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Nintendo Takes Down Fan-Made Pokémon Game


Jack Gardner

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Pokémon Uranium, released last week by fans who had worked on it for almost a decade, is no longer available on its official website. More than 1.5 million downloads occurred in the handful of days it was officially linked on the website. The non-profit game was free for all, the developers wishing to merely share their game with the world. 

 

On Saturday, Nintendo's lawyers came calling at the Pokémon Uranium website with several take down notices to end the site's distribution of their game. The game developers quickly took down their links, but will continue to update the title, maintain its online features for those who downloaded a copy, and maintain their website. Despite the game being subject to take down, the developers seem to be very happy with how Uranium has been received so far.

 

That being said, the developers take pains to distance themselves from those who might have reuploaded Pokémon Uranium to file hosting sites to continue distribution. After all, they have no control over those individuals and they can't guarantee the safety of any download links from those sites.

 

You can read their full statement below:

 

After receiving more than 1,500,000 downloads of our game, we have been notified of multiple takedown notices from lawyers representing Nintendo of America. While we have not personally been contacted, it’s clear what their wishes are, and we respect those wishes deeply. Therefore, we will no longer provide official download links for the game through our website.

 

We have no connection to fans who reupload the game files to their own hosts, and we cannot verify that those download links are all legitimate. We advise you to be extremely cautious about downloading the game from unofficial sources.

 

We are blown away by the response this game has received, and we thank you all so much for your outstanding support.

 

We will continue to provide Pokémon Uranium-related news and updates through our official channels.

 

You are welcome to continue discussing and sharing content related to the game on our forums and Discord, where there is a very active community.

 

Thank you for reading, and let’s share the love of Pokémon!

 

This is merely the most recent take down of content Nintendo of America has deemed harmful to their efforts to protect their copyright. A Metroid II fan remake and an archive of out of print Nintendo Power magazines were taken down last week. Copyright law requires those who hold copyrights to stringently police any content that might infringe, even free, fan-made tribute games, in order to properly defend against larger for profit infringement.

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No surprise. 

 

I did manage to grab it though. Being on PC will increase the chances of me actually playing an official Pokemon game by 100%. 

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The thing that annoys me about all this Nintendo stuff lately...why do they wait until its release to take things down. Its been worked on for years...I'm sure there were "beta" versions posted prior to final release...why can't they issue take downs then? Maybe I just don't understand how copyright law works... :(

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1 minute ago, gektek said:

The thing that annoys me about all this Nintendo stuff lately...why do they wait until its release to take things down. Its been worked on for years...I'm sure there were "beta" versions posted prior to final release...why can't they issue take downs then? Maybe I just don't understand how copyright law works... :(

 

That is the dastardly bit. As previously mentioned in one of @Jack Gardner's other articles, copyright laws are pretty nonsensical. It was in Alpha and Beta for years. I am not sure where lines are being drawn by this legal team at Nintendo. Seems bad timing to put a foul taste in the mouths of the fandom so close to launch of a new system. 

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I have hopes they are hiring these dedicated fans and not just ruining their lives with law suits...

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Just now, gektek said:

I have hopes they are hiring these dedicated fans and not just ruining their lives with law suits...

 

I would hope so. SO many folks have started their careers using similar tools to build levels and assets for the games they love. 

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Most of these don't escalate into lawsuits, people just take down their official download links to the games. 

Often these teams work with a very low profile and don't announce to the world that the game is done and available until it is out. That way, they can release the game, even for a few days. That might not seem like much, but it gets the game into a lot of different hands. After that's done, they can comply with DMCA take downs and avoid a lawsuit while their creation is shared via those who initially downloaded their work.

 

It's just really crummy they can't be open about their free fan creations.

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Nintendo is on the right path with Mario Maker. Next needs to come Nintendo Maker ;)

 

Or at the very least...Mario Kart Maker, Metroid Maker, Pikmin Maker, Donkey Kong Maker, Zelda Maker.....

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Here's the deal with copyright law...if Nintendo doesn't enforce the law on EVERY instance of copyright infringement, even those that seem insignificant, then they stand the possibility of losing their copyright.  So unfortunately, even though Pokemon Uranium didn't use real pokemon, they still have to shut it down or someone who ACTUALLY wants to steal the IP could do so and then claim in a court that Nintendo didn't protect their copyright when it came to PU, and Nintendo could actually lose that case.

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