PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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This might not be the best question to be asking here, but I have been searching , and I have not found the answer anywhere else. I would like to make a PokeClicker game, similar to the Cookie Clicker game, where you click the cookie until you can afford more and more upgrades, but in a Pokemon theme. Before I go along with creating it, I want to make sure that it is legal to make one, and what the requirements are, if it would be legal to create.

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Is it possible?: Yes.
Is it worth it?: Maybe.
Is it legal?: Not without permission from Nintendo, a company which is a copyright savage (They sued scientists who named a cancer after pikachu)
BECAUSE THAT'S LIKE SAYING PIKACHU IS A CANCER.
There's a medicine named after Pikachu now, and Nintendo didn't sue.
And why is everyone acting so confusing? what's wrong with making a fan game and putting it on the app store? there's already countless pokemon fan games, and as i stated before some of them even charge you real money.
Because it's illegal. Whether or not someone else gets away with it should be irrelevant, it's up to the individual person to be responsible.
Why wouldn't someone sue after having something that's usually considered a Cute or Mascot character being associated with a cancer? Also WHY NAME A CANCER PIKACHU!?
I think he messed it up. I believe that Flygawne is talking about Zbtb7, which is a cancer that was originally named POK Erythroid Myeloid Ontogenic factor N or, if you take all capital letters, POKEMON. The Pokemon company threatened legal action against MSKCC (the company that found it) if they did not rename it in December 2005 (hey, that's 10 years ago!) so now it's the Zbtb7 we all know and uhhhhhh -- hate today?

2 Answers

3 votes

In short: no.

The link from newmediarights.org that PokemonLover222 posted is pretty good but I think he/she misinterpreted some of the facts there. (Also, that Yahoo Answers page is completely wrong as usual - never trust Yahoo Answers!)

A game with Pokemon in it is breaking the copyright of The Pokemon Company, simple as that. It makes zero difference whether the game is free or making money, if TPC don't want you to make that game they will send you a Cease & Desist order and get it removed from the App Store(s).

There is such a thing as "Fair Use" but that only applies to content used for "commentary, criticism and reporting", not games. TPC would claim that the game is harming their brand because it is unprofessional. Pokemon websites are largely seen as okay - we are just informational sites using a limited amount of pictures.

However, you can of course make your own game with similar mechanics to Pokemon, as long as all the creatures/characters are your own creation. There are already a ton of those games in the App Store (like that stupid dragon hunter one).

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Thanks for correcting me buddy, I won't use Yahoo answers again then, hehe ^-^
Don't mind me, just testing something real quick.
0 votes

It is legal to create a game based off of a registered trademark for profit, but be sure to add some original content (different materials, different concept) to avoid replicating the gameplay experience, and to maintain authenticity. Of course, if your PokeClicker game is a non-profit game (like an online flash game), then you can do almost anything you want with copyrighted materials. In your case, Pokemon is a registered trademark, and only merging it with another popular game will most likely not be original enough, unless you add your own concepts to make it less distinctive from the two games. If you are intending to net profit out of it, seek advice from the internet/an attorney before selling it on the App Store. If Nintendo gives you a 'Cease & Desist' letter (a warning saying that you are breaking their trademark laws), accept it and cease your game, with the knowledge of what you should avoid in the future. Just be careful with what you do, because I don't want you getting into trouble buddy. ^-^

Sources:
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130419210720AARG9vf
http://newmediarights.org/guide/legal/Video_Games_law_Copyright_Trademark_Intellectual_Property

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