With a few conditions, of course
Fan games are always just a cease and desist away from being dashed into oblivion. We see it all the time. Companies have a legal interest in protecting their properties, and unilaterally shutting down fan games is often the only plausible course of action. Nintendo is the most notorious example, and it has garnered some ill will over the years because of it.
These scenarios don’t always end negatively, though. A Halo fan game is set to live on because it got the explicit approval to proceed from 343 Industries and Microsoft Studios. The team behind Installation 01 recently wrote that it had a productive conference call with 343 executives who gave the blessing to eventually release the game.
There are, however, a few conditions. In order to retain proper legal separation, the Installation 01 creators can’t profit in any direct way. That means that it has to release the game for free, it can’t accept donations, and it can’t sell any merchandise that’s based on the game; selling merchandise that’s based on the studio is permitted.
As long as it stays non-commercial, Installation 01 has the green light. All things considered, that’s a pretty fantastic turnout — especially since many fan games only live on through torrent sites. Installation 01 won’t be an official Halo product, but at least the Halo gatekeepers recognize and respect that it’s coming from a place of love and passion.
Friends in High Places [Installation 01]