Diddy Kong Racing's IP rights are a mess

#1
It's no secret that DKR has numerous legal issues, the biggest question is just WHAT Nintendo owns out of the game.

Here's a screencap of a YouTube video showing the credits in Diddy Kong Racing DS which of course came out years after Rare was bought by Microsoft:

For those who can't see it, it says:

Copyrights of game, scenario, music and program, reserved by Nintendo. Copyrights of certain characters reserved by Rare.
Now an old Rare Scribes back from around the time of the game's release featured an employee answering at least the subject of the characters, saying that basically Rare retains the rights of all the characters with the exception of Diddy, Dixie, Tiny, and the only newcomer, Krunch, who is considered to be a Kremling.

This makes sense to an extent (though I question if Nintendo even KNOWS they own Krunch due to his complete absence outside of both versions of the game. Not even in Mario sport games for some reason). And we see more proof in the artwork and screenshots of an old cancelled 360 XBLA game by Rare called The Fast and the Furriest:



This is the first time that T.T. and Tiptup have been seen on MS hardware, hence that's visual proof.

Now here's the other thing, what about everything else?

Does Nintendo own all the environments? This is a toughie, since the island is literally called "Timber's Island". And also, the credits say they own the scenario, but the story really is central to Timber and Wizpig.

Music's easy as Nintendo would own all of that, especially since there are no real legal hurdles to work though. There aren't any music tracks that are remixes of Rare music (Banjo's bit in the theme song is just the theme song of the game played on the banjo and nothing more, this was retained in the DS version even).

Program would just be the code I imagine. Aside it being among its many forms in development R.C. Pro-Am 64, I don't see any issues here.

Game would just be that individual release I'd assume.

Here's another point; Greenwood Village was in Jet Force Gemini and that actually was retained in Rare Replay. However, so was Jet Pac in Donkey Kong 64 on Wii U VC, and we all know Jet Pac is 100% owned by Rare.

There have been rumors over the course of the last few years about the rumored development of Diddy Kong Racing 2 by Monster Games and that Nintendo has possibly at numerous occasions attempted to buy the rights to the characters. But who the hell knows if that'll even happen and if it even HAS happened. We're still kind of waiting for DKR2 to show itself if it even exists. :p Current talk is that it's an NX game, so... eh.

Maybe with Phil Spencer's more open approach to Nintendo these days (and even Microsoft putting their name on a Wii U game in Japan), even about Rare, you never know what crazy things will happen next.

What's your take?
 
May 24, 2014
11,386
2
0
#2
Maybe co-owned? MS can't make Diddy Kong racing 2 unless Nintendo allows it but they likely own the original characters
Nintendo can make Diddy Kong Racing 2 but likely a new environment and new characters
 
#3
Maybe co-owned? MS can't make Diddy Kong racing 2 unless Nintendo allows it but they likely own the original characters
Nintendo can make Diddy Kong Racing 2 but likely a new environment and new characters
Possibly. It just depends on what Nintendo are allowed to use.

The rumor is that DKR2 will be all-new and use eShop characters as racers alongside Diddy.
 

RM8

Member
Mar 11, 2012
21,338
0
0
#4
While it'd be sad to miss some characters from the first game, it's not like Nintendo can't make a new cast from scratch. What I'm saying is, please make DKR2 already! :p
 
Oct 6, 2007
23,358
0
0
30
#7
I was trying to figure out who owned Tiptup the other day. On the one hand, he was still in the DS version of Diddy Kong Racing. On the other hand, he appears in Banjo-Kazooie, which has now been rereleased by MS multiple times.

Here's another one: Gnawty the beaver appearing in Banjo-Kazooie. He's definitely a Donkey Kong character, but nobody really cares that he appears in a game that's been released by MS on the Xbox consoles.

I think these just aren't important enough characters for either MS or Nintendo to really care.
 
Dec 19, 2012
2,249
0
475
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
#13
I think these issues are just too much of a hassle for Nintendo to care to make a sequel, unless Rare actually makes another game for them like DKR DS.

They already have the Mario Kart juggernaut, and if they really wanted to do a racing game with Diddy Kong again, I think they'd be more comfortable reaching from the existing stable of Donkey Kong characters.

It's pretty obvious they know that the old characters don't mean anything to anyone except nostalgic gamers.
 
Jun 2, 2013
14,257
12
410
darkadia.com
#19
Why would anyone play this over Mario Kart?
The original was better than Mario Kart 64. Diddy Kong Racing could be better than Mario Kart 8 (I highly doubt it).
Diddy Kong Racing is still the gold standard for kart racers

real talk
Except there are two games called Crash Team Racing and Sonic All & Star Racing Transformed, which are considerably better than DKR.
 
