When you write about the game industry for a while, you can end up writing about fan game projects that have been shut down by the original publishers with depressing frequency. Everyone from Square Enix to Blizzard to Nintendo (especially Nintendo) has sent cease-and-desist letters to passionate fans over games based on their popular properties. The companies often cite the need to protect their legal copyrights to characters and related works.
So it’s nice when, on occasion, we’re able to write about a fan game that actually gets some level of tacit approval from the developer of the original title. That’s what is happening with Installation 01, a Halo fan-game project being built in Unity in order to recapture the classic feel of Halo 2 and Halo 3 for Windows, Mac, and Linux players. Apparently, the team behind that game has worked out an arrangement to continue development without any legal trouble from the Halo-makers at 343 Industries or its corporate parent Microsoft.
The Installation 01 team wrote in a community update this week that they have been “maintaining a level of contact with 343 Industries over the past several months,” eventually culminating in a meet-and-greet to talk about details of the project and its legal status. After what the team calls an “incredibly informational and very positive” phone call, they say “we have been ensured that Installation 01 is not under imminent legal threat, provided we remain non-commercial in nature and scope, and continue to follow Microsoft’s Game Content Usage Rules to the letter.”