So in 1998, japanese game developer Squaresoft released the JRPG title Xenogears.

The game was very rough around the edges but gathered a cult following of fans that keep it kicking even to these days, myself included.

Part of the problem was that the development team was very new and inexperienced with 3D games, which was just starting to get steam at the time, with the advent of Sony home console Playstation.

Some say that had the tram worked on the 2D mainstream technologies for game design which were mainstream back then, the schedule would not have been an issue and the game would have been far more polished and with a whole lot more content.

Since then, the original team has disintegrated, square merged with Enix and the company has shut down anything related with the game.

I have no idea what is the legal status of the game rights. But I really dig the idea of a pixel art 2D remake. Provided I decide to make one, without earning a single dime for it, can I still release it to the community as a "fan project" or is that illegal?

  • @Sneftel not really. The OP in that question specifically mentioned opening a business to sell his improved copy without legal issues. In my case, I wanted to know if those restrictions also apply if I do everything for free, as a passion project. Of course all of the assets would be new, but I would very much try to make game look like the original as much as possible.
    – urquiza
    Oct 17 '21 at 19:48


The artwork is all covered by copyright that, in Japan, lasts for 70 years after the death of the last artist. As employees of Squaresoft, the artists don’t own the copyright, Squaresoft (or it’s heirs or assignees do). So, the copyright currently vests with the successor company Square Enix.

They are the only organisation with the right to make or licence derivatives. While they currently don’t want to, they might in 10 or 20 or 40 years and any work you made would damage the profitability of that hypothetical project. So it isn’t fair use. So you can’t do it.


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