Dec 4, 2011
8,959
432
610
Portland, OR
#21
Why would anyone play this over Mario Kart?
Newer Mario Karts are amazing, but at the time, DKR beat MK64 hands down.

Better looking, great music, an actual Adventure mode with collectables and bosses, generally fantastic tracks...
Fully functional Co-Op Adventure mode (albeit hidden behind a cheat code for some reason,) where the winner of the last event got to control in the hub world and select the next event.
Various Battle modes and arenas with varying objectives...

Three different vehicles types! And you could mix-and-match - every player didn't have to be locked to the same type. Race in a plane against a friend in a car and one in a hovercraft on the same track, with unique shortcut opportunities available to each player!

It's just a really, really full-featured game.
Really made Mario Kart look kind of barebones for a while.
 
May 4, 2005
12,694
1,382
1,240
31
Germany
www.gaming-universe.de
#22
Tip Tup already appeared on MS hardware before as a character in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, rereleased through XBLA (and recently: Rare Replay). I think MS and Nintendo probably reached an agreement regarding secondary characters game elements, allowing for instance Nintendo to rerelease DK64 even with Jet Pac and MS to rerelease Banjo even with Gnawty.
 
May 15, 2005
7,619
0
0
Glasgow
#25
The original was better than Mario Kart 64. Diddy Kong Racing could be better than Mario Kart 8 (I highly doubt it).

Except there are two games called Crash Team Racing and Sonic All & Star Racing Transformed, which are considerably better than DKR.
Sonic...absolutely.

Crash Team Racing is a pale imitation of DKR that came out a year later.

Granted, it was miles better than Mario Kart 64, but it has never at any point been the best kart racer available.
 
Jun 15, 2007
21,774
0
0
#31
Swapnote girl
Crane game bunny
Eshop bag
Wiimote warning guy
I wouldn't mind those two actually ending up in games. I can easily see that happening. Nikki (Swapnote) has shown up in other things I believe since they discontinued that program. That bunny is charming as all hell and easily see them using him else where. Surprised the Street Pass games rabbit hasn't shown up more unless he evolved into the Nintendo Badge Arcade rabbit.
 
Sep 17, 2006
30,835
0
1,075
Puerto Rico
#36
Doesn't Diddy Kong Racing DS answers the questions?

That was even ported by Rare after the purchase, and already had changes and character removals (and replacements).

I know it is alluded in the main post. So more than a mess, is just a mystery because they haven't said anything. And in the end, they could just call it Donkey Kong Racing, use a similar premise of All Stars Racings Transformed, along a hub with a story mode and end as a direct sequel, yet distanced enough.
 
May 30, 2013
6,884
0
0
#38
Sonic...absolutely.

Crash Team Racing is a pale imitation of DKR that came out a year later.

Granted, it was miles better than Mario Kart 64, but it has never at any point been the best kart racer available.
Ctr was the best for ps1, and why does it matter if its a clone, DK is also a better clone than MK.

DKR and CTR are best of their time.
 
Jan 1, 2011
27,453
1
0
#46
I would happily throw out the entire DKR cast in favour of new characters, I don't think any of them are really worth the trouble of bringing back.
But hey you could make an expy of TT I suppose, different type of timer/clock/watch.

Wait, I thought Krunch was the goalie in Strikers? Was it some other Kremling?
Krunch was a named Kremling that I guess was made to look more Crocodile like to fit in more with the animals of DKR.

Meanwhile the goalkeepers in Strikers are just standard Kremlings, so they're similar but not the same.
I suppose it doesn't help that Krunch's attire would become the default for Kremlings in DK64.
 
Jan 21, 2010
39,747
0
0
The Internet
fyrewulff.com
#48
I don't think Nintendo has ever bothered to use Krunch in anything else because nobody really cares about Krunch and he doesn't have much IP value.

I'm fairly sure they said a while back that DKR was supposed to be the "pilot" for a lot of characters, with even Bumper having his own game.. and they just never went anywhere. Basically MarioKart but in reverse, where the racing join-up game came before the character's actual games.


Nintendo and Microsoft's relationship is really weird. They had an N64 in Nuts and Bolts and left the N64 and N64 cartridges in full view in Banjo-Tooie, have released games together, etc.
 
Jan 27, 2015
1,140
0
0
#49
Glad to see some DKR love here.

Yeah, those rights are a mess. But basically only Nintendo can make a sequel, if only for the name and main character. And I don't think I'd like DKR2 by current Rare anyway.