Nintendo has already taken a pretty strict stance on video game emulation, but you'd think completely free, fan-created Nintendo game spin-offs would be in the clear - however, that's apparently not the case, if a recent Ars Technica report is anything to go by.
Nintendo has always been known for its tendency to jealously guard its intellectual properties, and the latest example of this trend is the company taking down "Pokemon Essentials."
As Ars points out, Pokemon Essentials is a free tool that lets the franchise's fans create their own Pokemon-like adventure games using the paid RPG Maker program.
Nintendo has slapped the Pokemon Essentials tool with a DMCA takedown. After reviewing the company's takedown request, FANDOM (the wiki site which hosted Pokemon Essentials information) decided to comply with the request.
As you might expect, users are none too pleased with Nintendo's somewhat old-fashioned approach to fan creations.
"Every one of us could finish and release a Pokémon fan game and it wouldn't hurt Nintendo's bottom line any," PokeCommunity user Nesty writes. "However, the very nature of copyright law pits corporations against people. It's just a shame. I wish things would change."
It's likely that Nintendo is legally in the right here -- the assets Pokemon Essentials uses appear to be identical to the ones in Pokemon games -- but from a PR standpoint, it's much harder to say whether or not this a good decision for the company. On the one hand, they've eliminated the possibility that some of the more well-made free fan games will ever compete with Nintendo's paid offerings.
On the other hand, the people behind these games are some of Nintendo's biggest fans. It takes dozens, if not hundreds of hours to create some of the free spin-offs in question. By so brazenly shutting down their creators' work, the company runs the risk of alienating some of its most hardcore players.
Image courtesy Reddit