Listeners of Sega Addicts After Hours know how much I enjoy the offerings of Square Enix, especially a certain game that starts with “Final Fantasy” and ends with “Type-0“. I’ve also professed my love for SNK Playmore several times, with their King of Fighters series being one of my all-time favorite fighting franchises, especially KoF ’99 on the Dreamcast. Not to mention their other classics on Sega consoles, such as the Metal Slug, Fatal Fury, and Samurai Shodown series.
So when I heard that SNK is suing Square Enix, I couldn’t help but get really sad at two of my favorite developers going at each other’s throats. Thankfully, this isn’t over anything in a game. Unthankfully, things are about to potentially get nasty.
The reason SNK is so angry with Squeenix revolves around a manga they publish, called Hi Score Girl. In said manga, SNK alleges that there are over 100 unauthorized depictions of their characters, and when Square refused to acknowledge any request from SNK to halt the sale of the manga, they took action. They filed a criminal copyright infringement suit through the Osaka Police, and on Tuesday, the Osaka Police raided Square Enix’s local branches to collect evidence. SNK later elaborated on their infringement claims, stating that they were tipped off to the infringement last year when an animation studio contacted them regarding an adaptation of the manga, asking them for clearance of their copyrighted characters, sounds, and other assets. At that point, SNK discovered the manga, noticed the massive usage of their assets, and went to work on trying to get it halted.
So things have already gotten serious, and as things go on, it could only get worse. While there are various “fair use/nostalgia vs. infringement” and “this is free advertising for SNK” arguments to be made, as well as seeing things from SNK’s point of view and seeing that they’re essentially being ripped off by a far larger company, I think there’s only one real way for this whole thing to be settled.
An SNK vs. Square-Enix fighting game. Or at the very least enlisting SNK to make the Type-0 fighting game I’ve always dreamed of. Make it happen.