Marvel Brothel

Relax, The Only Fucking Here Is Done By the Corporations

Free Download

A business simulation of a sex harem for comic book characters? This game cannot not be reviewed here. However -- refrain from any lewd remarks here -- I couldn't last more than fifteen minutes with it. Blame an early childhood rife with the Dark Knight, my (sorta) aversion to games without a jump button, or plain old apathy, but I just couldn't get into it. From what I gathered there was some Macguffin that required Professor Xavier to pimp out his mutants, or something. The game threw Horniness, Stamina, and Kinkiness meters at me and I got a chuckle from that, but my kid sister walked into the room and asked what I was playing. I didn't experience any Puritanical shame or anything like that, but I didn't really want to crack open that proverbial can of worms at that specific moment -- and especially in that context. I exited the game, told her "nothing", and we played some Mario Kart 64. She's devastating with those damn green shells.

It's shitty journalism to cop out like this, but Electron Dance made a damn fine write-up here. The game isn't exactly pr0n so don't feel too bad about checking it out (but I'd make sure little siblings aren't around at the very least).

Why did I write a 'review' for a game I didn't actually play, you ask? Well, Marvel/Disney Incorporated decided that they were the only ones allowed to objectify/pimp out their characters. Their lawyers, who I'll refrain from demonizing (they do that quite well themselves) said:

"The following downloadable role playing game titled “Marvel Brothel,” contains numerous names, images, characters and trademarks infringing on Marvel’s intellectual property rights. This unauthorized role playing game that infringes Marvel copyrights can be found at:
We are requesting this game is removed as soon as possible, we appreciate that this is being taken seriously and you are doing what you can while the site staff is reorganizing. I understand it is a small community, so I prefer to make the request directly to the administrator who can remove the offending game surgically, rather than through an ISP who might take down the entire site.

This was pulled from the developer's blog, where he graciously handled the situation.

Ardent Chrono Trigger fans who poured hours of work into a (non-porn) fan game faced a similar problem last year. It's bullshit. This is the internet, it's not like this is the sole proprieter of Marvel-related pornography out there. The game's harmless, and if you read the blog post I linked above the (female) writer had quite the interesting time with it. So, here's where I come in. An internet friend of mine was kind enough to host this via Dropbox, which I have linked to. If the game interests you, by all means check it out. If the link doesn't work there's always Google.

Kieron Gillen, I'm sorry, but you work for a bunch of assholes.


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Well, here's the thing. Let's say I own a piece of IP like, oh, the Paranoia RPG, or the entire Marvel universe, having raped Stan Lee and such. If someone puts something up on the web, and I notice it, and I do nothing about it, I (as I understand the law, and IANAL) run the risk of losing control of the property. Personally, my response is usually to email them saying "I insist that you add the following text to your site: Used with the permission of the copyright owners." Problem solved.

Of course, Marvel can't really approve Marvel Brothel -- or rather if they did they'd be courting publicity of a kind they'd rather not have. So probably the sensible thing would have been to pretend that they didn't notice its existence. But of course, their in-house counsel is not paid to be sensible; he is paid to enforce Marvel's IP rights (because Marvel is not, in reality, a comic book publisher; they are a licensor of branded characters who publishes comics on the side to justify the ownership of these characters -- in other words, their IP ultimately is the only asset they have that's worth the powder to blow it to hell).

So entirely understandable all around, the idea is still a hoot, and I imagine this game will live forever as a torrent.

One slight correction to make

I'm not a female writer - ah, but I can see where that might have been implied.

It's nice to be in good company here, no puritanical shame all round. Most of the Marvel Brothel attention, sadly, has come from that Comics Alliance article which put it in the stocks and threw rotten fruit at it.

My Resignation

When I was about to quit my last employment with a major social game developer, I was seriously considering writing the C-levels a long mail describing my proposal, in mechanical depth addressing Virality, Retention and Monetization, for a brothel sim. I was then going to conclude with "If you do not find this idea promising both in potential profits and net growth to our user-base, and are not subsequently willing to give me a raise to lead a hand-picked team in developing this game, then please consider this my letter of resignation - effective immediately."

Ultimately, I decided I didn't want to burn any bridges.

Greg: From what I gathered

Greg: From what I gathered the game was floating around the net for a while, but it wasn't until Rock Paper Shotgun linked to it that it got shot down. It seems like they're slightly malicious here, like in the Chrono Trigger instance mentioned, as it seemed pretty scattershot to single out this one transgression ('cause it's a game, etc.). At least this happened after the fact, unlike the CT guys who didn't quite finish the game when they got the axe.

HarbourMaster: My bad, I read the line "That's what this game does to the player: it'll turn you into a male chauvinist even if you're a woman" and read a little too much into it.

Re-reading that quote, you can get a little dark humor from it; at least they were kind enough to not take down the entire RPGMaker site.

