original 1984 game based in Chicago FASA Corporation focuses on huge robots, semi-humanoid fighting machines called BattleDroids. The name of the game was changed to BattleTech in the second edition because George Lucas and Lucasfilm claimed that the rights to the term “droid” ; the machines themselves were renamed BattleMechs of the second edition onwards.
The visual design of the original line of BattleMechs were taken from Macross and other anime, including many signature images. Years later FASA abandoned these images, and it was the common speculation by fans that the decision was the result of a lawsuit brought against them by Playmates and Harmony Gold [USA] on the use of these images. No official broke silence until 2007, after FASA sold the intellectual property BattleTech at WizKids Games. Under license from them, the Classic BattleTech Line Developer for Fantasy Productions, Randall N. Bills explained that FASA sued Playmates on the use of images belonging to FASA, but received no compensation, although Playmates was ordered to stop using the images in question. After realizing how the use of licensed images made them vulnerable to lawsuits and fear that such a prosecution would bankrupt the company, FASA has decided to use only images belonging to them and them alone. The BattleMechs taken by the various sources of leads were then considered “Unseen.” When Fantasy Productions licensed the property, these images “Invisibles” has been expanded to include all the art product “out-of-house” – that is, the copyright resided with the creators, not the business. Catalyst Game Labs has continued this practice. June 24, 2009, Catalyst Game Labs announced that they had obtained the rights to the “invisible”; accordingly, the original art depicting the missing ‘Mechs publications for over a decade, can be legally used again. An updated August 11, 2009 has therefore invisible restriction on several models again. This update only applies to designs whose images were from Macross. Designs whose images were from other anime such as Dougram and Crusher Joe are not affected by this change and are even considered invisible. In August 2011, the remaining images that were considered were returned invisible to invisible because of persistent problems with licensing agreements.