Siliconera Interview: Kenta Cho

By: Derek Yu

On: July 24th, 2007

Blast Works

There’s a short interview with Kenta Cho up on Siliconera where he talks about Blast Works and console development. Some choice quotes:

“Since the original TUMIKI Fighters is very simple shmup, additional new features are essential for making it up into a full game. I don’t know details of features such as the hangar and the editor but they sound very interesting. The only thing that concerns me is whether the game becomes too complicated to play by adding these features. I like a simple and intuitive gameplay.”
“I’m interested in developing a game for a console and now I’m trying to write some prototypes in XNA. XNA is a great environment to experience the development of the modern console game.”

I’m a bit saddened that it seems Kenta Cho is not involved more in the development of this port. The fact that he seems unaware that Blast Works is now going to include, at the very least, rRootage, but possibly also Gunroar and Torus Trooper, makes me uneasy. Not sure why Siliconera didn’t ask him about this.

The guy seems incredibly easy going and happy to see his games on consoles. But if there were ever a time when I’d like to see someone’s name in front of a game title, it’s now.

  • Adam Atomic

    holy – gunroar AND torus trooper too? that’s actually kinda hot. Do i wish kenta cho was more involved? Yes. Do i wish I could play gunroar on the TV instead of my tiny laptop screen? Yes. I’m torn!

  • torn

    No, I am.

  • wildweasel

    And I still don’t know if they’re paying him royalties!

  • -B-

    Why do you worry about Kenta’s royalties? I think he is okay with everything – no one is breaking the law and he has released his games under FreeBSD license and I’m sure that he knows what it means.

    He is probably thrilled to see this all happening. Maybe he don’t want all that money and glory you guys are after here?

    It seems to me that all the fanboys want glory for their hero – but hero seems to be fine with everything.

    So don’t blame majesco – they are taking risk and putting money to these games. And everyone else can do the same. Actually same thing happens all the time in software business. People makes a lot great software (even a operating systems – ooh!!) and gives it away free. And they are fine when someone put that software on a nice box (and takes all the risks) and takes money from distributions or installations.

    So relax and enjoy those games.

  • PHeMoX

    Royalties might be important for him to continue making these games, so yes off course we worry about hís royalties too. ;-)

    Anyways, I hope he get’s what he deserves money-wise.

  • negative zero

    lol, this topic’s a lot more toned down, which is how it should be. a shame he isn’t working on it side by side with budcat, but it appears he’s got more interesting things to work on. he’s getting somewhere, and i’d consider that more important than worrying about his creative license on a game that most people know was originally created by him. if budcat creations had any soul, they’d at least mention his name somewhere in the game.

  • Isador21

    I think he should at least get his name in the credits …
    I mean, when you release a game under some free license, you actually expect people to at least give you kudos for having made the game… otherwise it’s plain stealing.
    Legal or not, taking something free and pretending it’s yours just sucks

  • moi

    I think there’s a reason why is name isn’t mentioned , it’s because of the BSD license, I think it’s mentioned somewhere not to use the author’s name for promotion or sthg like that, not sure.
    Anyway , yeah it’s a shame that it doesn’t earn any royalties, the guy did most of the work and the Majesco hacks aren’t really going to make the game a whole lot different.
    I don’t think that’s what God intended when he made his games oen source, he probably wanted them to be used by other freeware enthusiasts.

  • beylita

    Truly he works in mysterious ways

  • wildweasel

    The reason I care about whether or not he gets royalties: I’m not going to pay Majesco for a game that somebody else made. BSD license notwithstanding, I feel that Kenta should at least be given a cut of the profits for having made the damn thing in the first place.

    Otherwise, no money for you, Majesco.

  • matthew

    But wildweasel: Kenta Cho doesn’t want the money! He released his game with the sparsest of legal restrictions on purpose! Consider: Blast Works might never have been if not for such free licensing.

    Kenta Cho, as far as we can tell, wants no more than for people to enjoy his games. Blast Works can open them to a much broader audience. Your boycotting, though well-intentioned, could only hinder this. That’s not what Kenta Cho wants!

