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Recently I started remaking an old game on Unity. Basically I want to remake an old RPG that was released for Playstation 1. I'm not ripping anything from the old game, all the assets are being created by me. I'm creating everything from the scratch, music, 3D models, gameplay however I will keep the (copyrighted ?) names, I will try to create the characters and maps/levels as they were in the original version of Playstation 1 but with better graphics.

I'm not planning on selling it or adding in on a platform like Steam (for obvious reasons, copyrights etc), just giving it for free. But I wanna know when I will finish the development, can I share the game on public with other people so they can download it?

Can the company that made the original game sue me/fine me because of copyrights reasons even though I'm not planning on selling for money?

tl;dr Remake an non-profit game of PS1 from the scratch, can the company that holds the copyrights of the game sue me/fine me?

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marked as duplicate by Josh Jul 8 '16 at 2:02

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  • \$\begingroup\$ People have tried this in the past (see for example Chrono Resurrection), but it's trademark and copyright infringement so you'll receive a cease-and-desist if caught during development. If you actually release the game, I imagine you'll get into worse legal trouble. \$\endgroup\$ – milk Jul 7 '16 at 23:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know this is about a game, but this is really better suited for law.stackexchange.com or reddit.com/r/legaladvice \$\endgroup\$ – user5665 Jul 8 '16 at 1:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ See also gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/712/… \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Jul 8 '16 at 2:02
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You can't keep the real names nor the same level structure with improved graphics. That will be a partial remake of a game and that is forbidden by law, even if you are not charging money for the game. You can however copy the style and make it very similar without infringing copyright. Take banjo kazooie and it's rebirth from the same developer Yookay Laylee, or the most recent mighty number 9 which is from the same creator from megaman. Both games keep the same gameplay and core features from their originals; however, feature new characters, new levels and completely different assets. For further proof you can see that in both examples I mentioned, the creators of the original game are the ones that created this different "remakes" and yet they can't use the same assets they created years ago.

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