Eeek! LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth is being remade!

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Rath Darkblade
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Eeek! LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth is being remade!

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:09 am

A team of enthusiasts is remaking this classic, from 2004 - one of the most balanced, and most fun, RTS games ever made. :) I can't recall how many times I played this game and its successor, BFME 2.

Here it is: The Battle for Middle Earth Reforged.

Now, please excuse me while I squeee! :P And yes, yes, I know -- quite a few enthusiast projects collapse due to lack of funds, lack of time, etc. etc. etc. Fine. I'm not holding my breath. But it's good to see, especially since the original game is damn-near impossible to find nowadays (unless you're prepared to pay $200-300-plus for it)...

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Re: Eeek! LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth is being remade!

Post by Tawmis » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:31 pm

EA owned the original. You can bet if EA gets wind of this - they may shut it down.

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Re: Eeek! LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth is being remade!

Post by Rath Darkblade » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:04 pm

I'm pretty sure no-one would've made a start on this without getting permission from EA. That'd be stupid, right? ;)

Just for fun, I checked out this game on Amazon. It's still possible to get it -- just -- but the cheapest price is $130. :shock:

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Re: Eeek! LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth is being remade!

Post by DeadPoolX » Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:46 pm

NOTE: There is NSFW content within the spoiler tag below. You've been warned! 8-)
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:04 pm
I'm pretty sure no-one would've made a start on this without getting permission from EA. That'd be stupid, right? ;)
You'd be surprised how many people think that copyright doesn't apply if you're releasing a product for free. What these people usually do when questioned is cite "fair use," but what they don't understand is that monetary compensation is irrelevant regarding "fair use."

In the US (and US law will matter here since EA is an American company) the protections afforded by "fair use" only apply in three situations:
1. Your work is parody of some sort.
2. Your work is transformative (and this is a minefield to deal with as what's considered "transformative" can be difficult to define).
3. Your work was created as part of an educational/academic project and/or intended for educational/academic instruction.

As far as this remake is concerned, it doesn't fall into any of those categories, so unless they have EA's permission (and it's likely they don't because EA is known for being heavy-handed with their intellectual property), it's likely they will, at minimum, receive a cease-and-desist letter.

That said, EA might just let this go so long as no profit is being made (which only further propagates the idea that "it's legal to use someone else's IP if you don't charge money") because both the monetary and PR costs might be more than it's worth.

Large companies generally want to avoid lawsuits involving fans or small, independent organizations, because the story that's inevitably published usually takes on a "David vs Goliath" tone. This ends up painting the larger company as the villain, regardless of whatever legal rights the suing company has in the case because the public loves an "underdog story."

This problem is widespread for film studios, television studios, and novelists due to the ever-increasing amount of fan fiction online. Technically, every piece of fan fiction is a legal infraction, but many studios and authors don't bother doing anything about it because it's nearly impossible to stop. Some authors actually encourage fan fiction, and others detest it with a passion, going so far as to try and take down all instances of it (which rarely, if ever, works).

When it comes to fan fiction, usually what most IP holders and creators are worried about is misuse of their characters. For instance, Disney doesn't really care if someone writes a story about Donald Duck finding Huey, Dewey, and Louie's parents; however, they do care if someone writes a story about Donald Duck anally raping Goofy and turning Minnie Mouse into a sex slave/prostitute.

For the record, I've never heard of anyone writing that, but let's face it... people are pretty damn sick, so I can understand why creators and companies would keep a tight grip on their intellectual property.
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Re: Eeek! LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth is being remade!

Post by Rath Darkblade » Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:11 am

Sure, DPX. I agree with you on both counts - both that copyright matters (very much so), and that some people are pretty damn sick. (Especially online, where they think "No-one's gonna catch me, right?")

Personally, I care very much about copyright -- which is why, before I make anything that involves someone else's work, I check with them and ask nicely for permission. :) (For instance, when I made a video about Lincoln's Gettysburg address, I asked permission from the people who own the photos from that time -- i.e. the Library of Congress). :)

So, yeah. These people would have to be pretty dumb not to ask EA for permission. If they made this game, and then EA's legal department came down on them like a ton of bricks ... well. *makes a face* ;)

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