From its beginnings as mock-up images on a messageboard to an exhibition on the EVO 2012 show floor, My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic has certainly come a long way. Gamespot’s Maxwell McGee recently took the chance to speak with MANE6, the development team behind the fan-game, to get a feel for how this independent title wound up uniting two vastly different communities. While the idea of pitting morally-sound horses against each other in a fighting game is odd, even in a genre that’s seen its fair share of out-there titles and characters, McGee’s editorial follows the game from conception to the present-day in an effort to show how the passion of these six individuals has resulted in a legitimate fighter.
This lengthy piece covers the game’s beginnings and initial brainstorming sessions, the problems MANE6 overcame during development, how their goals changed over the course of time, what they hope to accomplish in the future, and much more. It’s a fascinating look at the drive of a dedicated group of fans, and how they turned their love for a cartoon (and the continued encouragement of supporters in both the pony and fighting game communities) into something they can be proud of.
We’ve included a small excerpt below, but be sure to visit Gamespot to read the entire article.
MANE6′s endless problem solving finally paid off with the release of the first Fighting Is Magic trailer. Uploaded to YouTube on June 19, 2011, the video was met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction, as described by its creators. It has since earned more than 900,000 views, and while some viewers simply “don’t get it” or think the team is wasting its talents (a notably backhanded compliment), the trailer is considered MANE6′s first major “hype milestone.”
The fan response far outstripped the team’s more conservative predictions. At best, they thought a small trickle of fans from within the pony community would take notice. What they got was a tidal wave–and not just from within the fandom. “We realized what we had in our hands and thought, ‘Uh-oh, we really need to do this well,’” said Anukan. “[Fighting Is Magic] needed to be more than just fighting with ponies; it needed to be a competent fighting game that just happens to have ponies.”
“To be honest, the pony aspect has been overtaken by the drive to make this a good fighting game,” Wright said. “We have been overwhelmed by the validation from different areas of the fighting game community. It has been pretty amazing.”
Part of that validation came from an unlikely benefactor who helped thrust Fighting Is Magic into the cold, calculating eyes of the fighting game community at the Evolution Championship Series, the world’s premier fighting game tournament.