Gamespot Chronicles the Development and Goals Behind MLP: Fighting is Magic with MANE6; “The pony aspect has been overtaken by the drive to make this a good fighting game.”

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.

Source: Gamespot

  • John Taylor

    Looks fun. Inb4 all the butthurt elitists come in to hate.

  • Alan Forneus

    It looks better than Skullgirls at the very least.

    • Moribund Cadaver

      Everypony feelin’ the burn.

    • sb

      You trolls try to hard

      • thirdstrikesucks

        Better than 3s

        • Almeson Hoku James

          Counter troll of the year

  • Louis Lam

    I tried out one of the build leaks a while ago, it obviously still feels like a WIP but it’s pretty fun and plays like a mix of Blazblue and MvC3.

    Look up the music on Youtube, it sounds really good and I don’t even give a shit about MLP.

    • FGCLove

      Seriously? I am playing both games and I can say this is shit!!!! Don’t even compare Blazblue beauty and Marvel craziness (in a good sense) and hype to this…… euh!. What was that? seriously? 

      • Louis Lam

        “I haven’t seen any gameplay footage of a game that’s not out of it’s alpha phase yet but I’m sure it sucks and doesn’t play anything like what I play because it looks like a TV show I’ve never watched!”

        • FGCLove

          “I am so smart, if someone doesn’t like what I like, he is a dumb. I can say a game is the best even if it is out yet. So everyone have to agree with me because I love my little pony  because it is a part of my life. For making people love it too, I am gonna compare it to 2 legit games. You can’t judge the game I love because you can’t” 
          Now you can go crazier, I won’t answer you back.

          • Louis Lam

            I didn’t say you were dumb (starting to think so now), or that the game in it’s current state (or rather it’s state months ago) was even good, it was a gameplay/controls/mechanics comparison for what was yet to come. I’m also already stated that I’m not a MLP fan.

            Nice try though.

      • Ndebe

         i %100 agree im alraedy 12 yrs old im 2 old 4 dis pony shit i only do cool shit like yelling fuccc to my 6th grade teacher and say no to my mom i dont need dis pony shit

        i only play cool games like marvel and bbcs all u losers can stick wit ur pony shit lol u guyz hav no life


        • FGCLove

          “I hope the guy I insulted on internet gonna hate himself and commit a suicide!!! That guy had no life, he was spending all his life answering a comment!!! Now I feel better because I made him feel worse; I am sure he is crying right now.” 
          You are so funny. I love when people think they know everything about someone on internet. Well, try to hurt me as much as you can, maybe after that I won’t come here anymore.

        • Danny

           AHahahahahaha… very funny. try harder next time, and try to look less like an kid with runny nose

    • Juan Lau

      lol Blazblue a simplified version of its predecessor Guilty Gear MVC3 the same damn thing with UGLY models with a filter that makes the retards think it looks fucking amazing and oh yea characters that were removed that MADE capcom what they are.

      • Louis Lam

        You’re right about both games, but the comparison was more for general controls/mechanics than anything else. It’s also a bit unfair to compare a fan game made by a bunch of MLP fans to anything past current gen in a competitive aspect though.

  • NyuBomber

    As long as the engine is good, I say sure, why not! Good luck to ‘em!

    • Jay Wright

      Thanks! The engine, however, is not good. We’re trying though. 

  • Luke Taylor

    looks gay

    • Ndebe

       agreed im 12 years old already im too grown up for dis shit

      • Patrick Reeves

        More like you’re not mature enough to enjoy a good piece of work.

  • Calcos323

    Game is looking more legit than most of the fighters that have come out in the last year.

    • sb

      Troll harder your making it to obvious

      • Jasin Walraven

        “Too” no “to” 

        • Art Salmons

          “not” not “no”

          • Justin Archer


          • Chad Ferguson

             ”Not”, not “no”, not “not” not “no”. Lol.

        • sb

          Just damn lol check your own spelling before correcting somebody else but i didnt know i was being graded on this pop quiz

      • Louis Lam


        • sb

          Well there goes that SRK degree i was going for what will i do now

          • Justin Archer

            Learn how to read and write?

        • blackavengre

          Sick of seeing this. Your is fine. You’re is possessive, use it when you speak of someones item (material)

          • Futtock

            Hmm, is that deliberate reversal of fact? It’s hard to tell sometimes with comments. Anyway,

  • Herbert Jones Rovbinson

    North Star for top tier!

  • AveDeRapina

    At the end of the day, this just looks like more bronies trying to shove their stupid girl’s show into everything they touch. That might not be the case, but that’s certainly what it looks like.

    • Calcos323

      It’s not.  The game is doing it’s damndest to be a legit tourney FG first, and a pony game second.  Honestly, aesthetics shouldn’t matter too much when judging a Fighter.  What matters is depth of mechanics, healthy balance, and a small amount of bullshit to make things exciting.  Whether or not the characters are ponies should be the last thing on your mind.

