Thursday, May 1, 2008

Clover Stripped From Okami Credits

You may or may not know that Okami was the creation of a small studio within Capcom called Clover who also created games like Viewtiful Joe and Steel Battalion. They were disbanded after the release of Okami because, while their games were almost universally praised, they just didn't sell all that well.

Fast forward a year and a half, Okami is ported to the Wii by Ready at Dawn Studios (God of War CoO, Daxter), but apparently, any mention of Clover and its staff were stripped from the game's credits. Not very classy, but there must be a reason, right?

Community Manager Seth Killian explained on Capcom's message board:

The credits were removed because they were a pre-rendered movie that contained the Clover logo. We have no legal right to use the Clover logo in a game they were not involved with directly. We also didn't have the source to the credit movie itself, so we couldn't just use it and remove the Clover logo.

OK. So there is an explanation, if not a very good one. First of all, Capcom owned Clover so it seems baffling that they can't legally use their logo. I'm not a lawyer though and God knows the law can be complicated. Fine. But to say Clover wasn't involved directly with the game? They created it! This isn't a new game using the Okami world and characters, it's a port of a game Clover developed. I would think that the real legal issue would NOT be crediting the people who created the game.

So the real question is, when they created their new credit sequence, couldn't they have just copied the names out of the PS2 credits and added them to it? Not being able to use the Clover logo is one thing, but not acknowledging the people who busted their ass to make the game is another.

Interestingly, the director of the game, Hideki Kamiya, is less concerned about his name being cut then by the fact that the credit sequence they created was meant to serve as a coda to the game itself. It was very much part of the game, and by cutting it, the ending of the game as they intended the player to experience it is compromised.

Anyone who's interested in seeing the original PS2 credits you can find the Japanese version on YouTube. I'd imagine someone will put up the US version as well in light of this.

[via Kotaku]

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