My Little Pony, Hasbro's colorful line of equine toys, is back.
My Little Pony (Hasbro)
Two fan-made online games, My Little Pony Online and Equestria Online, are both set in the fictional world of the "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" television series, currently in its second season on The Hub cable network.
The show, which strives to make the My Little Pony franchise a bit less 'girly' and more approachable to a wider audience, focuses on Twilight Sparkle, a unicorn pony who has adventures with her Pony Town friends -- Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.
That sure doesn't sound less girly to us, but amazingly, it's built up a substantial boy following as well.
There's no release date for either game yet, but details are starting to emerge.
At My Little Pony Online, players will be able to choose one of three classes -- unicorn, Pegasus or pony -- and then explore an open world filled with dungeons and combat. Equestria Online will let players explore the land (of which Pony Town is just a small part) to meet new friends and undertake quests. Like MLPO, players will create their own unicorn, Pegasus or pony avatar.
While My Little Pony fans may stomp their hooves in excitement over these fan-made games, it's a bit early to pop the champagne. Since the brand is the property of Hasbro, the threat of a cease and desist order shutting down development is very real.
My Little Pony is one of the most popular toy lines of all time — and it's one the company is likely to defend aggressively. Unfortunately for fans, that typically means closing down projects like this to ensure Hasbro doesn't lose the rights.
It's the same reason Bethesda is undertaking a legal battle against Mojang over the use of the word "Scrolls" in an upcoming game from the developers of Minecraft.
"Trademark owners have a duty to protect their marks and should enforce their rights," said Angela Bozzuti, an associate specializing in trademark law at Davis & Gilbert LLP, in regards to that case. "Trademarks are source identifiers and are often among a company's most valuable assets. If they allow third parties to infringe their trademark rights without taking action, they can eventually lose their marks."
Unless, that is, they have rainbow power.