Fan games are such a fascinating avenue for aspiring developers. Who wouldn't want to develop a game based on your favorite character or franchise? Unfortunately, fan games are in a legal gray zone, so while many do eventually get released without so much as a peep from the original rights holders, there are a few notable cases in which the law forces a project to shut down.
The most recent fan game to get the axe is a PC remake of the original Metal Gear, released on MSX2 computers in 1987. What makes this particular case unique is that the dev team — called "Outer Heaven" after the famous military faction from the games — actually received permission from Konami back in May to go forward with the project as long as no money was made. Furthermore, several industy vets had joined in development, including:
– Ubisoft's Adhem Belkhadra (Gears of War, Just Dance, The Cursed Crusade) on level mapping
– Insane Games' Kaue Lemos (Earth Under Siege, Bubble Up) on sound effects
– Orion Acaba (Kellam in Fire Emblem: Awakening, Apollo Justice in Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies) in a voice role
– Paul Eiding (Roy Campbell in the Metal Gear series) in a voice role
Even original Snake voice actor David Hayter was lending assistance in script-writing and voice acting. In the trailer above, released today to share early art and environment concepts, Hayter can be heard as Big Boss, briefing a fresh-faced Solid Snake on the mission that would catapult his career.
No solid reason was given for the shutdown. The game's producer had this to say:
Unfortunately we can no longer go ahead with the project, it seems like the guys over at Konami couldn’t agree on a decision so had no choice but to shut us down. Even though it’s unfortunate, we’re thankful for all the help and support we’ve received from Konami, MGInformer, Kotaku etc. Especially the fans.
Who knows how good the Metal Gear remake would have been, but it would have been nice to see another major studio offer support to fans who only want to celebrate their favorite games.