Generic Assholery

They probably didn't even notice until Rock Paper Shotgun (which gets pretty good traffic for a game blog, better than us) linked to them.

And not that Disney never acts like assholes; they have often acted like assholes (I have a call with an HR person from Disney on Monday about work for them, btw, and I REALLY NEED to learn when to shut up), but I wouldn't ascribe this to them being particularly assholic, just assholic in the normal line of doing business.

On the internet, if anybody

On the internet, if anybody makes money, they're the bad guy.

Kieron Gillen, I'm sorry, but you work for a bunch of assholes.

Well, he would be attracted to his own kind.

having raped Stan Lee and such

That's rich. Marvel is doing exactly what Stan Lee wanted, continuing to create a library of characters and promoting a brand. To compare them to pimps or call them assholes is simply a sign of success breeding contempt. They are well within their rights to protect their characters.

To compare them to pimps or

To compare them to pimps or call them assholes is simply a sign of success breeding contempt.

Hmmm, a straw man argument that ignores the difference between success, and exploitative behaviors committed in the pursuit of success. That sounds like something an Objectivist would say...

You are Steve Ditko and I demand my £5! :)


Despite the game being rather boring, I find it hilarious. The very idea is just a laugh.

I actually would would find the sexual lives of such bizarre characters like those in the Marvel hero universe to be more interesting than their daily, duly-added, routine bashing of bad-guys. Especially when the violence is usually uncreative, cartoon and difficult to relate to.

Yeah, yeah, wrong and all, but still: Xavier specifies that he forced no one and all the girls are (out of character obviously) willing to do it (hell, they sort of protest if you fire them). So, while not the most ideal role they would be put in (and I wouldn't have minded if more justification was attempted to the premise), in some ways I actually find it less reprehensible than the daily dose of teenagers/young adults having a daily brawl. I realize this may sound reprehensible about me, but let me just point to a fact: most people will testify that having sex is better than having a brawl.

Real combat is brutal, unforgiving, bloody and easily nightmarish. People don't realize that and our culture still glorifies it, especially by artists whom wish (or even know) as they may they are somewhat forced to idealize or "tone down" their violence for the sake of semi-censorship.
The most horrible aspects of a brothel is that usually they are illegal, thus the girls working there are usually down-on-their luck and have no one to turn to if they are abused (either by the client or the pipmp). This is clearly not the case in the game.

That, and the game needs more humor. Sex in this context should be taken lightheartedly.

The game also really needs balancing though. You have thirty days, counting from the start, to get enough girls and get a certain machine (don't know how much exactly).
Oh, AND THE GIRLS NEED A FUCKING SEAT ON WHICH THEY PUT THEIR PRETTY LITTLE ASSES ON. Otherwise, they keep moving about the play area and getting in the way. This is especially annoying when they crowd the entrance or the "date room" hallway.
The whole "setting up" thing is also slow. Why can't I just take the guy and introduce them to the girl? As it is, it takes way too much time to set up anything.

Tip: try to get girls with high stamina and appeal (with kinkiness to work up from, but oddly that's not so important). Those you can set to higher price and reliably serve as many guys. Keep Rouge around as security (until you have other girls to match).

P.S.: Before anyone throws out the word "male chauvinist" or any other synonym, I wouldn't have minded having male whores too. If nothing else, it would have added some more challenge to the game.


I also ANAL, but from after googling the topic for an hour or so, I could find no references whatsoever to a person losing copyright because they let other people use their work. Or any law to that effect. Indeed I find the opposite is true: if you post a story or a picture (or presumably a game) on some 3rd rate internet forum, providing no copyright notices, and can prove that it was you, then you automatically have the copyright to that story or picture, even if you never 'properly publish' it anywhere or register it with anyone.

Yeah, I think these

Yeah, I think these companies are paranoid, perhaps driven by lawyers who both A: think another lawyer will try it on and B: as a lawyer they profit from propigating this nonsense.

It's absurd. The notion you have to protect your property this way is the same notion that if I stood on the lawn of your property without your permission, somehow your property starts to osmotically become my property. That's stupid.

Really it's probably a publicity relative to bottom line thing - condoning a 'sex game' related to the franchise might means a drop in profits.

War never changes.
Philosopher Gamer Blog
Driftwurld : My WIP browser game

Copyright and derivative works

You do not lose your copyright in the original work. However, if you do not act against people who create derivative works (which the copyright owner has the exclusive right to do), you establish a precedent that you have given tacit permission for the creation of derivative works.

Who is asserting that you've

Who is asserting that you've given tacit permission?

It's not like a law of physics that just exists regardless of whether we like it or not. So it must be something coming from someones mouth. Who's saying it? And what sort of responsiblity for the repurcussions are they taking? And what sort of responsiblity are those who honour it, taking?

