience of the utmost quality when it comes to interactive entertainment.

Where do all these analogies boil down to? Well, it says some game developers are getting way out of touch with fans, selling what we don’t want, and stopping us from getting what we do want. I mean, seriously, there is a meme about tossing your money at companies for their products. The Nintendo Classic situation was baffling on how they released and discontinued it. Seriously, are they afraid of the shadow of their own legacy when they saw the sales explode like hell for that sucker? These fangames show polish that, in my opinion, exceeds some of the AAA developer titles like the fangame Sonic Fan Remix. I shed tears over Chrono Resurrection and that’s what I want to play, not boy band adventures. Why not reach out to these fan game developers like Sega did. Who knows what sort of collaboration bringing in fresh blood will do for the company, and it’s time to step up and reach out further.

No one stays on stop forever as Atari and Sega have taught us, despite their enormous success in the past. I’m not saying don’t protect your intellectual property, otherwise, Nintendo wouldn’t exist long if a hundred unlicensed Mario games were allowed to wander around. I say to Nintendo and many others, why not consider publishing these fangames. Especially you, Nintendo, some fangames are better than the !@$% you put that seal of approval on that you were so proud of in the 1980’s. Make a compromise like this.  Take a chance with these groups. You’ve banked on a lot worse.


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Russell Davis

About the Author: Russell Davis is the Lead Programmer and Co-Owner of Reject Force Entertainment, and also portrays the eccentric rich tycoon Ramblington Babblington in Run on the Bank. A 2D side scrolling shooter design in homage of old arcade and 8-bit console games for Android that's currently in development. We strive for only the quality lunacy. If you want to support Run on the Bank, visit us at our Patreon, and thank you for reading! Become a Patron!

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