Yoko Taro Thinks Nier Violates Square Enix's Own Guidelines For Fan Creations

Illustration for article titled Yoko Taro Thinks Nier Violates Square Enix's Own Guidelines For Fan Creations
Screenshot: Square Enix/YouTube

Square Enix has published Japanese-language guidelines for derivative fan creations. These guidelines cover Nier Replicant, Nier Gestalt, Nier: Automata, Nier Re[in]carnation, and Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139... In short, all the Nier games!


As noted on Inside, these guidelines are broken down into several points, prohibiting things like payment for fan work, the use of Nier assets as-is (such as illustrations, plot points, in-game sounds, and music), the tracing of any art or images, and the claim that fan work is official. Other guidelines include banning the use of Nier in relation to slandering others and telling fans creators that if Square Enix asks them to pull their work, they must immediately comply.

One part, in particular, stood out to creator Yoko Taro, namely the number four guideline, which reads: “Do not harm the franchise’s image, violate public morals, or cross accepted societal norms.” The first part made sense, but the rest seemed questionable to the game designer.

On Twitter, Yoko wrote, “It appears the guidelines for Nier fan creations include, ‘Do not violate public morals or cross accepted societal norms.’ I’ve stated this publicly, but I feel like Nier itself crosses this line.”

In Japan, it is not uncommon for game and anime companies to have rules regarding fan art. It is uncommon for creators to say their own work violates said rules. Then again, Yoko Taro is hardly typical.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.



When will companies learn that you...cannot ever stop people from making porn of your characters? Or cosplay? Or fanfiction? Or fanart, just in general?

Every time someone has tried to “ban” or complained about shit like this, the internet has just doubled-down and continued to make content just to spite these coporations. (Overwatch, Elizabeth from Bioshock, Bowsette, etc.)


Not everything needs to be directly monetized by you. Let fandom culture and fandom porn exist. Let smaller creators make money off donations—especially when there’s no direct evidence that fan culture ever takes money out of the endless bank accounts you have, but so much evidence that word of mouth and exposure drive your sales and communities.

You are literally a multinational billion-dollar corporation acting as if some user named 2BFemDomSitonMyFace6969 is somehow ever going to be in direct competition with you. On any level. Ever.

Let the doujinshi makers, cosplay ““““thots””””, Rule 34 artists, fanfiction writers, and fandom itself just. Exist. You soulless greedy fucks. There’s no harm in it except a tiny blip on your bottom line.