Saban in Negotiations with Indie Developer over Sentai-themed Game
Saban’s producers and attorneys have contacted Brazilian indie game developer Behold Studios about their upcoming Sentai studio simulator game Chroma Squad, producer Saulo Camarotti announced Thursday.
The message, announced to Kickstarter backers, stated that Saban has played the demo to Chroma Squad and have raised questions about it to the developers. While Chroma Squad is not directly based on any particular series of Power Rangers or Super Sentai, according to Camarotti, Saban has offered them two options: Saban’s use of legal action to block the release of the game, or a partnership with a royalty share.
Camarotti stresses that the game is still on schedule, and that they are presently working with Saban’s attorneys to seek a “win-win negotiation” for both parties. He says that both parties believe that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached, while still keeping the “indie” nature of the game, the same content, and the same creative and unique storyline they had originally planned.
“You all know that our game is inspired by something much broader than Power Rangers, we are inspired by the people that we love the passion they have for the game. We’re talking about an amazing Sentai culture that is mostly Japanese, but got even bigger with fans from around the world. We’re talking about tokusatsu in general, Japanese super heroes, animes, Kamen Riders, everything that inspired us very much in our childhood and continue to inspire us now.”
Chroma Squad is an indie “sentai studio manager and tactical simulator” that allows the player to create and manage a tokusatsu studio from the ground up, including hiring actors, advertising and merchandising the show, interacting with fans, implementing special effects, stunts, and monsters, managing film equipment, and tactically controlling battle scenes. The game uses an 8-bit inspired retro pixel-graphic style. Kickstarter funding for the game began in July of 2013. In a one month period, the game received over $97,000 in pledges, breaking a number of stretch goals, including an optional “single hero” mode featuring a scarf wearing, motorcycle riding cyborg hero.
The game is currently in beta and scheduled for release later this year.
Source: Saulo Camarotti via email
Image Credit: Chroma Squad Official Kickstarter Page
July 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm
I guess this explains why they only released a small demo and not the beta. They have been putting that off for a very long time. Knowing the progress of the game itself, it has always felt like some other reason for a delay, and legal dealings would explain a lot.
However, the outrage at the “selling out” seems confusing, when Behold labels this as win-win. I can imagine that a games company that loves the genre enough to create a game would enjoy being able to partner up with Saban. That would also explain why there is no talk, hint or suggestion of fighting the deal under parody law or whathaveyou. They do seem to want to partner with them.
Which brings up issues for backers. Did backers provide nearly $100,000 for a company to make a game to then go and flog that game to Saban? Are they getting any money from Saban as payment, or any money to contribute to the making of the game?
Behold have said it is “unethical” to discuss terms of the deal, but I agree with the person who stated that it is also unethical to leave the backers in the dark.
There is no communication from them about what it entails. While the wording of their release paints it badly “hiccup”, “go to court” “game will never be released”, their intent seems to be celebratory and embracing of the partnership, so that is confusing.