Blast Works: Budcat Responds

By: Derek Yu

On: July 26th, 2007


So we all raged a bit about Blast Works, and then Davide “Gendo Ikari” Mascolo suggested that maybe instead of sitting in our room with the lights out, listening to Linkin Park, we get proactive and write Budcat and Majesco an e-mail. Good idea! So I sent one out.

And lo and behold, I got two very quick reponses. One, from a Jeremy Anderson, Managing Partner at Budcat Creations, and one from a [representative who asked that her name be removed] at Highwater Group, who does PR for Majesco. The [Highwater rep] sent me a fact sheet and told me that Majesco would be in contact with me, but I haven’t heard from them yet. Jeremy, however, addressed my questions, and you can see what he said (along with my e-mail) after the jump.

My words are in italics and his in orange:

"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?

Absolutely. We respect the work Mr. Cho has done on Tumiki Fighters and his other titles, and it has been our plan since day one to make sure he’s credited with the game’s original design.

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

Yes, that’s the plan.

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

None. We are using his original design as a foundation and building upon it.

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

Sorry, but as a policy, we do not comment on financial matters.

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.



So there you have it! I have to say, I was surprised at how quickly they got back to me. Satisfactory answers for the time being. We’ll see how things go.

  • Sergio

    That’s good to hear, I suppose. Some of it seems suspiciously-phrased, but that’s probably just my suspicion…

  • Twisted Rabbit

    answers are always good to questions. Now, only if we could get the current administration to answer some….

  • sinoth

    So basically…
    “Yes, we will put Cho’s name all over this so you indie nerds will buy it, but we completely bastardized the games design.”

  • negative zero

    hah, and you say you weren’t jumping to conclusions. still, kudos to you derek, what better way to get answers then to ask them yourself. and hey, this makes it official: they go against their word now, we have every right to bash what they’re doing.

    also, i’m not getting all this bullshit on the previous topics about sticking up for kenta cho when they say they couldn’t give a flying fuck about his decisions as far as legalities are concerned. that’s moronic.

    i’m just hoping the game gives KC an opportunity to make it big and get the coverage he deserves.

  • Mike

    Well, that’s nice.

    But I’m still wanting to hear from Majesco… I mean, in the end, doesn’t Budcat have to answer to Majesco in this deal?

    But at least it looks promising.

  • Derek

    I don’t feel like I was jumping to conclusions. I said I was sad that he was left out of the first press release and that he wasn’t playing a bigger part in the development.

    To clarify: I don’t think it’s a terrible situation for Kenta Cho… I’m just thinking that if I were in Budcat’s shoes, I’d do everything possible to involve Kenta as much as possible in the development.

    And to be honest, Jeremy’s tone in the e-mail doesn’t really make me feel that much better. I’m more happy that at least they are aware of how people feel about it.

  • crukid

    I love you Derek.

  • Jonathan Blow

    (a) The name of the project is Blast Works.

    (b) They didn’t have enough sense to mention Kenta Cho in the press release.

    (c) If they were paying him any money, they probably would have said so. I would.

  • Jonathan Blow

    (d) Their company logo is very, very ugly.

  • TheLurker

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

    None. We are using his original design as a foundation and building upon it.

    Note the carefully-crafted response there. Suspicious? Come on! Using his design as a foundation? What the hell are they doing, building Quake V/Doom IV using the engine from Tumiki Fighters?

    I mean, yes, it is indeed nice to see a decent indie title hitting the commercial market… but if it goes down the same path that PopCap went down all those years ago, there will be an entire community up in arms… and why am I saying this to you guys? You already know all this stuff!

  • konjak

    First of all, people shouldn’t have doubted Kenta Cho actually had some idea about what kind of contract he signed, and he’s all about making games free anyway.

    And second, you who complain about them making the new version BASED on the original: it makes sense, because the original is free for anyone, remember? So they’ll make something new that can actually sell.

  • DrDerekDoctors

    The whole “we don’t discuss financial matters” does sound worrisome to me.

  • -B-

    Great answers and everything looks good.

    Of course they are trying to improve the original work. Original is just a little shooter – so it’s need a lot of new content and features to be full commercial game. As Kenta said himself.

    I really don’t understand you guys who are thinking that Kenta should be payed. It doesn’t make any sense! You can’t give a gift and after that send a bill. Kenta wants to give his games free – accept that! It’s ok for him that someone is taking commercial risk and trying to make money. That’s what it takes to make a console game anyway – money…

    And what comes to answer number 3. Yeah, it would be nice to see that they would even ask Kenta about any ideas he would have. That would be good idea – and now it seems that is only mistake Majesco is doing right now.

  • Aubrey

    Bad analogy. This situation would be more like making something as a present, and then watching that person change it, sell it to more people, tell them you made it, and then not give you any of the money they make.

    That’d be wrong, any way you look at it.

