About Original Characters

For many years, my biggest aspiration in life was to one day create a game that would inspire people to illustrate fan art, write fan fiction, and wear cosplay. I’m absolutely thrilled to see that a fandom has sprouted up around Yandere Simulator! I’m filled with glee whenever I see fan-made artwork or stories that were inspired by Yandere Sim, and I think that seeing people dress up as Yandere-chan is the coolest thing in the world!

Sometimes, people even imagine new characters for Yandere-chan’s school, or imagine new rivals for Yandere-chan to defeat. I think this is just as cool as all other fan creations! However, there’s something that I should mention: You’re welcome to share your creations with me, but I can’t include any of your original characters in Yandere Simulator. The reason why is a little bit complicated, so I’m going to explain using an anecdote.


Are you familiar with Skullgirls? It’s my favorite fighting game!

The character named Parasoul commands a group of soldiers, one of whom is a sniper. Shortly after Parasol was announced, a certain gentleman made a post on the Skullgirls Facebook page, stating that Parasoul’s sniper should be named “Juju”, be a Chinese assassin, and have a talking rifle.

As a nod to this gentleman‘s suggestion, the line “Take the shot, Juju!” was added to Skullgirls.

During Skullgirls’ IndieGogo campaign, the developers of the game allowed fans to vote for which characters should become playable in the future. Juju showed up on the poll as a potential playable character.

The gentleman who originally proposed the concept of Juju then made a Facebook post stating that he wished to be compensated for designing a character who was being used in a commercial product. The creators of Skullgirls began negotiating with this gentleman to get the rights to his character. However, it was very difficult for these two parties to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, and acquiring the rights to Juju turned into a messy legal battle that lasted for several months.

After “continued disruptive and unprofessional conduct” from the gentleman who created Juju, the creators of Lab Zero decided to completely axe the character. “Take the shot, Juju!” was removed from the game, and the character was declared non-canon.

The moral of this story is that if you’re a game developer, and you use a fan-created character in your game without formally acquiring the rights to that character, you’re potentially setting yourself up for a legal nightmare.

If someone wants to design a character for Yandere Simulator, I must require them to sign a copyright transfer agreement which grants me the unlimited and exclusive right to sell, modify, produce derivative works of, display, distribute, or otherwise use their design in any form and by any method, within Yandere Simulator and all directly related media. Anything less than that, and I’m painting a target on my forehead and inviting them to sue me.

In other words, I refuse to let Yandere Simulator get “Juju’d”.

Learning from Juju

If you’ve designed a character for Yandere Simulator, and want to see your character appear in the game, I’m flattered – but I can’t use your design.

It’s possible that, one day, in the future, when I launch the Yandere Simulator crowd-funding campaign, one of the “backer rewards” will be the privilege of designing a student who will appear in the game. The backer will be able to choose the student’s name, personality, and schedule. This may be expensive. If there are extremely few “open character slots”, if it takes a lot of time and effort to implement a new student, and if Yandere Simulator requires a lot of money to be fully funded, then you would have to donate a very significant amount of money to see your character appear in the game.

The bottom line: I’m always delighted to see an original character that someone has designed for fun, but at this point in time, I can’t put your original characters into Yandere Sim. As stated above, I’ve learned important lessons from Juju, and I need to protect myself from those who would seek to take advantage of me.

141 thoughts on “About Original Characters

  1. I back you up in whatever you choose to do Dev!
    And everything you said in your post is 100% truth.

    Anyway, even if including OCs as a reward sounds really nice… as a fan i prefer if you dont get yourself in all this trouble.
    There are even MORE examples than Juju and Duncan out there!
    If you are really considering doing that, i would put even more stricter rules… like not making your character a mary sue reincarnation of an elfic demon goddess of darkness whose also a new kind of dere.

  2. Hello – my name is Simon Strange. I’m the owner of Sunstone Games, and the creator of Colossal Kaiju Combat.

    Some folks pointed me to your blog post. And while using fan-submitted ideas can be a complex issue, I think it’s worked out really well for us.

    But more importantly, I wanted to mention that your story about Duncan is… 100% fabricated. Nothing like that ever happened. Specifically:

    1 – Mind control has never been part of our story.
    2 – We’ve never stopped development to take care of an issue.
    3 – All our collaborators sign contracts before we work with their characters, to prevent that sort of thing from happening.
    4 – Although Duncan’s creator continues to participate in our community, he and I have never once discussed his character after the official collaboration meetings had ended.

