Punch-Out!! for Wii was a well-received update by Next Level Games on a franchise that had been dormant for over a decade up to that point. It brought back Little Mac and a bunch of others while introducing some new surprises to the mix. However, one of those surprises might have accidentally cost Nintendo millions of dollars, and it was over… Sailor Moon?
YouTuber Shesez is the maker of the popular Boundary Break series that looks at all the stuff hidden in video games that we were never supposed to see. And in a new video, he cites an anonymous insider at Next Level Games who claims that the inclusion of Sailor Moon manga art barely visible in the hands of Piston Hondo ended up creating a costly legal situation for Nintendo. However, since little of this story can actually be verified, it’s important to classify as a rumor.
In brief, Next Level Games inserted low-resolution, mixed up images of Sailor Moon manga art into the manga that Piston Hondo is holding in the game, and Nintendo was allegedly aghast to have learned about this still illegal use of assets so close to the release of Punch-Out!!. They reportedly told Next Level they were in breach of contract and that the game would be pulled from production until it was fixed, which allegedly cost around $2 million. And Nintendo apparently went a step further and licensed Sailor Moon from Bandai as well, to protect themselves. It, uh, sounds like a big, weird mess.
Watch Shesez’s video to get the full strange (and alleged) story of Punch-Out!! for Wii and Sailor Moon.