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Majesco takes advantage of freeware license for Blast Works


How would you respond if you were an amateur game developer and a publisher approached you about remaking one of your freeware games for a home console? If you were ABA Games' Kenta Cho, you'd dismiss the publisher and your own game in a supreme act of powerful nonchalance.

When Majesco announced that a version of TUMIKI Fighters was being made for the Wii, we kind of assumed that Kenta Cho himself would be involved in its creation, or, at the very least, at the receiving end of a nice check. Why wouldn't we assume that? But apparently that is not the case.

The original game is under a BSD license, which means that anyone can use it, even commercially, as long as they include the proper copyright notice, and they don't use Cho's name to endorse it without permission. And that means that Majesco can just pick up this game and set Budcat Creations to work on a new version. They don't even need permission, because Cho put it (nearly) into the public domain.

Before you jump on Majesco for "stealing" free IP, you should know that they did ask Kenta Cho for permission. Cho, being the baddest dude in game design, basically "whatever"-ed them, saying "I'd received an offer of porting TUMIKI Fighters to Wii from Majesco and Budcat and I replied [they could] feel free to use it under the BSD license." Like he didn't even care. Maybe he's just nice and principled: earlier in the same interview, he said "...I want to help many amateur developers to create their own games. I released all my games under the free software license with the source code. I hope the source code helps someone to create a game by referring to or using a part of my code."

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