Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Why does Nintendo let developers co-own their IP?

These conversations always get bogged down by inquires between first and second party games. Wish we could just put out an easy to read table and be done with it.



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I believe Nintendo owns the Astral Chain IP.



I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject, but it seems to me like using the copyright claim for a given videogame does not provide the information required to determine who owns the IP. But one thing I can say for sure is that Nintendo isn't more "trusting" of developers. If they could get the rights to every game published on their console, they would.



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This was taken from the official site for Astral Chain, which is a trademark of Nintendo.  Platinum Games does not co-own the IP.

On topic, I believe this to be the case for every game in question by the OP.  For example, people keep bringing up Pokemon...

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As you can see at the bottom, Nintendo is the sole owner of the actual trademark.  It is not co owned by GAME FREAK.

Honestly in the case of all 3rd or 2nd party exclusives, I believe the only time Nintendo does not make claim to the trademark is in the case of Bayonetta (where it already existed and has not been purchased) or Mario Plus Rabbids (which is a cross over and in this case they only own the Mario and Donkey Kong assets in the game).

And everyone does this really.  Sony owns Ratchet and Clank for example, but is developed by Insomniac.  This kind of thing is really nothing new.

Last edited by Shiken - on 02 August 2019

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Shiken said:

______________________________________________

This was taken from the official site for Astral Chain, which is a trademark of Nintendo.  Platinum Games does not co-own the IP.

On topic, I believe this to be the case for every game in question by the OP.  For example, people keep bringing up Pokemon...

______________________________________________

______________________________________________

As you can see at the bottom, Nintendo is the sole owner of the actual trademark.  It is not co owned by GAME FREAK.

Honestly in the case of all 3rd or 2nd party exclusives, I believe the only time Nintendo does not make claim to the trademark is in the case of Bayonetta (where it already existed and has not been purchased) or Mario Plus Rabbids (which is a cross over and in this case they only own the Mario and Donkey Kong assets in the game).

And everyone does this really.  Sony owns Ratchet and Clank for example, but is developed by Insomniac.  This kind of thing is really nothing new.

Trademark is the name, and that's it. But an IP is so much more, character design and story, world design and story, the iconic Mario sound for instance too. All these things together make an IP. See, with the trademark alone Nintendo could make another Astral Chain game (and Platinum not), but not with the same world, the same characters, the same music. People would consider it part of the same series only by name and so not a real part. If we talk about IP here, it sounds like it is one thing. And that is true if one person designed all (which is true for most novels or comics, were the rights to all the ideas lie with one person). But a game is a collaboration of many people from different companies in this case. So it actually isn't that easy to untangle the rights situation.

For Astral Chain I read in the notice you show for main character design Masakazu Katsura and Shueisha (which by the way is an interesting information), which means without their consent another Astral Chain game would not only have different heroes but differently designed heroes.

To know how complicated the licensing can get read about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game. It was delisted after the initial licensing run out, because of four-way licensing. You need all four parties to consent to get it relisted.

See, all I say is that things can get more complicated than simply the name. We all probably agree, that a Pokemon game without Pikachu wouldn't be a Pokemon game. And not all these rights lie always in the same hands.

Last edited by Mnementh - on 03 August 2019

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