  • matthew

    Also, moi: No, there are many very open licenses that yet restrict commercial use; it’s little more than a matter of choosing your favorite. What Kenta Cho did was intentional, and I think it’s a little insulting to portray him a hapless victim.

  • FireSword

    why they should pay him royalties?
    Ideas are copyrighted now? What if i make an fps i must pay royalties to the first one who made it? There is no super mario or wh40k space marines here to ask for royalties..


  • BenH

    Firesword, please engage brain.

  • PHeMoX

    *Legal or not, taking something free and pretending it’s yours just sucks*

    True and for that reason alone Majesco should have the balls to share some of the profit made. I don’t care what license Kenta Cho choose, perhaps he didn’t realize any of this might ever happen. So it should still be his call.

    Btw. I don’t consider Majesco ‘stealing’ anything, unless they’re going to clone it right down to the details, graphics and complete gameplay. In that case it would be pretty shitty not to give Kenta Cho royalties, no matter how little.

  • evilmrhenry

    The following is the license for Torus Troopers (and presumably his other games):

    Copyright 2004 Kenta Cho. All rights reserved.

    Redistribution and use in source and binary forms,
    with or without modification, are permitted provided that
    the following conditions are met:

    1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice,
    this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

    2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice,
    this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation
    and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

    (Long section basically saying NO WARRANTY INCLUDED snipped.)

    Now, note section 2. What that says, is if you distribute the game in binary form, you must include the unmodified license somewhere. (I’m assuming this will be done.) There are no other conditions required for binary distribution.

    In other words, what they’re doing is fine, as long as they include a couple paragraphs somewhere.

  • Derek

    How come everyone feels like if something is legal on paper that it’s A-OK? Sometimes things are totally legal and they suck. Kenta Cho should be fully credited and compensated for his ideas and I don’t care about the legality of the situation.

    In this case, dude seems so nice and happy to see his game on the Wii that it almost hurts more that they’re not going to further lengths to include him in the development.

  • Tim

    Kenta Cho should be swimming in a pool of money by now. If he’s not, then someone must be raping him blind.

  • the2bears

    I’m with Derek on this, there’s just something here that smells bad. Certainly Kenta Cho gives more than most to the indie game scene, and he does it for the love of writing games. That can’t be diminished, not by Majesco, but they’re still taking advantage of the situation and I don’t think it’s as risky as some suggest. And in doing this, they’ve put a shadow on indie games, which hurts me.


  • -B-

    I think you are thinking Kenta is brainless child, and some big guy just came and took his candy…

    Guys, he has made free little games, released them on a BSD license probably just for hoping something like this (that someone takes them and makes it bigger and to other gaming devices too).

    Then Mr. Cho can just smile and say that I have made those games. If he would have wanted any money from those little games, or didn’t want that anyone else is making money with the games – then he would release them under a different license.

    I think Majesco is making big thing for gamers by bringing those games to bigger audience. I’m sure they will credit Kenta, but paying money for guy who doesn’t even want that in first place is just plain stupid business. And thank god Kenta is not crying and making fool of himself by requesting some royalties or blaming majesco for using his games (that is what you guys hope?). I think Kenta knows very well what is going on and he is (and should be) a happy man!

    All this crying before no-one knows anything for sure is just funny…

    Please think facts: Kenta released games in very open license – and did that because never wanted any money, just a big audience for his games. Now it’s happening and everybody should be happy.

    And those who are boycotting majesco just for because Kenta is not getting paid. He doesn’t want your money from those games. I think if you ask that “Can I send some money to you, because I love your games so much?” seems a little insulting to me. Maybe “I love you and your games, thank you very much!” would make my heart much warmer. Most people in western world are always thinking of money and business.

    I have good job, and I really don’t money from any of my hobbies. Or either I want money from anyone else than from my client. Kenta has probably just the same situation. More money doesn’t make people happier.

    People love to give and share. Enjoy it!

  • -B-

    I really don’t WANT money from any of my hobbies.

