Ghosts 'n Goblins: Demon World, an unauthorized and unlicensed sequel to the original series, was removed from Kickstarter by Ghosts 'n Goblins copyright holder Capcom.
Indie developer Phantasm Studios sought funding for the project through Kickstarter crowdfunding efforts. The developer planned to reimagine much of the series in what appeared to be a darker, more serious tone. The developer was attempting to gain a developer's license for the game but planned to rename it King Arthur if the bid failed.
Capcom filed a copyright claim against the project on Nov. 19. The publisher said Phantasm's project acknowledged it was basing its work upon the Ghost 'n Goblins series without proper authorization.
“The project acknowledges its goal is to create an update to the Ghosts ‘N Goblins franchise based upon the characters, stories, music and other copyrightable elements of the Property. Such unauthorized update would clearly violate Capcom's exclusive rights under copyright law to create derivative works of the Property,” the claim reads. “It would also violate Capcom's trademark rights in the Property. The project admits it will need Capcom's permission to proceed and has not received one. To its knowledge, Capcom has not been contacted by the project.”
The project's Kickstarter page states the project is canceled and the subject of an intellectual property dispute.
“Ghosts 'N Goblins - Demon World (Canceled) is the subject of an intellectual property dispute and is currently unavailable,” the statement reads. ”No need to check the servers — the rest of Kickstarter is doing just fine.”
Phantasm Studios was aware that Capcom could possibly strike the project down and refuse to grant a developer's license. This is the reason why a second title was prepared.
“Capcom only promised to review our submission, and nothing more. We have only discussed a possibility of a developer's license if the game is up to their standards. We do not currently have one and may not get one,” Phantasm CEO Monty Singleton told GamesIndustry.biz. “If we can't secure a developers license we will change King Arthur and the name of the game, but that is all. Thankfully werewolves, demons, skeletons, reapers, ghosts, goblins, etc. are all public domain. The modifications will be so minor, the changes will be easy and will not change our release schedule.”
The developer hasn't publicly commented on the project's shutdown. Its latest social media updates mention a successful proposal for “a new 80s classic” that is “MUCH bigger than Ghosts 'n Goblins.” A timeframe of fall 2014 was mentioned.