Nintendo Hates You: Gaming Giant Lobs A DMCA Nuke At Hundreds Of Fan Games
from the nintendon't dept
Nintendo has built quite a reputation for itself as an intellectual property protectionist, going much further than most other game publishers to exert strict control over all of its IP. While this control is deployed in a wide-ranging manner, one of the most visible, common, and consequential avenues for this protectionism comes in the form of Nintendo getting all manner of fan-made creations taken down. These games, almost universally created by huge Nintendo fans as labors of love, are nearly always the subject of DMCA takedowns. Think for just a moment what that means: Nintendo is disallowing, on the regular, the expression of fandom by its own customers.
Every time I have written a post about some individual game being erased in this manner, rather than Nintendo exploring how to officially endorse these fan-made creations so as to protect its IP while still promoting its own fans, it’s left me scratching my head. But now that Nintendo has managed to get hundreds of fan-games taken down in one fell swoop, well, it seems the company has decided to take this war on its own fans to another level.
Hundreds of non-commercial Nintendo fangames have been removed from the popular game publishing community Game Jolt after the platform complied with several DMCA takedown requests. Many of the affected games have dedicated fanbases including many die-hard Nintendo fans, some of whom now seem eager to revolt.
A few days ago, Nintendo’s legal department sent DMCA notices to the game publishing community Game Jolt. The site, where hobbyists and indie developers share their creations for free, was notified that hundreds of fangames infringed Nintendo’s trademarks.
Now, GameJolt does advertise on its site, leading Nintendo’s DMCA notice to warn that the site was profiting from this infringement. As a result, the site took 379 games down. But it’s worth noting both that uploaders appear to have an option to turn off ads on their games’ pages and that the developers and fans for these games are absolutely livid about Nintendo’s actions. One developer summed it up nicely and then went on to point out why this attempt at enforcement by Nintendo probably won’t even work.
“They’ll get no sympathy from me, this isn’t the first time they’ve pulled a stunt like this. They’ve made it clear they hate their fans and repeat it time and time again never learning from it.”
The developer will continue to work on his “Five Nights At Team HQ series” but fears that it will be targeted eventually. That doesn’t stop the developer though, and he encourages others to simply flood the Internet with copies.
“Nintendo if you think taking down everyone’s games will help your image and get people to buy more of your games then you’re sorely mistaken! I’ll keep making and reuploading fan games even if you try to take them down, so DEAL WITH IT! All people who have copies of the fangames that were taken down take them and reupload them all over the internet so they stay up no matter what!”
And that already appears to be happening. Some developers are taking their fan games to other platforms and reuploading them there. Other developers are actually reuploading their games back to GameJolt, but without advertising on them, in the hopes that banner ads were somehow the lynchpin that caused Nintendo to target their particular games.
Nintendo has remained silent on the matter as of the time of this writing, but readers here will know its reputation well enough to know that removing advertisements won’t stop the takedowns. Nintendo hates fan-made creations, see, and has taken down plenty of games that were completely devoid of any commercial aspects.
The only thing that will stop the company from treating its biggest fans so poorly, it seems, is if those fans suddenly begin disappearing like the games they created.