UPDATED 5pm Eastern: It’s been a rocky day in the land of the 8-bit Twilight game – the delightful choose-your-own-adveture YouTube fad that’s been enjoyed by more than 600,000 fans and, for a brief time, was shut down Thursday. But its makers protested – exclusively to NewsFeed (see below) – and Summit restored the game. So what’s it gonna be: Play baseball with Edward or build motorcycles with Jacob?
“A happy ending!” was the relieved e-mail that NewsFeed received at 4:35 p.m. this afternoon from Benny and Rafi Fine, makers of the online hit. “Maker Studios got in touch with the digital department at Summit, got everything cleared up, and the game is back in action!”
It was a joyous ending to a most turbulent day.
Earlier Thursday, Summit Entertainment exerted its copyright protections to get the whole thing taken down. The creators turned almost immediately in exasperation to NewsFeed.
“Even big online personalities like ourselves or actual companies like The Station (Maker Studios) can do nothing when this happens but go through a tedious process of counter-claiming … Even when a video or video/game in this case hits the public in a good way where mainstream press like Wired, MSNBC, Time Magazine and more write up about it,” the Fines said via e-mail. “It’s disappointing for web video and creativity at large.”
The brothers also went on to say that they felt penalized and marginalized in ways that traditional comedians and media programs would never be. “It is clearly fair use/parody. We took no actual media from Twilight, everything was created from scratch, no different than South Park or Saturday Night Live-but on the web, a big company can just click a button and instantly have content removed with no protection.”
What could have been a public relations disaster is now instead an extension of the weekend’s most popular movie. We think we’re gonna have Bella fix that bike.