Everyone, get a good look at Mega Maker, because it looks for all the world like it'll be the latest mind-blowing fan project to get killed in the crib by a letter from a lawyer.
I don't say that to disparage Mega Maker or its, uh, makers, a seven-person team led by a programmer called Wrecking Programs. The team’s endeavor takes an NES franchise as beloved as Super Mario Bros. and gives it the Super Mario Maker treatment. It, too, looks like a good-hearted celebration of fandom, but it does use assets developed by Capcom for the first six Mega Man games.
And that makes it a candidate to be smashed by a takedown notice before its announced launch date of July 15. Realize that last month, Capcom went to YouTube to ask that a translation of a Japanese-language Ace Attorney game be removed. It was. On the other hand, Mega Man 2.5D, a perspective-warping fan project based on the franchise, launched back in February and hasn't been smashed yet, so who knows.
Mega Maker is billed as a way for fans to create and share their own Mega Man levels, or play the ones others make.
The stage builder allows you to select from 46 enemies, 29 level objects, 12 bosses, 24 special weapons, 40 backgrounds, 129 tilesets, 63 music tracks and more! On top of that, there's an interactive tutorial to help you get going, several quality-checked example levels, customization for your in-game profile, the ability to rate other people's levels, controller support and several other features to discover.
The project's official page is very careful to say Mega Man is the property of Capcom, that their work is not affiliated or endorsed by it in any way, and it's not being commercialized. But as seen time and time and time again, particularly with franchises that originated on Nintendo hardware, such declarations really matter little. Discovered earlier today by Kotaku, we have to assume Mega Maker has the full attention of Capcom and is now at its mercy.
We have written about fan games and why they would announce themselves in just enough time for an ace attorney to state an OBJECTION! (sorry) and shut them down. The thrill of developing, teasing and publishing a highly anticipated game seems to be the irresistible and irreplaceable part of fan-game development. Unless Capcom does a Sega-level turn here, Mega Maker may be the next one we write about being DMCA'd. This bears watching.