    And lot’s of other typos and stuff, but I hope you understand what I am after.

  • Derek

    “Then Mr. Cho can just smile and say that I have made those games.”

    Yeah, that’s about all he’s going to be able to do!

    Anyway, I’m not faulting Mr. Cho for anything. His attitude is the best one. I just wish that, because of his graciousness, Majesco / Budcat would go the EXTRA length to let people know that Kenta Cho made the game, instead of take advantage of it.

    “He doesn’t want your money from those games… Most people in western world are always thinking of money and business.”

    You’re right. In Japan they go by the barter system, so money is of no use to them.

    You’re talking about “loving and sharing” but you also say that “paying people who don’t want money is bad business” at the same time… well, which are you for? Giving and sharing or good business? Why is it okay that Kenta Cho gives and shares, but Majesco doesn’t have to?

    Anyway, I think you have a great attitude (i.e. money doesn’t matter), but it just really rubs me wrong the way this whole thing has been turning out. I’m happy to see the game reach a wider audience – I’d just be happier if it reached it the right way.

  • Davide “Gendo Ikari” Mascolo

    Am I the only one thinking that the inclusion of the other games by Kenta Cho as unlockable bonuses in Blast Works is already an homage to the original author and his works by Budcat Creations?

    “In this case, dude seems so nice and happy to see his game on the Wii that it almost hurts more that they’re not going to further lengths to include him in the development.”
    So, if he’s happy this way (as yourself say), why should he feel differently?

    Also, why not voice such concern to Budcat and/or Majesco? I mean, making them realize that we would like to see at least Kenta’s name somewhere in Blast Works? I’d gladly give my signature to something like that. In a gentle tone, obviously: the pitchforking I’m witnessing would get nowhere.

  • failrate

    I imagine it would behoove any game company to hire Mr. Cho as a consultant at the very least. I mean, the guy obviously knows how to get games done.

  • Derek

    Sure, that sounds good. I’m willing to send them an e-mail to have them clear things up.

    By the way, I wouldn’t call this “pitchforking.” People are just expressing reservations over the notable absence of Kenta Cho’s name in the initial press release, and hoping that he’ll be credited in the final game. These are valid concerns.

    But I agree, it’s good to be proactive about things. I’ll e-mail them immediately.

  • Derek

    E-mail sent (to Budcat and Majesco’s marketing department). It reads as follows:

    “Hi, this is Derek Yu from The Independent Gaming Source (, a website covering news from the independent gaming community.

    First, I’d like to say that it’s great to see Tumiki Fighters hitting the Wii! However, some readers of the site are expressing concern that Mr. Cho is not receiving due credit for the game, based on the fact that his name didn’t appear in the initial press release. Would it be possible for you to clear up some of the doubt by answering a few questions?

    1. Will Kenta Cho be credited fully in the game itself?

    2. Will Kenta Cho be mentioned in any advertisements or marketing relating to the game?

    3. How much involvement does Kenta Cho have in the development of the game, aside from his creation of the original version?

    4. Will Kenta Cho be at all financially compensated for his involvement in the development of the game?

    Apologies if this seems accusatory, but as fans and peers, it’s important to us that a small developer like Kenta Cho is compensated adequately for his hard work and graciousness.


  • -B-

    @Derek: i support both – capitalism and loving & sharing :)

    I do work and get money – I like that I can bring some food to table for my wife and my 5 months old boy. I also run my own side business as a freelancer. But I also like to photograph my friends weddings and so on – and I would never take any money from that work. I’m happy that they want me to shoot those important pictures. Just like Kenta is happy that people play his games.

    It just how you want things to go. Kenta wants love & share and Majesco want to make some business. They are also taking risk and putting some money in that release. And one important thing: You can’t release “freeware software” for wii, or can you? If flash and web apps and games doesn’t count. I’m not sure about this one though.

    And yes, thanks to Davido this crying did get right direction and thanks to Derek we get some real action. Nice to see how they answer. And I do hope they will.

