Uma Musume Pretty Derby fan work guidelines established to avoid harming the image of the racehorses

Publication date of the original Japanese article:  (JST)
Translated by. Ryuki Ishii

Cygames established a Derivative Work Guidelines for Uma Musume Pretty Derby on November 10. The company is asking fans to refrain from publishing derivative works that contain certain types of content. A few examples are violent/sexual/unlawful content, and content that intends to damage the reputation of the IP or third parties.

Uma Musume Pretty Derby is a cross-media franchise featuring Uma Musume (horse girls) who have inherited the names of popular racehorses. The video game version is a simulation game where players take on the role of a trainer to raise and train various Uma Musume.

Its popularity rose after the second season of the anime aired and the videogame version was released in 2021. If you search for “Uma Musume” on social media, you’ll likely find plenty of fanart featuring characters from the series.

Fan works of a popular franchise flourishing is nothing new. However, Uma Musume Pretty Derby is different from most other IPs since the character names are based on real racehorses, and the project was made possible with the cooperation and consent of the horse owners and other related parties. For this reason, Cygames has been asking fans to be careful not to harm the image of the characters or racehorses.

Unfortunately, it came to a point where simply asking the fans wasn’t enough. According to the latest statement from Cygames, there are currently some fan works that significantly damage the image of the racehorses, and the guidelines were established in response.

The overall message and intent haven’t changed from Cygames’ previous warnings, but now that a specific list of prohibited content is in place, there’s less room for interpretation as to what is considered harmful. In addition to the examples described above, content that excessively endorses or disdains certain politics, religions, or beliefs is also not allowed.

It is also explained that these guidelines were established in consultation with the management companies of the horses’ names and are not meant to disapprove fan activities as a whole.

The videogame version of Uma Musume Pretty Derby is currently available in Japan for PC, iOS, and Android.