Over a year ago, Anthony Burch debuted on the game development scene with Runner. Since that time, Anthony has gone on to achieve super-stardom with his video series Hey Ash Whatcha Playin', Rev Rant, and Once Upon a Pixel. The former Destructoid editor now works for Gearbox, creator of the surprise hit Borderlands, and is currently hard at work on their next game.
Long after Runner was released, upstart game developer Gaijin Games co-opted use of the Runner name for their auto-run platformer, Bit.Trip RUNNER. Legal battles ensued, with both sides claiming rights to the name and the characters associated with Runner. Long story short, Anthony was forced to either shut Runner down for good, or change the game's name and graphics so that they're no longer associated with the Runner-mythos. If Anthony refused to comply with this, he'd be forced to fork over all proceeds earned from Runner to Gaijin Games.
As the creator of Runner's character graphics, that means that I needed to make all these changes, or else Anthony would hold me responsible and force me to make the appropriate payments to Gaijin Games myself. I was just informed of thislate this morning. Bit.Trip RUNNER was released in the United States today. That didn't leave me much time, but for better of worse, here it is, the new version of Runner -- Robocop 4. I did my best to make sure the original artistic messages of Runner remained intact, but now with characters and icons that I personally own, a few of which have been owned by my family for years. For instance, Roland McDoland, the hot dog loving clown, was created by my great-grandfather when he was just a budding art student in Munich. Good thing he had the foresight to have the character copyrighted and trademarked right quick.
Oh, and if any game developers, movie studios, comic book companies, or others in the media dare to use any of my family's cherished characters without permission, they better get Johnny Cochrane on the phone pronto, because they're about to get their asses burned by a hot lawsuit. I have my legal team on speed dial.
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