    And we have to remember, that we don’t even know that if Kenta wants his name used in marketing and stuff like that. That man is like a shadow you know ;)

    But soon we know more. I just want people to see all this as a positive thing – because it is!

    Oh, and Derek: I love your loving and sharing with this site (and love to other editors too ;)) and all your past work! All the art on your personal site and so on. I’m also looking forward to Aquaria – and I’m thrilled the fact that it will be shareware and developed full time. I have no problems of paying for what is good :)

  • FireSword

    At BenH:You don ‘t agree with me, it’s ok but i repeat there is no need to insult or bein’ bitchy.

    Gee.. ideas can’t be copyrighted, look at sf2, the neo-geo never asked capcom permission to clone his game, and in that case some character was very similar too! The only stuff that can be copyrighted is graphic, code, music, sound… for example Acquaria, no1 will ever say u must pay royalties to Sega (Ecco the dolphin – megadrive).


  • K. Thor Jensen

    Hey, “FireSword,” they’re not using his “idea,” they’re using HIS ACTUAL GAME, his graphics, his code, his music and his sound. Could you shut your wobbly piehole if you don’t know what you’re talking about? Thanks kindly.

  • haowan

    relax. it’s ok

  • FireSword

    At K. Thor jensen (lol):it’s beacouse 10 people(u told nothing to them) b4 me said they stole just the idea, ok it seems u agree with me with what is copyrighted and what’s not, last but not least i don ‘t know where do you live but here normal people don ‘t send free insults to people, after all i din’t insult anyone i just stated a point. Probably considering u are a kid insulting others make your arguments a little more strong. shhit if this is the indygamer attitude you’ll never leave the oblivion..


  • K. Thor Jensen

    Nobody before you said they “stole just the idea,” you witless prune. Everybody in this discussion understnads that these are PORTS of Kenta Cho’s games, not “inspired by” or “ideas” EXCEPT YOU. You did not “state a point,” you puked your deliberate ignorance of the ACTUAL SITUATION all over the comments field. LEARN TO READ ENGLISH BEFORE YOU TRY TO WRITE IT.

  • FireSword

    At K. Thor Jensen: Dude there is no previous post where they say they ar goin to use source code and graphic..
    I didn ‘t spam comments, i simply replied when some1 pointed at me insulting (gee can’t i tell them to stfu?).Ok i didn t get in the first place, they wer goin to use his ip, but no1 told me, just insults..
    Then i have no idea why u hate me, or maybe u have some personal problem, but hey that ‘s your problem not mine haha.


  • K. Thor Jensen

    Maybe if you, I dunno, READ THE INTERVIEW IN THE ORIGINAL POST or READ THE NEWS ARTICLE LINKED IN THE ORIGINAL POST, you’d know what was going on? How do you even remember to breathe?

  • FireSword

    If you talk that way to strangers in streets the way u talk to me in this site, u have some serious problem.. haha

    You must be in some kind of divorce or trouble coz i don’t think u hate me personally haha..


  • Derek

    Stop saying “peace,” hippy!

  • negative zero

    this is just depressing…and i don’t mean the topic at hand.

  • FireSword

    At Hippy: lol

    PEACE AND LOVE. haha

    Sgt. Gunny Highway.

  • Prio

    Firesword, he does hate you personally. We pretty much all hate you personally. We hate you personally because when the grown-ups are trying to have a conversation, you won’t shut up. That’s not an insult or anything, that’s just a fact.

  • FireSword

    You know Prio u shouldn’t deserve a reply but i ll make an exception on you.. First u clearly must have some big problem, which i don’t wanna hear (haha), let me tell you that there are ways to talk with others, i don’t like people like you or Jensen, with you ‘superiority-aura’ u are an insult to intelligence and kind people. the only ‘fact’ here (even in an anonymous and hidden wordpress comment book) is that u wasted the occasion to stfu. lol
    Ok i didn’t get in the fisrt place
    they were taken all the game+code and release comercially, why tf in telling me u had to be so bitchy? (don’t answer it’s not a question)

  • Prio

    It’s still trying to communicate. Is this sad or funny? Or both? Or something else?