    Good luck with your project!

  3. Hi, Yandere-dev!
    So… How´s the game? Fine? Are you happy with your work?
    About the hairstyles, can you add Oka Ruto´s hairstyle to Yandere-chan?

  4. I think $100 might be too low for a character prize, considering how many fanmade characters you would had to add for the game. If I remember correctly, you planned to add 50 kickstarter characters for $100 (of course, its still something to change but I’m using it as an example). Imagine what would it be like to communicate with over 50 different donators who all have different characters who need modifications or might cause trouble. You also mentioned there should be about 100 students in a game. Do you really want to have about 50% fanmade students of all school’s students? Of course it wouldn’t be a problem if all kickstarter characters actually fit in a game and don’t look like mary sues/gary stus but there is always a chance someone complaining how their OC isn’t done right.

    Adding fanmade characters takes extra effort, and having too many for only $100 might be too draining for you and other volunteers. However, I don’t know what other kickstarter prizes you have planned, what your actual budget would be and $100 might be enough for OC characters if you don’t have many prizes to give anyway. But adding OC character should really be one of the top prizes due to its extra effort. From a paying customer’s view, $100 might even look too cheap for a game like Yandere Simulator.

    To put it shortly, there shouldn’t be too many kickstarter characters for a too low price. Even 10 characters is really reaching the reasonable limits from game developer’s side, especially from indie game. $500-$1000 is probably the most used price for kickstarter characters and people who are actually devoted for this game are also ready to pay for it.

  5. Hi yandere dev! Just wanted to say if you could, you should definitely add some warrior cat clothes to the game!

  6. I would say $100 isnt enough because there are many many many MANY people that would willingly and easily pay $100 for a character in the game. So, YandereDev, for the life of you, please don’t do that. Maybe just for the top 5 backers or something like that if youknow what i mean by that.

    • Kickstarter lets you have slots for reward tiers though, so if YandereDev only wanted to implement 5 backer characters, he could set the reward limit to that tier to 5 slots, and after that no one else could request that reward.
      I agree that the amount ought to be more than $100, as I personally think a custom character in a game is a higher honour than that.

    • Price could get determined by the size of the fanbase and if one of us is ready to actually pay this amount of money.
      I mean, I could just sit down and create dozens of characters, various kinds of ordinary and unordinary students and would do that for free. Personally, I can’t afford it and i guess that there are many others like me.
      But I guess that right now the top priority for YandereDev is to make everything running with the existing students.

  7. Is there a way I can give you royalty free use of a character, while keeping the rights to my intellectual property?
    Kind of like Link in SoulCalibur II, where Link was added for the GameCube version.
    Bandai\Namco doesn’t own Link, but they got legal rights use Link.
    Probably a bad example, as it was limited to Nintendo’s own console, but something along those lines.

    Just a curiosity.

  8. I understand where you’re coming from. While it would be very nice to insert my character in the game or anyone else’s, this is actually kind of a bad idea. Like you exampled “Duncan”, it will actually slow the development that the story AND the game has been longing to the due date for. And like you exampled “Juju”, what we would be doing (if we were to ever attempt to put our characters in the game) is selling the rights to our characters to you with either “creation or idea” as our only credit or nothing at all.

    Not to mention, there are almost a thousands of Yandere Simulator OCs that it’ll be WAY too complicated to even bother. So I guess we can say there is time to at least volunteer or help on the development at this game.

    I’m very glad you shared this information because I told my friends the same thing when it came to independent videogames. It looks like a open world. However, it really isn’t.

    • ermahgerd my oc is liek named Sakura Ichigo and she has black hair with purple at the end and has powers to read minds from when her parents died in a tragic accident falling from a cliff and getting eaten by a shark during a tsunami.
      She lieks Blood on the dance floor and Green day and oh yeah she’s also a ninja….a magical girl ninja. And her hair turns pink and she has the power to give her enemies seizures. Oh and shes like BEEEEEST friends with Yandere-chan.
      There….is that good?😄 lol

  9. There’s probably more than a few people out there who would be glad to create characters and sign over all rights to you without a second thought.

    Honestly, I’m sure there’s people who would find creative ways to legally sign their souls over to you instead so they could continue slaving away for you even from beyond the grave in the even that they died.

    I’m not saying I would because… well, lets be honest, while a big fan I’m not really part of your community (translation: I would, but there’s plenty of people who deserve it more). but some people would be happy to do this not because they want money, or even credit for their work, but rather just to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

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