Nintendo Sics Lawyers To Take Down Fan-Made FPS 'Pokemon' Game Footage
from the nintendon't dept
At this point, posts about Nintendo getting fan-made games or content removed from the internet over IP concerns are evergreen. Nobody should be surprised by this shit any more, though you should still be either very angry about it, or at least disappointed. The company is almost a caricature of an IP maximalist company: anything and everything that even comes close to touching its IP gets thrown at the company lawyers to deal with. It’s bad enough to be parodied by the general public. This is where I remind you that companies like Nintendo have a wide spectrum of avenues for responding to fanworks. Depending on the IP in question, the company could do any of the following besides going legal: let fans have their fun, issue zero-dollar or cheap licenses to fans to legitimize their work, or incorporate fanworks into official releases by either licensing or employing these fans. Plenty of other companies have taken these routes, or others, and have survived just fine. Nintendo never does this.
And so, here we are again with Nintendo getting footage of an unreleased fan-game disappeared from the internet, citing copyright. In this instance, one fan made a first person shooter game in the Unreal Engine so you can go hunting Pokémon as violently as possible.
For the past month, Reddit user Dragon_GameDev2 has been working on a side project imagining a PC Pokémon game, built using Unreal Engine, that you played in first-person.
While your thoughts may now be drifting towards something resembling Pokemon Snap, Dragon_GameDev2 had more violent plans for this game. He instead showed off some videos where players were dropped into a Pokémon-filled landscape, given modern firearms, and set free to hunt (and defend themselves from) as many of the pocket monsters as they liked.
Now, were it not for Nintendo’s reputation, someone might be able to convince me that the bloody, violent murder of video game Pokémon might have been the impetus for Nintendo’s actions here. After all, the Pokémon series is very much not in the style of Doom or Quake. But that reputation does exist and I don’t believe for a second that the violence depicted here has anything to do with the takedowns.
Those takedowns, by the way, are not of the game itself. Rather, images and videos of the game being played that were shared on the internet is what was disappeared. Can Nintendo do this legally? Probably, though I could certainly make a fair use argument for it. Perhaps not a perfect one, but an argument nonetheless. But again, the question isn’t so much can Nintendo do stuff like this, but should it?
This sucks, just like it always does, because unlike many other major international companies, Nintendo seems utterly unwilling—or even unable—to differentiate between commercial projects that infringe on their copyrights and fan-made playthings that are free and made for fun.
That, of course, is nonsense. Nintendo absolutely can make this differentiation. It chooses not to. Don’t take that agency away from a company that worked quite hard to build a reputation for itself for absolutely hating its fans’ attempt to express their fandom.
Nintendo isn’t confused. Nintendo hates you. Or, at least, it hates what some of you do in the name of your love for the company.