  • haowan

    1. the game design answer is in no way suspicious. he doesn’t have any input and they’re taking the original design and changing it. that’s the end of the story

    2. the financial answer doesn’t “bode ill” or sounds suspicious, we’ve pretty much known since the beginning that he won’t get cash for it and really it’s none of our business whether he does or not. in the recent interview he sounded perfectly happy with the situation so WAY TO GO KENTA CHO. seems ok to me.

    3. yes it would be good to hear similar responses from majesco. developers can have all the good intentions in the world but the publisher has the final call.

  • Koach

    Yeah, but after all, it was Kenta’s decision. I wouldn’t think that he’d have agreed, if he didn’t know the conditions and no one forced him to just give it away for free. The consequences are clear: driven mad by the prospect of profit, companies jump at the game like a bunch of vultures, rip out the guts and try to make money off every litte pice that once made the whole. It’s just the way commercialism goes and that’s what to expect if you sacrifice yourself to it. So there you have it.

  • -B-

    Aubrey: yeah, you have better analogy – but you forget one important thing: when giving that present you said that “you can do whatever you want with this present – you can even improve (or make it worse) and sell – and keep all the money. It’s ok to me”.

    I really don’t understand this crying. If you are Kenta Cho’s dad and worried about his income, then I would understand (“Why you gave those games away for nothing! Bad boy!”). But now all this “This is so wrong” -talking makes me smile. Or cry :)

  • FireSword

    Answer number 4 translated is no.


  • haowan


  • juice

    To summarise: the developers are taking the original BSD-licenced code and altering it. They are going to credit Kenta, but they have no legal obligation to pay Kenta anything, and presumably aren’t intending to. Kenta is aware of this and doesn’t seem to mind – if he did, then he would have used the GPL or another licence which would restricted commercial re-use.

    Then too: if the developers needed to pay for the code, would they have even attempted to bring this game to the Wii?

    As it stands: the Wii is about to get a good new game, the developers/publishers/game shops/etc are about to get some revenue and Kenta Cho is about to get a lot of extra exposure and visibility, which he could parlay into financial benefits (e.g. commercialising his website, offering KC t-shirts, etc). His “donation” has enabled this, in roughly the same way as Tim-Berner Lee’s decision to not patent the WWW led to a new economic resource worth billions and stuff like :)

    On the other hand, cash up front is always nice!

  • Aubrey

    Why am I annoyed on Kenta’s behalf? Good point. I shouldn’t be, assuming he agreed to not being paid.

    I’m not worried about him financially: he has a day job, after all, and wants for little. I once offered to send some money as a donation, but he wouldn’t even accept that!

    Man, he’s a better human being than I… but that goes without saying.

    I guess I have more of an issue (i.e. not a huge one at all) with them using his name but altering his game substantially… is it a Kenta Cho game at that point, or merely “inspired by”? As he says himself, you can overcomplicate a simple concept very easily. It takes a lot of tenacity in the face of homogeonizing forces to keep it elegant.

    I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. These antidepressants are doing a number on me… it’s the easing in phase.

  • fartron

    What’s the difference between categories and tags?

  • PHeMoX

    *Sorry, but as a policy, we do not comment on financial matters.*

    This makes sense and it’s not quite our business, but it would have been better to have asked Kenta Cho himself about this.

  • PHeMoX

    (eventhough financial things are usually under NDAs..)

  • fish

    the whole thing’s a fucking travesty.

  • BMcC

    Excellent work, Derek!

    I may just give you that vacation time yet…

  • Guesst

    You know, when I first played this game I thought, “What a concept. If you took this idea and made it a commercial game you could make it so that you were flying some sort of magnetic fighter where the first 5 things you tagged would be the body arms and legs of a voltron like super robot built from whatever you hit. Smaller ships, obvously, would stick on where ever. Throw in some anime inspired art and you’ve got yourself a sure fire hit that almost entirely bastardizes the original idea.

    When i saw this I realize my nightmare may become a reality.

  • Derek

    The Highwater rep asked me to take her name off the post, and I didn’t see any reason not to. If anything, it’s even funnier that she doesn’t want people to know she’s involved (either with the game or the site, who knows?)!

    Also, I think that’s it. Doesn’t sound like we’re getting any info from Majesco themselves.

  • Miscellamer

    >Fartron: Categories are what the post is filed under. Categories are on the side of the screen, below external links. I believe that tags are what you type into the search box.

    BTW, I think that everybody should stop whining about what happens to the game; it’s Kenta’s fault if anything happens that he didn’t intend, and there’s nothing that any of us can do about it, short of boycotting the game. Which would naturally have to take place after it was developed. It’s nothing like what happened with Platypus.

  • moi

    You know since, it’s an open source game, nothing prevents anybody to make his own clone of Tumiki even a freeware and flood the market with it.