      • supersonicspear64

        is this what everyone who likes the show says to people who don’t like it?  i don’t like the aesthetics of the game, nor the source material, so i’m not going to play it.

        • Simply Chun-believeable ^_~ ♥♥

          And the dev team shall crash and burn, because you’re not going to play it.

          • Jay Wright

            I’m actually crying right now. That’s another sale lost!

          • supersonicspear64

            I didn’t say anything about how I wish this game didn’t exist or that it does poorly.  I just stated that I don’t like the aesthetics or the cartoon.  If it’s a good fighting game, then it’s a good fighting game. However, I don’t really have my hopes up for a 2d fighter maker 2002 game that’s from a cartoon I don’t like.

            On that note, I personally think that MLP will be a headache to try to get setups for at a tournament, and setting up controls for people who want to use their own sticks will have difficulty unless they release a frontend that allows for quick setup of buttons/joysticks. 

      • Robbie J

         you should know damn well asthetics do matter, thats why no one plays skull girls anymore.

        • Calcos323

          No one plays Skullgirls because the FGC hates every new game that comes out nowadays by default.  Whether it, or any other game that came out in the past year, is good is irrelevant.

          • Juan Lau

            more like any game thats not made by Capcom, id also say Aksys but we all really know Blazblue is shit compared to GuiltyGear

        • ZigTheHunter

          What are you talking about? Just as many people, if not more, like the aesthetics of Skullgirls then people who dislike it.

        • Hitokage

           You’d have a better point with Arcana Heart 3, but even then people drop so many games these days it’s hard to argue anything actually matters more than failing to be the flavor of the month after the month ends.

      • sb

        The game is doing it’s damndest to be a legit tourney FG first
        ^^please tell me your not serious^^

        • Calcos323

          I know many of the devs personally, and have been following development from the beginning.  I can assure you that the pony aspect of this game is secondary to the Fighting aspect.  Honestly, I wouldn’t give a shit about this game if it weren’t shaping up to be a fantastic FG.

      • BurstZX

         You can’t be serious. I would never blindly play something because it is something. Visuals are ALWAYS important thats the whole point of a video game.

      • Justin Archer

        What an idiotic statement. So would you play a fighting game where there characters were a bunch of dicks and vaginas just because it has good core mechanics? What a load of crap.

        • Calcos323

          >shouldn’t matter too much

          Of course they matter, but not as much as the actual fighting system.  I wouldn’t play an amazing fighter if I was forced to play as pieces of shit, but I also wouldn’t play a fighter with terrible mechanics, even if the visuals are orgasmic.

  • Scott Joseph Fehir

    Hey guys go out and buy this game, it looks great.  

    Also, go buy a nice frilly dress, and some lace gloves, so you can play the game properly.

    • Calcos323

      You enjoy Guilty Gear, Melty Blood or Blazblue?  Gotta wear cat ears, eat pocky, and carry around a body pillow of your waifu at tournaments.

      • Mike Rotch

         but…that’s true

      • Micahel Bradford

         you saying there is somthing wrong with pocky?

        • Calcos323

          Aw hell no, Pocky’s the shit.  Problem’s when you eat it by the bucket.

      • RenaTurnip

        No, I enjoy Marvel, and I obviously spike my hair and wear my shades and trenchcoat EVERYWHERE I GO.

        I also buy lots of blenders.

        • Snow Loss

          >Implying I don’t wear a three billion dollar metal suit to play fighting games.

      • Donovan Harris

         Aoko body pillows…$8.95

    • Simeon


  • AFMBari

    Is this real life?

    • Kevin Wark

       Is this just fantasy?

      • Eddie

        Caught in a landslide

      • Henny Henri

        Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality

        • Austin Davoren

          Open your eyes.

          • Satsui

            Look up to the skies and see

          • Donovan Harris

             I’m just a poor boy.

  • GC001

    Oh my goodness… This game ought to be funny at least!
    Some of the best characters I’ve seen in MUGEN-type/doujinshi games are based on animated series and comic book characters as well as anime/manga series.

    Until I downloaded MUGEN recently (the DC Vs Marvel fan edition), I had no idea about what was so attractive about this scene.  Besides the only cost being your time, it’s the ability to customize your game and include whatever characters you choose strictly from what’s available online OR in your ability to create with existing editing tools.

    Myself — I don’t have the time to edit or learn programming language to do the characters justice but I can at least set up the game with the characters I want and additional stages (provided the extras I add are compatible…  That’s an issue with MUGEN being a fan-based game engine and temperamental…  Plus many of the characters have what seems like a dozen versions online and it’s up to the individual gamer to find the latest, most stable playable versions of characters).

