in Video Games, Web Series

Final Fantasy VII Web Series Cancelled Due To Intellectual Property Rights Dispute

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In a recent Kickstarter effort, a group of film industry professionals banded together in an attempt to implement one of the greatest ideas since whoever decided to squeeze cow nipples and drink what comes out: A Final Fantasy VII web series.

Final Fantasy VII is one of the most beloved and successful video games of all time, having sold more than 2 million copies within the first three days of its release. Featuring a deeply colorful cast of characters and an epic story arc, FFVII has brought countless hours of RPG gaming glory to millions of gamers worldwide.

In 2012, a pair of FFVII fans working in the film industry teamed up to film a two-minute live action video as proof of concept for a FFVII movie. The trailer was met with a surge of positive feedback from the gaming community. Not only that, but the trailer soon made its rounds within the film industry, garnering the attention of a myriad of professionals based in different realms of the film world. Producers, animators, musicians, sound editors, and more reached out to the creators of the trailer expressing an interest in getting involved and helping to actualize the idea.

With the talent on board, the team decided that to attempt to fit all of the game’s massive content into a feature film window would inevitably force a compromise in quality and detail, prompting the decision to instead chop the story up into a series. The first season was slated to be five episodes, chronicling protagonist Cloud’s journey through the corrupt city of Midgar and up to the flashback retelling the events at his home town of Nibelheim.

As there was no one entity backing the project – just a group of passionate professionals – the team turned to Kickstarter to try and raise funds for the series’ first season.

The goal price was set at a lofty $400,000, and this video was posted on the Kickstarter page to give potential backers some insight into just how seriously badass the potential for this idea was. Immediately upon the page’s completion, donations and backers began to steadily pour into the project. Every indication was that the target price was well within the realm of possibility.

That is until backers received this email:

Final Fantasy VII: The Web Series (Unofficial Fan Project) is the subject of an intellectual property dispute.

Hi there,

This is a message from Kickstarter Support. We’re writing to inform you that a project you backed, Final Fantasy VII: The Web Series (Unofficial Fan Project), is the subject of an intellectual property dispute.

The project has been removed from public view until the dispute is resolved, which can take up to 30 days. The project’s funding and the countdown to its deadline have been stopped. If the project becomes available again, the countdown will continue and the new deadline will extend past the original deadline for as much time as the project was unavailable. You can find out more by reading our Copyright and DMCA Policy and our Trademark Policy.

Original deadline: Wednesday Aug 21, 2:21pm EDT 
Time remaining if project becomes available: 19 days

Your pledge is currently still active. If you’d like to manage your pledge or reach out to the creator directly, you can still do so through the project page:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ffviiwebseries/final-fantasy-vii-the-web-series-unofficial-fan-pr?ref=email

Thanks so much for your patience and cooperation,
Kickstarter

Mother. Fucker.

Possibly the worst case of blue balls I have ever received. Why would you not get the rights to the characters and story before putting in all this effort?!

Still, there was hope. Maybe Square Enix, the owner of the FFVII rights, would hop on board after seeing how awesome production had been thus far, right? In fact, Square Enix being alerted to the existence of this series could be a boon, should they decide to back it! Fans waited for further news with baited breath.

Until this email update from Kickstarter:

Final Fantasy VII: The Web Series (Unofficial Fan Project) by Shinra Productions LLC has been canceled.

Hi there,

This is a message from Kickstarter Support. We’re writing to let you know that Final Fantasy VII: The Web Series (Unofficial Fan Project) has been canceled by Kickstarter because the 30-day window for resolving the intellectual property dispute has closed. As a result, your $100.00 USD pledge has been automatically canceled and you will not be charged. No further action is needed.

You can still message the creator directly from the project page, but the project itself will remain unavailable: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ffviiwebseries/final-fantasy-vii-the-web-series-unofficial-fan-pr?ref=email

Thanks,
Kickstarter

Really Square Enix? Really? Fine, cancel the web series. Maybe from what you saw it wasn’t living up to the standards you’ve set for Final Fantasy VII. But if that’s the case, for the love of gaming, recognize that this is a good idea and do it yourselves.

Written by: Richard Reitzfeld

  • Brea Kenzie

    “Every indication was that the target price was well within the realm of possibility.”

    They were only at roughly 23k. That means they had roughly 377k left to raise in–what was it, 21 days they had left? They had only made a little over 1/20th of their goal. And a number of backers left comments about concerns that the reward tiers were poorly set. Anyone paying attention to the math could see the kickstarter was going to fail even without the plug being pulled by SE.