WTF?! Nintendo has a well-earned reputation for being one of the most aggressive companies in the world when it comes to protecting what it considers copyrighted material. Now, the gaming giant has updated its content guidelines to specify that it will issue DMCA takedowns for material, including videos on social media, featuring modified games, emulators, and anything extracted from data mining.
Nintendo's Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platforms, which have been updated for the first time since 2018, now include a section that states it will target: "[Content that] features unauthorized game consoles and/or software not licensed by Nintendo or features video, images, sound sources, etc., that cannot be used in regular gameplay, extracted through game software via data mining or other methods."
The update means Nintendo could issue DMCA takedowns to videos and other content featuring patched/modified games and emulators. It could also go after online and social media posts that reveal content discovered from data mining, which is something we see regularly. These sorts of discoveries often relate to new characters that are coming to games.
GamesIndustry.biz notes that Nintendo could even target the online promotion of retro-themed consoles from companies such as Analogue, Polymega, and Hyperkin.
The news comes just after Nintendo released heavily criticized new guidelines for community tournaments that feature its games. They include having no more than 200 participants for in-person events or 300 for online tournaments, not allowing any sponsors, disallowing modded games, and the money raised from spectator tickets and entry fees not exceeding the costs of organizing the tournament and raising prize money. Furthermore, sales of food, drink, and merchandise at venues with spectators are prohibited.
Nintendo's famously litigious nature led it to ask Valve to prevent the Dolphin emulator from being released on Steam earlier this year, citing DMCA as justification.
Some of the company's other legal actions include, among other things, suing ROM site owners, killing a Super Mario 64 PC port, sending a DMCA takedown for game creation tool 'Pokemon Essentials,' and suing TikTok/Twitch star Pokeprincxss. Let's not forget how it wanted to send a message with the lengthy sentence of hacker Gary Bower, who was released early from prison.