Monday, November 11, 2013

Cerberus Gaming Combine Joins A Lofty Cadre...

They are joining  the likes of Dark Phoenix Publishing in an elite circle of companies who think that because a game line seems dead, they can take it and run with it. Or, in CGC's case, if a property is generally available for free they can reformat it a bit and sell it for money.

I won't link directly to either RPGNow or DriveThruRPG, but CGC is marketing a system called In.Fuzion that is a rewrite of R. Talsorian Games' Fuzion system. Except, apparently, they don't have permission to be using the name Fuzion, or the system, or any of the text they've apparently lifted in the process.

This is according to Jay Libby, an R. Talsorian Games freelancer, and others on the Fuzion Facebook group. So far, the list of people in addition to RTG that are being copied includes Jason Dour, Studio187, and BTRC (because please tell me that their product called Guns, Guns, Guns is totally different than BTRC's Guns, Guns, Guns). I wouldn't be surprised if other free Fuzion products wind up mixed in as well - Christian Conkle, for example, had a large amount of Fuzion content with the Atomik Fuzion product line.

What is it with taking people's logos for cover art?

Apparently R. Talsorian Games and other rights holders have been notified, so we'll just have to see what comes out of it. At the very least, someone is about to get a lesson in how the Internet gaming community views people who try to profit of other people's works. At the worst, they might get a lesson in how copyright enforcement works.

Fuzion was one of the first wave of freely available roleplaying systems on the Internet. To try to repackage it and resell it is bad enough. To take other people's work,  such as Studio187's Fists of Fuzion or BTRC's Guns, Guns, Guns and then repackage that is exceeding Mykal Lakim levels of bravado if they actually try to do it with a straight face. I even think it's actually crappier than what Lakim was doing, if only in terms of volume and brazenness.

It takes a lot to knock him from his throne
I'm going to be keeping an eye on this because, R. Talsorian Games is a company that's full of lots of goody-feelies for me - going all the way back to the original edition of Mekton. But regardless of the company or the game, doing this kind of crap just isn't cool.

EDIT THE FIRST: Looks like Cerberus Gaming Combine has also done this with someone else's novels, from the discussion here.

EDIT THE SECOND: DriveThruRPG and Lulu have taken his stuff down.