Yesterday, we reported that internet meme creators Torres and Schmidt were filing a lawsuit against Scribblenauts developers 5th Cell and publishers Warner Bros. over copyright infringement within the Scribblenauts series.
Now, Torres has issued a statement to Eurogamer claiming that the lawsuit had been misreported and is determined to set the record straight. He claims that he was unaware about the use of the meme in Scribblenauts until it appeared in the debut trailer for its latest instalment – Nyan Cat was copyrighted in 2011, while Scribblenauts Unlimited was released in 2012.
The statement reads:
“We reached out to the companies in hopes of working out an amicable resolution of the issue, yet were disrespected and snubbed each time as nothing more than nuisances for asking for fair compensation for our intellectual property. That’s not right. I have no issues with Nyan Cat being enjoyed by millions of fans as a meme , and I have never tried to prevent people from making creative uses of it that contribute artistically and are not for profit. But this is a commercial use, and these companies themselves are protectors of their own intellectual property. Many other companies have licensed Nyan Cat properly to use commercially.
“In Scribblenauts Unlimited, you have to actually type out the words ‘Nyan Cat’ and ‘Keyboard Cat’ to get our characters to appear in the game. In fact, the game forbids you from making any copyright references in their games with a pop-up error. Meanwhile, 5th Cell recently negotiated proper rights for several Nintendo characters for their games. Just because popularity with millions of fans has caused Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat to become famous by virtue of their viral or meme nature, doesn’t give these companies a right to take our work for free in order to make profits for themselves, especially considering too that they would be the first to file lawsuits against people who misappropriate their copyrights and trademarks. It just isnt fair.
“I’ve been working alongside with the creator of the music and the lady who uploaded it to YouTube since the start. There are many reputable companies that have respected our rights and negotiated fees to use our characters commercially. Warner Bros. and 5th Cell should have done the same.
“Since Warner Bros. and 5th Cell chose to act as if we had no rights in characters we created, filing a lawsuit was the only way we had to protect our intellectual property rights from being used for others’ commercial profit without our consent. Too often normal artists like us don’t have the means and resources to protect our rights against big media corporations who use our work for their own profit without permission. We are looking here just to be treated fairly and to be fairly compensated for our creative work.”
The Wii U version of Scribblenauts Unlimited was scheduled to launch this month in Europe, but its release has been delayed for European consumers. For some reason, the game appeared on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U, and people were able to download it for a short time. To those who’ve downloaded the game, Nintendo says to contact customer service if they experience any problems with it. In North America, Scribblenauts Unlimited launched alongside the Wii U console in November last year.
“Scribblenauts Unlimited for Wii U, which has been recently delayed for Europe, was for a short time available as a download in the Nintendo eShop. We sincerely apologize for any confusion that may have occurred and we hope to provide more detailed announcements soon about the European launch of these games.
We advise the consumers who have downloaded the game to contact their local customer service if they have any problems.”
Nintendo has announced that Scribblenauts Unlimited, a game developed by Warner Bros. Interactive & 5th Cell and published by Nintendo of Europe for both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, will be delayed in Europe. Here’s what Nintendo had to say about the delay, which has come about as some undisclosed changes had to be made.
It has come to light that some changes need to be implemented within the game before we launch them across Europe. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and we hope to make further announcements on the European launch of these games very soon.
Nintendo has announced that Scribblenauts Unlimited will be arriving in Europe on February 8th. The game will be published by Nintendo in Europe. Scribblenauts Unlimited currently has an average review score of 72 on aggregation site, Metacritic.
5th Cell CEO Jeremy Slaczka has confirmed that Scribblenauts Unlimited for Wii U won’t be coming to Europe until sometime during next year. Slaczka said that the 2013 release date for Europe is “due to things outside of development,” and isn’t at all related to localization issues.
WB Games released Scribblenauts Unlimited for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Wii U launches November 18th in North America, but you can pick up the game – as well as other select Wii U launch titles – from a retailer prior to purchasing the new console this Sunday. If you want to interact with Nintendo characters and items from the get-go, purchase Wii U’s version of the game.
In Scribblenauts Unlimited, players can customize objects and characters to their hearts’ content. To showcase the power of imagination, which drives the upcoming game, 5th Cell developers created characters that resemble icons from Scooby-Doo, including Velma, Daphne, Fred, Shaggy and the Great Dane dog himself.
You can also accessorize characters to make them look like your favorite superhero or villain, like Batman and the Joker, for example. Scribblenauts Unlimited releases this month for PC, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. In Wii U’s version, which launches alongside the new console on November 18th, you can interact with renowned Nintendo characters.
Because of the Wii U GamePad – a 6.2-inch touchscreen controller – Scribblenauts Unlimited is a “perfect fit” for Wii U, according to the upcoming action puzzle game’s lead designer, Jeremiah Slaczka of developer 5th Cell. Slaczka describes the new console as a Nintendo DS, but with a significant amount of power. Scribblenauts Unlimted is a Wii U launch title, which means it releases on November 18th.
How’s it been working on this title for the Wii U? Does it carry any extra pressure that this is a launch game?
With Wii U’s GamePad, Scribblenauts is a perfect fit for the console. It’s just like a DS, the system it was originally designed for, but with much more power. I wouldn’t say there is extra pressure because it’s a launch title.
I’m actually very happy it’s a launch title; it’s a first for our studio!
Scribblenauts Unlimited is the first game in the franchise to introduce multiplayer. Talk to me about how co-op will work and how players can share their creations.
The game allows other players to “possess” any object they see and then act as that object would to help the first player. It’s a pretty neat feature.
5th Cell Creative Director Jeremiah Slackza claims that the forthcoming Scribblenauts Unlimited is the ultimate version of Scribblenauts. Slackza says he’s “very happy” the game’s a Wii U launch title. Scribblenauts Unlimited is the first game in the franchise to feature multiplayer and releases for Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and PC; but only the Wii U version includes Nintendo characters.
“Scribblenauts is a game where you solve puzzles by creating anything you can think of simply by writing it and it will come to life in the game. You help the main character, Maxwell, collect Starites by successfully completing puzzles.”
“Game development timeframes means there’s always something left on the cutting room floor. Scribblenauts Unlimited is definitely the best version of Scribblenauts we’ve ever produced, but there are always new paths to explore.”
Nintendo characters, including ones from The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario franchises, appear in Wii U’s version of Scribblenauts Unlimited. The Nintendo 3DS version will not feature the iconic characters because of ‘timing,’ according to Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell. The developer says the Nintendo 3DS version is complete and is currently being manufactured, unlike the Wii U version, because Game Cards take longer to make than Wii U Optical Discs.
“The 3DS version was already finished and moving into manufacturing (cartridges take longer to produce) by the time the deal was signed with WB & Nintendo…only the Wii U and PC [versions] remained and obviously Nintendo would only want their IP on their platform.”