On Tuesday four more sword wholesalers were publicly shamed to the tune of $600,000 by Japanese juggernaut Square Enix, for selling unlicensed gunblades based off the Final Fantasy franchise. This settlement comes riding the coattails of a similar one against four other replica dealers, who were also fined and who subsequently released a prepared statement designed as much to invoke fear as to stroke Square’s already massive ego:
“We regret having sold unauthorized replica merchandise based on the Final Fantasy franchise to our customers. We would not have begun importing and selling these swords if we knew that Square Enix would respond so aggressively to stop us. We will never make this mistake again.”
I love the verbage of this quote. As if the wholesalers were genuinely surprised that Square Enix would actually find out or care that they were completely ripping off their brand. Its like a kid apologizing for stealing cookies. He’s not sad that he stole, he’s upset that he got caught and really that’s what the statement boils down to. Bascially it summarizes to “Oh snap, we won’t do that again.”
The timing of the suits falls perfectly behind the unveiling of Square’s Americanized webstore which currently doesn’t offer much in the way of scale gunblade replicas, but I’m sure will at some point at a “collectors” price that is sure to keep away all, but the most hardcore fans. Most who likely already have an inferior quality blade from one of the pirate vendors.
Naturally Square follows this with their own statement about how they are trying to keep a certain standard of content available to their customers (I can hear teeth grinding over this one), which is why they had to put a stop to the mass production of these infringing harbingers of death.
Now don’t get me wrong, Square has created one of the most bad ass and completely impractical weapons of all time and should be allowed to milk it for all they can. If I’d come up with anything half as cool I’d be madder then a bag full of cats if someone else was making money off of it without my consent still it makes me a little sad that should I get a hankering for a full scaled gunblade to hang on my wall I’m SOL for the time being. I’m sure these little beauties will still be making their way through ebay for a time so if you’re serious about needing one of these things for decor or recreational purposes
better pick one up now.
Originally posted 2/25/09 on my Destructoid blog