Previously, Cloverleaf had promised a number of emulators and "enough games to discover and play for at least 1 year" as well as illustrating their project's posts with pictures of popular games such as Doom, Lemmings, Elite, Myst and Duke Nukem 3D.
In the short statement on the Kickstarter project's updates page, Cloverleaf explained:
RISC OS offers multiple emulators for older computer systems like the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Acorn Micro, Acorn Archimedes, Commodore C64 and MS DOS. We have planned to include a number of retro games from various plattforms (sic) in our Cloverleaf RISC OS distribution. Recently we got hinted that this might cause legal issues as including these games is only allowed if no profit is made from it unless you get permission by the author or get a license. Therefore we have to change our plans and will offer a way to easily download these games from various sources.Distributing ROMs and disc images of older games has been a legal minefield for a long time now, with publishers and rights holders frequently filing lawsuits against websites that distribute games without permisison. Nintendo in particular is frequently in the news for targeting various sites offering ROMs of their older games for free, for example.
The announcement follows a rather odd saga over the past weekend in which your correspondent found himself banned from the Cloverleaf project's Facebook group for having simply asked if there was a list available of the games they were planning on including with the Kickstarter reward tiers. The initial question was met with a surprisingly hostile response (screenshot). Upon further enquiry, the author was banned from the Facebook group and the comment deleted.
The comment was shortly afterwards re-posted in the form of a screenshot by another group member (screenshot). Later in the weekend in a series of Twitter responses, Cloverleaf continued their oddly hostile replies (Twitter link, screenshot) and the Facebook group ban remains in place at the time of writing.
Cloverleaf's Kickstarter campaign currently sits at £19,704 (€21,583) of their £45,648 (€50,000) target with 24 days remaining.
The Icon Bar reached out to Cloverleaf for comment on their responses and the Facebook group ban, but no reply was received by the time this article was published. We will update the article should a response arrive.
Update: Cloverleaf emailed a response to The Icon Bar this morning in which they reiterated that the games were not a major part of their project and noted that they had not yet considered the list of or licensing for the games they planned to include. The email noted that "As it is not part of the project to make money from the retro games we are likely include none or only very few ones. Licensing is out of question as we have no money for it. The money we hope to get from the project will be used to improve RISC OS and nothing else".
In a further email this afternoon, Cloverleaf have apologised for overreacting to the comments on Social Media and have since removed the Facebook group ban that was imposed.