UPDATE: Nintendo may have had reasons beyond pure IP protection for issuing this DMCA strike against Game Jolt. Looking into the issue, it seems that developers on Game Jolt get 30% of the ad revenue generated from any of their projects. Details of this program are laid out here, but it basically boils down to the fact that developers are making money from their use of Nintendo’s IP. We have reached out to Game Jolt regarding this policy and will update the article with a statement if it is available.
We have also learned that several notable games were removed in the sweep, including Super Mario RPG: The Starlite Worlds, one of the only examples of a completed Super Mario RPG fan game.
We thank several of our readers for pointing out this program and these games to us. The original article continues below.
On the same day that Nintendo announced its official lineup of upcoming games for Nintendo 3DS, it seems that they wanted to clear away some of the unofficial games from the web. Indie game service Game Jolt has announced that Nintendo has hit them with a DMCA takedown notice that specified 562 separate projects that infringed on the copyrights and patents that Nintendo hold. Specifically, the Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon franchises are cited in the takedown notice, which Game Jolt have made public on GitHub.
Game Jolt founder CROS stated in his announcement that the infringing games will be made private and will no long be available for download, but the projects will not be deleted. This allows the creators of these fan projects to recover their data from the service and possibly continue to spread them under the radar.
For Nintendo, this move comes not long after the death of several other notable fan projects. Pokemon Uranium was removed voluntarily by its creators after its initial debut, citing fear of legal action against them for their game. AM2R was struck by a takedown follow its release after years of very public development work and the release of demo versions of the game. Both projects live on in unofficial capacities, and AM2R has even received a patch since its initial takedown.
Fangames continue to be a point of discussion online and in the industry. Sega has famously brought in some of their fan developers to produce Sonic Mania, a game that returns to the 2D roots of Sonic the Hedgehog. Capcom has also shown leniency towards their fans in the past as well, including officially publishing Street Fighter X Mega Man in 2012.
What do you think of Nintendo’s continued battle against fan projects online? Do you think it is the right thing to do to erase these projects from the web? Or would you rather see Nintendo work with their community like Sega and Capcom? Let us know in the comments below!