    FYI all — The My Little Pony game is a FAN game, it’s not a FOR-PROFIT, officially licensed game!!!  It is going to be a FREE ONLINE RELEASE like Vanguard Princess and Melty Blood initially were.  Comparisons with Skullgirls really aren’t fair.  They’re apples and oranges.  Same as comparing poly fighters with hand-drawn fighting games…

    • Luke Taylor

      i dont know what you are talking about
      are you talking about MLP or nt knowing how to use mugen…..
      cus i can help you with mugen….

  • Syndication_M

    Day 1 purchase

  • Destin Williams

    I came here for the comments.

    • Joshua Isaac Rogers


  • 7-D Sensei

    Love pony’s but i play way to many fighting games for my own good as it is…

  • a real ghost

    as a person who doesn’t like MLP, i probably won’t be playing it. i mean even if the engine is amazing, it doesn’t make up for the fact that the characters in the game i’ll be playing as are ponies from a show i just don’t care for. i dont think the makers of this game expect me to play it either. that being said, it seems like the people who do like MLP (or at least a majority) enjoy this game and im not going to shit on their parade just because we have differing tastes. enjoy your pony fighting game, bronies.

  • Snow Loss

    Honestly I might have found great joy is this seemingly random fan creation for the novelty alone. However after having miniature horses crammed down my throat on nearly every corner of the web over the past few years on a day-to-day basis, I find myself firmly in the “hater” category. I’m just sick of seeing this stuff.

    It’s good that this thing actually got off the ground and is getting some headway though. Hell we’ve all seen fan and community projects that are “totally going to be finished and amazing”, but this is actually getting done, so kudos on that. I just wish I had the capacity to enjoy it.

    • BurstZX

        Personally I feel the same in some sense.
      I don’t even think people
      actually like MLP they just “like” this because it’s what everyone else
      is doing. Throwing meme after meme and just now getting into it even
      though its been out for years(Can’t deny not knowing about it since the
      toys are always on tv. . .)
      I think they just made this with the boom of “Fans”.

      • Jake Long

        I’m sure there are plenty of people who like the show ironically (“Hey, I’m a 20-year-old guy and I’m watching a show aimed at 5-year-old girls! I’m such an individual!”).  There are also plenty of people who watch the show just because of the internet fandom and memes surrounding it.

        I can assure you that there are a much larger amount of people who watch the show because… it’s honestly a good show.  The writing is sharp, the moral of the day somehow manages to be effective without bashing you over the head, and the characters are (in a rare feat for a girls’ show) actual characters with actual flaws and personalities instead of merely ‘the one with the pink hair’ and ‘the one with the blue hair.’

  • Bobby E. Adams

    “Don’t feed the trolls” huh, looks like they’ll be getting all of their vitamins and nutrients with this one.

  • Gethoff Mahfacebuk

    Fact is, a lot of people aren’t gonna play a game if they don’t like the character designs.  I feel the same way about this game as I do about Arcana Pedos, I’m sure they did a fine job making it, but I’m not touching it.

    If y’all like little girls ponies shows, then by all means enjoy playing this game.  

  • Castigation

    I just don’t see this game surviving without Hasbro slapping a big old cease and desist on it. 

  • Jay Wright

    Well the comments here are 12 class levels above the gamespot ones.. thanks guys!

  • Jay Wright

    Make no mistake, people really like it. But I understand where you are coming from, I find it hard to believe anyone actually cares who wins football games, but they really do. 

    • Hitokage

      “People” not including the general audience, who would probably like something to manage their expectations with beyond “when it’s done”.

  • ReoAyanami

    So, is this America’s version of Doujin games? Should I be expecting Care Bears: Fighting is Caring anytime soon?

    • Mike Rotch

      why not?  fuck it

      • supersonicspear64

        I hope that Strawberry Shortcake vs. Gummi Bears becomes a thing

    • sb

      LMAO good one

    • Carlos A. Mercado

      Care Bear Stare too stronk.

  • dihn mohr

    Too bad you can’t be over 13 years old, and play this game with your friends around, unless you really want them to think you are a retard.

    • Juan Lau

      you serious? i get that from just playing big bang beat and melty blood.

      • dihn mohr

        I can see why.

      • sb

        Hey Big Bang Beat is the shit play on playa

  • Viro_Veteruscy

    Fun for me :3

  • Evan Garrick Henricksen

    more mugen updates on srk front page plz, sf is so fucking boring get that shit outta here

  • BeholdMyPower

    Mr. Wizard, please announce this as an EVO title just so I can revel in the community’s reaction.

  • Marty

    MLP: High Stakes Money Matches?

  • spider1991

    I need no sympathy

    • Donovan Harris

      Because I’m easy come, easy go

      • Carlos A. Mercado

        Little High, Little Low

  • Zane Hayden

    After Skullgirls, honestly gonna say this caught my attention because of the animation.