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[Evidence inside!] Is Hasbro reading our G5 discussions? Let's speculate!

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@Twilight Sparkle  you can probably come up with a better name for the title.

Anyway as suggested:

I kinda wonder if Hasbro is sitting here monitoring this site and Fimfiction now going "come on, come on, we need a story for our movie and series and we've got every thing else ready, but we're running out of time, come on, come up with something good"

I also wonder why they haven't licensed/used/stole fanfiction yet too. Seems like a decent idea. Then again I'm not a businessman. 

But the thought of strategically leaking just enough of G5 to the community to get it going, to use what the community comes up with...is amusing for some reason. 

Edit: replace movie with series/season if it seems too "unrealistic" to you. This was meant as a "Wouldn't it be funny if..." type of thought. 

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  • Twilight Sparkle ✨ changed the title to Is Hasbro monitoring our discussions? Let's speculate!
  • Twilight Sparkle ✨ changed the title to Is Hasbro reading our G5 discussions? Let's speculate!

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That would be impossible.

A movie like the one coming out this year takes literal YEARS to make, and the script has to be one of the first things to be finalized so they can get the voice actors in.

You can’t do any detailed animating until you have the vocal performances completed, because you have to animate the mouths to the lines.

They can take inspiration from fandom ideas. I’m pretty sure it was admitted that they did Equestria Girls because people liked drawing ponies as humans, but they didn’t take story beats from people.

And I’m not a copyright expert, so feel free to correct me, but...

While they can reference a fandom joke or meme, I’m pretty sure they could get in trouble by taking something wholesale.

Because while the intellectual property is theirs, fanart and fanfic is derivative work, and is protected by copyright law. If they wanted to use it they’d have to ask permission and/or pay you.

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...Very likely not. :Thorax:I am no film expert, but I do know that not just with movies and cartoons, but with just about any kind of media, the script for the story is the very first thing they get ready. If it wasn't, they would certainly wind up wasting money on assets and scenes they'd never use because they would not be in the script. :dash: And although employees from Hasbro do claim the company acknowledges and considers fan feedback...which makes more sense? Employees monitoring fans talking on internet forums and reading fanfiction, or a representative paid to sift through e-mails reading e-mails from fans about what they've discussed with other fans? :Tempest:

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This topic comes up from time to time.  Long story short, the creative talent follows a strict policy of not looking at fan works. I forget the exact reason but I think one of the problems with considering fan fiction for new episodes is that it actually runs the risk of plagiarism?  At first glance, it seems inconceivable that a fan who put something out there could sue for any kind of infringement.  They have no licensing, no authority, and no recognition from Hasbro.  You’d think if MLP really wanted to, they could steal fan stories and tell them to go pound sand if they cry foul. But copyright law could still afford fans certain rights.  I’m no lawyer when it comes to this stuff.  Either way, this could also lead to a public relations nightmare.  Therefore the most practical approach is to ignore unsanctioned fan creations.  

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While it's somewhat well known that MLP's creative team is under orders to avoid reading fanfictions, I DID find evidence that someone in "Big Corporate" IS, in fact, watching MLP Forums.
I can't prove if it is or isn't Hasbro, and this thread as mostly about speculating for fun what they could be after if they were. With that said, there is someone monitoring us and there is reason to speculate that it is someone at Hasbro. Read on for what I know:
The "someone is watching us" evidence is logs that indicate a bot belonging to a company called Brandwatch crawls this site. I found it by coincidence while doing investigative work related to the recent string of DDoS attacks on us.
Why is this relevant? Brandwatch appears to be a service that monitors online conversations about their clients' brands and products in the name of making it easier for businesses to understand what people are saying about them - which seems pretty darn aligned to this discussion. I have no affiliation with them; I mention them only because I found that they've been scanning MLPF and that seems like evidence that somepony with a lot of money cares about what we say here. It might be Hasbro. It might be anyone. Here are some screenies of how this company advertises its service:









Now, again, while I have no way of proving that it's Hasbro is using Brandwatch to keep up with us, I did find evidence of Hasbro being a customer of theirs on the LinkedIn profile of Kevin Mullay, a Brandwatch executive:


Crimson Hexagon was acquired by Brandwatch (source) - so it's interesting indeed.

I'm not sure yet whether to feel creeped out that this kind of software is monitoring MLPF or honoured that someone with influence in Big Corporate thinks what we assorted rando ponyfans here have to say is worth paying attention to.

Hey Hasbro peeps - if you're reading this, and we all know you can if you want to, thanks for making G4 happen and working hard to make G5 a great followup! We'd love to have you join us here sometime - I know many of y'all who work on official pony are fans of it, too. :pinkie:

To those of us participating in this thread, I'm super curious to hear whom you think Brandwatch is showing our posts to and what kinds of decisions they might be making with what they find. For all we know, it might be a Hasbro team trying to make sure they can respond quickly if a Sonic movie reveal-type situation arises. Or maybe positive sentiment here is used to help fight for MLP to get more budget? Or to validate that it's worth making toys based on the animations' story instead of animations based on toys like G1-G4 were? I'd love to see where our speculations here can go.


