Nintendo DMCAs Fan-Game 'No Mario's Sky', Devs Rename It 'DMCA Sky'
from the way-to-go dept
In the world of video games, it’s always useful to remember one thing: Nintendo hates you. More specifically, Nintendo hates its fans that go about expressing their fandom in ways that Nintendo does not specifically approve of. And Nintendo doesn’t approve of much it seems, whether its fan-remakes of games made 25 years previously, fan videos of fan-created Mario Bros. levels, or fan-made movies featuring Nintendo game characters. Nintendo is not on board when it comes to its customers’ desire to be creative and express their love for the games the company makes or the characters within them.
That stance continues to present, with Nintendo shutting down all kinds of fan-made creations. Those creators typically walk away from their projects in defeat. But when Nintendo decided to send a DMCA complaint to the creators of No Mario’s Sky, those creators didn’t just walk away. The game itself came out of a coding competition.
Ludum Dare (Latin “to give a game”) is a triannual game coding competition that was first held in 2002. In recent years it has become more popular after Minecraft designer Markus Persson became a semi-regular entrant. Its unique feature is that competitors are given a theme and then expected to produce a finished game in 48 to 72 hours.
One of the team entrants to Ludum Dare 36 (theme ‘Ancient Tech’) were ASMB Games (Alex McDonald, Sam Izzo, Max Cahill, Ben Porter) with their creation No Mario’s Sky, a game featuring “exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated universe.” While the game’s title clearly plays on Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky, it was the Nintendo element that got ASMB in hot water with the gaming giant.
The developers complied with the DMCA request sent by Nintendo. This also voided their entry into the competition. The team put out an announcement that detailed the DMCA request and thanked their fans for playing the game while it had been available. And that would normally be the end of this story, with another fan-created project torpedoed by the always-aggressive Nintendo.
In this case, however, the story continues.
While it’s disappointing that the game had to be taken down, ASMB weren’t quite done. After addressing the issues highlighted by Nintendo of America, the team went back to work and removed all ‘infringing’ content from No Mario’s Sky. The end result is a new game cheekily titled DMCA’s Sky.
And so the game Nintendo tried to kill off lives on and has even been renamed so as to increase the awareness of Nintendo’s aggressive and bullying ways. Meanwhile, because of the controversy, a heck of a lot more people are being exposed to DMCA’s Sky than would have been otherwise. Bang up job, Nintendo.