My spine nearly exploded into ash when I learned that an iteration of Mickey Mouse, the internationally recognized mascot of Disney, will hit the public domain in 2024. More specifically, it is the Steamboat Willie version of Mickey. Do you think video game devs are chomping at the bits to make something with this iconic character?
This question popped into my head because of the recent release of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, an absolutely terrifying (both in a genre and quality standpoint) horror/slasher flick. Here is the premise:
After Christopher Robin abandons them for college, Pooh and Piglet embark on a bloody rampage as they search for a new source of food.–IMDB
It also made me think of Bendy and the Ink Machine, a first-person puzzle horror title with a hauntingly similar style of Steamboat Willie Mickey. While Bendy has a much better rating than Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, I am left feeling both curious and queasy at the same time.
I personally feel that most game devs in established companies will stay away from utilizing Mickey Mouse for their future games–even if legal–as to avoid getting messy with Disney. I do anticipate gutsy individuals (such as those that specialize in mods) to get experimental with Mickey and garner a cult following, and with that, I’m willing to bet it would be a horror game. For sure.
The Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse is so iconic that regardless if someone makes a movie or a video game with him in 2024 and beyond, the public will always associate the character to Disney. I just hope if sometimes takes their creative liberties with Mickey, I sure hope it’s done with the respect, love, and care he deserves. As an author who has created their own characters and after witnessing what the internet and content creators have done to existing IP, I can’t help but feel protective for Disney (and I rarely side with large businesses).
What do you think? Will Steamboat Mickey fall into the hands of game devs once he enters the pubic domain in 2024? Should the copy right laws be updated to procted high-profile company mascots? Please share your thoughts with us on our Boss Rush Facebook Group or our Boss Rush Discord.
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