Releasing a fan-made game inspired by existing properties can be a tricky business, but not impossible. The team behind Installation 01, for instance, seem to be moving in a very positive direction with their Halo game, even receiving a tentative nod from the team at 343 Industries.
Over on the Installation 01 message board, the team has posted a message that states, for the time being, the folks behind the Halo games are letting them keep trucking with their fan-made project. In the post, they explain that close contact has been kept with the developers who, as of right now, have no problem with them continuing the project.
According to the post, the developers of Installation 01 have worked hard to keep 343 Industries in the loop about their game, which is inspired primarily by Bungie-era Halo titles, specifically multiplayer modes. Recently, it sounds like 343 has done more than respond with "thanks for keeping us posted," going so far as to set up a chat between the indie developers and the company's higher-ups.
In short, 343 currently has no issues with the 01 team continuing with their development and plans to release the game. There are a couple of catches, though, but they aren't exactly surprising. For starters, the team can't make money off of the project. In other words, they can't set up a crowdfunding page to support the development and, as of now, can't sell merchandise based on their game. That would be akin to them making money off of Halo, something they've got no right to do. That makes this a 100 percent passion project, but at least they get to follow-through with their plans. If nothing else, maybe this will grab them some positive attention that will create solid support for a follow-up project of their own design.
Honestly, we just think it's cool that Microsoft and the team at 343 seem to not only be communicating with the team, but taking a genuine interest in the project and allowing them to actually deliver on their goals. The story usually goes the exact opposite direction, with many folks operating under the idea that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. That pretty much universally results in a fan-made game, whether recently launched or still in development, being smacked with a cease and desist. Keep in mind we're not faulting developers like Nintendo for doing this. We're just happy to see that there's hope for a common ground to be reached with some of these projects that could potentially lead to nifty games seeing the light of day.
We feel it's important to reiterate that, as of right now, it looks like 343 is A-OK with Installation 01 moving forward. A lot has to be taken into consideration here and, at some point, a team of lawyers might discover something that makes it impossible to continue. For now, though, it's pretty exciting news. We're still waiting on Halo 6 but, in the meantime, maybe we'll have a fun fan-made Halo game to keep us busy.