After receiving a “cease and desist” letter from SEGA, Shining Force Online developer Arcade County decided to take matters into their own hands. Studio Lead Robby Mulvany had the following to say:
We had just really started the beta but Sega was quick! Fan made games are tricky because some publishers are ok with it and some aren’t. Sega’s own terms of service (at least the ones I read) didn’t seem to discourage them. The Sonic 2 HD remake didn’t seem to bother them, so last June I decided to build an MMO for Shining Force. Several fans had attempted it in the past but they always seemed to fizzle out quick. There just aren’t really any party-based MMO’s out there so I thought it would be fun to try. I emailed Sega back in June but I didn’t receive a reply. I figured if it was going to be an issue they’d tell me in advance.
Rather than scrapping the entire project, the team decided to bring the game to Kickstarter and begin the process to remove/replace all SEGA related trademarks. And in this process Arcade County plans on improving their existing content around community ideas as well as feedback. An aspect of the title worth noting is the “Empire Anvil”. This handy tool is the exact same toolkit that the developers use to create aspects of the game, and this will be placed on the public’s fingertips. Not only will players get to create/modify graphics, but they will also be able to create musical content as well.
With no hard feelings towards SEGA, Mulvany and team seek to see Shining Empire to completion. Ultimately, they want to offer the MMORPG at an affordable price of $10 with free DLC to be administered throughout the first two years. Additionally, Arcade County’s plan is to develop the title for PC, Mac, and iOS devices. To donate to the project and perhaps even join in the development, follow the Kickstarter link here.