Boundary Break – best known for going beyond boundaries in video games – recently uploaded a video to its YouTube channel about a Sailor Moon reference in Punch-Out!! on the Wii, that allegedly caused Nintendo and Next Level Games serious financial grief.
The story itself stems from a Boundary Break Punch-Out!! video dating back to June 2017, when there was a discovery made that hasn't been revealed publicly until now. In between rounds, one of the characters in the game can be seen reading a manga – but what exactly is it? It's a copy of Sailor Moon. Boundary Break knows this because an individual who "works on the inside" supposedly verified this, but wished to remain anonymous.
Upon closer inspection, the manga pages shown in this fighter's cutscene between rounds reveal real Sailor Moon manga scans. A member of the Next Level team apparently thought it would be amusing to insert this and everyone knew about it. However, due to the low resolution, nobody was particularly concerned and the "easter egg" remained in the game.
When Nintendo received the assets, the situation quickly changed. The art director was supposedly let go and Next Level was informed it had breached its contract. The North American version allegedly had to be pulled from production until the artwork was changed and Next Level was required to settle the situation with Nintendo for the sum of one to two million USD.
It is believed Nintendo "proactively" reached out to Bandai Namco – the license holder of Sailor Moon – to inform it of this blunder and paid the fellow Japanese company to use the Sailor Moon license within the game. You can still see these images in certain versions if you go past the camera boundaries.
What do you think of this story? Do you think it is more than a rumour? Leave a comment below.