Nintendo continues their recent crusade against fangames this morning by ensuring that development for AM2R comes to a halt immediately. Project creator Milton “DoctorM64” Guasti posted to the game’s official website and Twitter that he received a DMCA to his personal email address that legally disallows him from distributing any version of the game going forward, including stopping updates for the title.
I've received a DMCA takedown request on my email account. So, AM2R won't receive any more updates nor releases. Thank you for the support.
— DoctorM64 (@AM2Rgame) September 2, 2016
The response to the notice has been an outpouring of fan support for the developer and much anger for Nintendo, despite the fact that they are within their rights to take down the project for using their IP without permission. Since the game’s initial release last month, AM2R has been the subject of many Let’s Play videos, and figures from throughout the industry have posted about enjoying the game and the legal troubles it faces. There is even a group of speedrunners who are already tearing the game apart for the next AGDQ.
This news comes on the same weekend as the release of sales information about Nintendo’s latest official Metroid release, Metroid Prime: Federation Force. With less than 5,000 copies sold in its opening week in Japan, the game has seemingly bombed, and one can only speculate as to the future of the Metroid franchise.
Despite Nintendo legally being in the right here, I just can’t get behind their recent actions to shut these games down completely. Sonic Mania‘s announcement and the surge of retro games on Steam and Kickstarter gave me hope for a brighter future for fan creations. However, this latest insistence on removing all traces of these games from the web puts a damper on the entire community and spells doom for similar operations like Pokemon Uranium.
No matter your field, everyone starts by emulating their inspirations, eventually gaining a voice of their own. Who knows how many Super Meat Boys and Freedom Planets we might have missed if Nintendo and Sega had been this stringent a decade ago? If nothing else, DoctorM64 certainly reignited a tortured fanbase with this release, and time will tell if Nintendo can take advantage of that in an official capacity.