Chroma Squad facing legal action from Power Rangers company

Negotiation may give Power Rangers company royalties

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Chroma Squad, the Kickstarter-backed game that puts you in charge of a Power Rangers-like Sentai action show, has been threatened with legal action from Power Rangers' production company, SABAN.

In a Kickstarter backers-only update provided to Shacknews, indie dev Behold Studios said that SABAN had "some questions" about the game. The developers mentioned options: go to court against SABAN and risk losing, which would prevent the game from coming out at all; or let SABAN join the project and share the royalties. The studio said both it and SABAN prefer the second option.

"We're talking to them right now and we hope that everything goes well, and we can stay indie as we want, and as the game needs to be: heartful, inspiring, amazing, and with a lot of jokes, quirky stories and every bit of the meta layer that we love," the update read. "Don't worry, we'll do everything to make the game come out!"

Behold Studios is the developer behind Knights of Pen & Paper. It successfully crowd-funded Chroma Squad last August, nearly doubling its target goal. It said at the time that its game is "based on 90's Tokusatsu TV series, like 'Power Rangers', 'Changeman' or... 'Captain Planet And The Planeteers'. Yep, any group of 3 or 5, each with different powers, whose union makes a special weapon appear to defeat their enemies." The game itself is a sim in which you're starting your own production studio, hiring actors, and promoting the show to fans.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    July 18, 2014 8:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Chroma Squad facing legal action from Power Rangers company.

    Negotiation may give Power Rangers company royalties

    • reply
      July 18, 2014 8:31 AM

      its morphin time

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      July 18, 2014 8:35 AM

      Fuck.

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        July 18, 2014 8:37 AM

        The funny thing is, I'm sure this has very little to do with Power Rangers. These guys grew up in the same time as me, watching Changeman, Flashman, Jaspion and others, and those were huge in Brazil. To have someone who's alien to the project come and demand their share of the revenue, and even participate creatively... that's sad.

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          July 19, 2014 11:58 AM

          You said a mouthful. I have a friend who used to write for Saban on MMPR and VR Troopers, and the kinds of "discussions" that were had over money sound astonishing.

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      July 18, 2014 9:41 AM

      This is sort of a weak claim. Power Rangers is derived from an entire genre of shows in Japan, chopped up and re-edited to make a western localization into one show.

      If the Indy studios weren't so small, they'd probably have the resource to fight this in court and win.

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        July 18, 2014 12:28 PM

        look at the screen shot of the game, its a pretty clear rip off of super sentai /power rangers. It doesn't look like ultraman or kamen rider at all

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          July 18, 2014 12:57 PM

          Look at zehh's links below. There's clearly prior art and parody at play here.

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        July 18, 2014 5:32 PM

        I saw the screenshot on the front page and thought, "A Power Rangers game?".

        I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

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          July 18, 2014 8:57 PM

          "Power Rangers" is basically our generic term in the US for anything "Sentai" (much the same way we use Kleenex for tissues and Google for search engines). Sentai in Japan is not a specific show but an entire genre of shows. Just about all Sentai hero teams look like this. In fact Power Rangers is the product of about 10 Sentai shows from Japan recut to create a single long running American TV locallization.

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      July 18, 2014 9:48 AM

      1) Knights 2, please!

      2) I could see that SABAN may actually try to shut this down. Since the game seems to focus on producing a show vs actually being the super heroes (so, really more of a Kariosoft style game) that might not sit well with SABAN.

      3) Also, if they wouldn't have focused on characters that look so much like PR I'd say that would have given them a better shot at not having to deal with this at all since the focus is on a studio sim vs a x4 style game featuring PR-like characters.

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        July 18, 2014 9:51 AM

        Should read the whole Kickstarter page.

        But their adventure becomes so exciting, that they start thinking that everything is actually real.

        This seems to be their hook, ala Knights. Same kinda setup.

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        July 18, 2014 11:16 AM

        "if they wouldn't have focused on characters that look so much like PR"

        But it's not Power Rangers, that's the problem. The super sentai genre has existed for ages before Power Ranges showed up along.

        Changeman was 1985
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengeki_Sentai_Changeman
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1e/Changeman_1.jpg

        Flashman was 1986
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choushinsei_Flashman
        http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140315211611/powerrangersfanon/images/a/a9/Flashman.jpg

        ...and many many more.

        The original Power Rangers was 1993.

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          July 18, 2014 11:21 AM

          Yes, I'm aware of the genre. I grew up on Spectreman myself. But those weren't all SABAN. Which is where the PR comment comes from. Since the game focuses on characters that look exactly like PR that's why Saban thinks they have a right to get involve.

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            July 18, 2014 12:25 PM

            Please click the links in my post. Characters "looked like PR" way before PR came by. This is post-spectreman stuff.

            My point is while I understand they think they have a right to get involved" I think it's a bullshit claim since they didn't bring anything new visually, the idea of using costumed characters each with their own colors and a helmet of some kind was already set at that point.

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              July 18, 2014 12:35 PM

              I was thinking more about the character design (art direction, I guess) than the format. But, doing some image searches to compare to the Chroma characters, I can see they did their homework and avoided directly copying any specific PR design. So, yes, your comment holds true that there is prior art based on those older series.

              Unless, however, Saban has acquired the rights to all of those. Technically, if they've acquired the rights to anything that might be mistaken for PR, then they might have some kind of legal claim based on similarity of their owned ip.

              I'm not trying to argue for them. Just an understanding on what grounds Saban might try to have a real claim. I'm with you, and others, that it's still a weak claim.

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          July 18, 2014 9:00 PM

          Flashman was so fuckin cool

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      July 18, 2014 11:38 AM

      they just had to pick the same colors as the power rangers didnt they

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      July 18, 2014 12:08 PM

      I'm sure some changes can be made, I mean right off the bat the character design and colours are clearly walking that line of intellectual property.

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      July 18, 2014 12:34 PM

      Can't they claim parody?

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        July 18, 2014 1:22 PM

        Would you be able to get away with a game about a theme park with a mouse and duck character and princesses that looked like disney stuff without them stepping in? I don't think so

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          July 18, 2014 2:32 PM

          You could certainly make a game about a theme park full of rides and people in animal costumes.

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      July 18, 2014 12:43 PM

      never heard of this until now, sucks for them they got the company's attention

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      July 18, 2014 1:23 PM

      i'm a backer and i'm sad panda about this nonsense

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      July 18, 2014 2:04 PM

      It said at the time that its game is "based on 90's Tokusatsu TV series, like 'Power Rangers', 'Changeman' or... 'Captain Planet And The Planeteers'. Yep, any group of 3 or 5, each with different powers, whose union makes a special weapon appear to defeat their enemies."

      and no mention of volition.

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      July 19, 2014 12:05 AM

      Wow, did Capcom have to pay royalities to Power Rangers for Killer7?