To @TheGleaner's original prompt, it's fun to think about; we do know that Hasbro and show staff are well aware of the fandom; we have proof in the names Lyra, Octavia, and DJ Pon-3/Vinyl Scratch all having been adopted as the characters' official names. They tried to make Derpy's name canon too... that was sadly retconned on account of Internet outrage. We had Word of God reveal that Hasbro ordered FiM's staff to avoid reading fanfictions precisely to avoid the ethical and legal dilemma that accidentally (or intentionally) making an episode about someone's fanfic idea without proper credit and licensing could cause.

As to licensing a fanfic and properly crediting - they could hypothetically do that, but I imagine it's viewed as more trouble than it's worth when they already have their own creative team whom they pay to be familiar with the lore and come up with new stories to add to it. Practically, I imagine "properly crediting" fanfic ideas could be really complicated too with how freely fanfic authors share and borrow and steal ideas from one another all the time as well - tracing out an idea's original author might be really hard if not impossible. :(

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  • Twilight Sparkle ✨ changed the title to [Evidence inside!] Is Hasbro reading our G5 discussions? Let's speculate!

What if these problems didn't exist and they crowdsourced ideas from fans anyway? Now we get into the truly fun possibilities of this thread. :D

(I split this from my previous post because it goes into a different albeit equally relevant line of conversation - this way you can quote my posts separately to respond more neatly to either one.)

The first thing that came to my mind is how cool it would be for Fallout: Equestria to become the basis of an "MLP for Adults" franchise. The second thing I thought of was how various fanon ideas about alicorns could be incorporated into the official lore to finally give us canon answers about their power limits, lifespans, durability, physiology, and who knows what else - they're somehow still almost as mysterious as they were in FiM's pilot, even after six seasons with the show's main protagonist being an alicorn.

Then there are the 4chan leaks which proved to be eerily accurate - see @Dreamstar Moonlight's latest masterpiece of a thread for more on that:

It's fun to consider that some of the crazier-sounding ideas in these leaks could have been totally made up but then adopted by Hasbro, making the leaks retroactively true.

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....at first i was thinking that brand watch was just checking us incase hasbro needs to seize and desist us... Or copy right stuff us......and the more i think about it....i remember my motto is about stupidity...so why am i thinking....?

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@Twilight Sparkle  do you think there's any chance of the service answering you if you straight out asked them or have you?  I mean it might mean something when they get an email saying something like "Hello, I started this forum, why are you spying on/ddosing  us and who's paying you to do it?" (I suppose if you wanted to see if Hasbro directly was looking at us you would just have to figure out their place's IP addresses and check logs and such)

The sonic style leak is kinda part of where my original thought came from, since hasn't this movie pushed back two or three times? I swore I remember reading somewhere it was to come out the fall after the end of S9 or something...then spring...then that  fall (because of the whole virus thing)...who's saying it couldn't be pushed back again, especially if it's just going on Netflix, there's no need to get a bunch of ducks in a row for it, you just dump it on a server and expect a bit more traffic in the near future. Sure you'd have to tell the stores to hold back their products a bit longer, but it's not like lining up thousands of theaters and such.

And for today's half sarcastic thought: definitely Burger King, RBoC, and/or Cisco. Burger King because of their somewhat recent "apology" campaign to farmers and ranchers after royally ticking us off(and ponies=farms right?, therefore this is a forum of farmers who like art), the Bank as they're already paying for the service, what would it hurt to see what's going on with the oddly popular franchise that they have some money in at some point(I recall something like Royal Bank of Canada in the credits for one of the movies or seasons)and Cisco because somewhere theres some switch model or system having issues and whenever it does, it inevitably has something to do with traffic going to or leaving here. :p

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On 2021-02-28 at 8:56 AM, Twilight Sparkle said:

Or to validate that it's worth making toys based on the animations' story instead of animations based on toys like G1-G4 were?

I'm pretty sure the toys were based on Lauren Faust's art for G-4.  It wouldn't surprise me if G-1 thru G-3 were the other way around, though.


As for them reading this...I can hope that they still have the ability to do some editing, re-writing, and re-recording if there's TOO much of a fan backlash against their plans.

The problem is, the number-one thing the fandom is worried about is that it'll be preachy and woke, and that's a very different situation from the situation with Sonic the Hedgehog's character design.  I mean, fans got to see that character design in the trailers and react to it; there was no ambiguity about what the situation was:  the fans knew what Sonic's design was going to be if they didn't change it.  By contrast, with G-5, we don't know whether the thing-we-don't-want is going to happen or not (if they don't make changes).  There's only hints that it will be preachy-and-woke due to the main character being called an "activist", and contradictory hints that it won't be preachy-and-woke because bronies are working on G-5 and would therefore be sensitive to what we care about.


If they are reading these forums---and I hope they are!---then the best thing they could do if G-5 is not preachy, is have one of their artists or showrunners make a tweet to say "Don't worry; G-5 won't be preachy.  We don't want to create a work that only appeals to a small demographic due to the values baked into it!"  I mean, a tweet like that isn't a spoiler.  All it does is make us more excited for their product (with no monetary cost, I might add), and that's exactly what they should want for marketing purposes!

If it is preachy and woke as it is right now, then the best thing they could do is to say that they know the fans don't want that, and they realize it'll be a costly mistake if they allow the preachiness and wokeness into the final work, so they're doing some re-writes and re-edits to fix it.

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