For the last eight years, a group of Sega fans has been completely remaking 16-bit Genesis classic, Streets of Rage. Calling themselves Bomber Games, the team completely remade the game from scratch without a single line of code from the original title (a tough job). And to cover their butts, they even claim to have asked and recieved permission from Sega to go ahead with the fan project some time ago. Sega, however, changed its mind. According to Edge, days after the game was released for free download, Sega demanded that Bomber Games remove the download.
Today, Sega confirmed the take down: “Sega is committed to supporting any fans that take an interest in our games, and where possible we do so by involving them in beta tests and other development, marketing or research opportunities. However, we need to protect our intellectual property rights and this may result in us requesting that our fans remove online imagery, videos or games in some instances.”
While Sega has an understandable position, it has to hurt that it didn’t express this to Bomber Games before they spent eight years of their personal time developing the game (it was started in March 2003).
Streets of Rage is a side-scrolling beat-em-up along the lines of Final Fight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, and a host of other arcade titles in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s a genre that has mostly disappeared, but lives on, in some ways, in today’s fighting games like Street Fighter. Streets of Rage Remake has 19 playable characters, 103, remixed music, and new sound effects. More than 20 people helped to make the game.
Hopefully, Sega will offer these guys something in return for their hard work. Maybe Streets of Rage Remake can become a real, for-profit game.