It's not "if you do not act against people...etc", it's "Mr X says if you do not act against people...etc". Different ball game.
Philosopher Gamer Blog
Driftwurld : My WIP browser game

This game was surprisingly

This game was surprisingly very engaging until the end when I couldn't beat the damn symbiotes. At that point, I realized my save game was useless because there was no way I could screw enough of the symbiotes with the game I had set up. That was frustrating! Fun game, nonetheless. I like the way the game gets more and more complex as you move along.

Who is asserting that you've

Who is asserting that you've given tacit permission?

The person you are suing for using your IP. When you go to court with them, they use the fact that you did not move against other uses of your IP in the past - thus, you have given tacit approval.

This is part of why companies are so aggressive about it. Much of protecting an IP is looking like you are vigorously protecting it.

It's funny how we have to be

It's funny how we have to be careful from talking about whoring in order to avoid messing up opportunities to whore ourselves out.

Greg Costikyan, I'm sorry,

Greg Costikyan, I'm sorry, but you may potentially be working for a bunch of (albeit generic) assholes. *insert naueseating smiley where applicable*

I can't believe how mistaken

I can't believe how mistaken people are in their understanding of the police structure that hangs over their lives every day.

Akfeka, no, it's not the person your suing. Your attributing them powers they do not have, as if they directly command the police.

Think of who commands the police. There's a third party involved here that I'm asking about and frighteningly to me, is entirely absent from the equation for you?

Philosopher Gamer Blog
Driftwurld : My WIP browser game

That one is easy.

*raises hand* I know this one, pick me!

The person who says whether or not you've given "implicit permission" is the judge at your trial. The "police" will more or less say out of it until it will be established that someone is breaking the law. Established, I have to stress, in the courtroom, and not at all at the office of a police detective, like regular theft would be. It's worth noting that people usually settle these things outside of courtrooms, by mutual agreement. In which case it doesn't matter who you listen to, as both parties (neither of them judges) say the same thing.

Civil Law

Copyright is civil law, not criminal law. The police don't come into it until piracy has been established. In other words, copyright violation is a tort, not a crime; and the appropriate response is a law suit, not going to the police.

Slight aside, but

Slight aside, but:

"It's absurd. The notion you have to protect your property this way is the same notion that if I stood on the lawn of your property without your permission, somehow your property starts to osmotically become my property. That's stupid."

Stupid as it may be, in England if a squatter occupies my property for more than a certain amount of time (with or without my knowledge), they can indeed claim ownership of the property. Sometimes the law is stupid.

Costik, if there were no

Costik, if there were no police a law suit would have absolutely zero bite. It always comes down to police, even if only in distant threat.

Anyway, I hope it's established here this principle of 'defend your IP' is one made up - ie, it's subject to us thinking about how we change it. It's not like gravity, which you can't do anything about.

Zild: I know of a property here in Australia where someone took it over via a law like that.

However, atleast it works by a metric of proving you lived there for X years.

This 'defend your IP' has no measurement to go by - there seems to be this assertion of sense of 'defense'? What the heck does that mean? Can you get much more of a weasel word into a law?

The thing I hate is when people confuse their subjective reading of a laws subjective wording as an objective one. They are then either very surprised when someone with power over the matter subjectively reads them another way, or if they are the one with power over the matter, they practice petty tyranny, not a law.

I think these laws need to start being defined by hard metrics.
Philosopher Gamer Blog
Driftwurld : My WIP browser game

Trademarks, people

Hopefully someone said it in the wall of text above somewhere, but people are still acting like nobody said it - it's trademarks you have to defend to avoid losing, not copyright.

And Marvel asserts trademark protection over all their characters.

ip law is some dumb bullshit

and yet this game is quite obviously a parody, and therefore 'fair use'.

This game is a lot of fun.

This game is a lot of fun. The plot is funny enough to play through, but it's also kinda engaging matching up girls to clients with different needs.

There are problems with it on the first play through, like the bug which crashes the game if you try and set up a date too close to the end of a level, and the end of the game which you really didn't know you had to be preparing yourself for. Second time around it's still kind of fun, at least until you run out of things to buy towards the end and have to grind the last few levels to see if you can finish the game.

Still, I got a couple of evenings play out of it.

<-edit-> Wow, that ending is still pretty hard on the second play through, even tho I'd done much, much better throughout the game up until then... I reloaded a few levels near the end when they didn't go as well as I'd hoped, and I still had to have a few attempts at clearing the last level. I would advise anyone who plans on completing this (OCD is a terrible thing, isn't it...) to make the reload button their friend (it's F12 btw :) ). I'd advise against reloading levels on your FIRST play through of the game, though, there's no way in hell you'll get through the ending first time around, I'd just play it from start to finish and enjoy it.


Funnily, the only two people I know that beat the game are myself (I made it), and my brother (to whom I made it), and we both did it on the first playthrough. Yes, I guess it's kinda too hard, but not impossible at all. Tell me if you get around to it. I have a save state on day 30 that I used to beat the game more than once, I could send you if you want.