5 Times Nintendo Has Stopped Fan Projects

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A company like Nintendo, which has been around for a very long time and produced multiple beloved franchises, is obviously going to inspire its fans. And Nintendo's fan base spreads far and wide. They've worked on all sorts of custom projects, from fan art to fan fiction. But some true fanatics with a lot of time and serious resources have gone even bigger and created large scale fan projects. 

Fan projects have run the gamut of Nintendo's IPs, from Mario to Pokemon. And while most of them have been pretty impressive, Nintendo doesn't seem to appreciate them. In fact, the Big N has become sort of notorious for shutting these sorts of projects down -- like they did with these next five fandom-driven endeavors.

Pokemon Uranium (2016)

Pokemon Uranium was a fan made Pokemon game. Following its release on August 6th of last year, it received 1.5 million downloads before it was taken down a week later.

The game takes place in a new region called Tandor region. In it were 150 new Pokemon, unique to Uranium, as well as a new Pokemon type -- the Nuclear type. Some places in the game leaked radiation, which could mutate your Pokemon. Pokemon that got mutated gained the Nuclear typing and became harder to control. It was definitely a mechanic you wouldn't see in a main series Pokemon game.

The game wasn't taken down because of cease & desist orders directly from the developers, but as a precautionary measure after lawyers began hitting the download links with take down notices. But the game is still out there being worked on -- and according to the developers, it's "more alive than ever".

Another Metroid 2 Remake (2016)

Another Metroid 2 Remake (or AM2R for short) is a fan-made remake of the original Metroid 2: Return of Samus for Game Boy. The project was built from the ground up in Game Maker, and apparently would've played a lot like Metroid Zero Mission.

But unfortunately, just a few weeks after the download was put up for the full game on August 6th, 2016 Nintendo filed a take down request. The creator, DoctorM64, complied with their request and removed all download links, then stopped development entirely.

After Nintendo's E3 presentation this year, it's obvious why the fan project was taken down. A few people online have been enraged by the reveal of Metroid 2: Samus Returns after AM2R's cancellation last year, but the developer himself is excited for it.

The Legend of Zelda: The Hero of Time (2009)

The Hero of Time was a fan movie released in 2009. Based on the synopsis from the official website, the movie was probably an adaption of Ocarina of Time. It got a 4.7/10 on IMDB, which is about what you'd expect for a fan film.

The project started production in August 2004, and made its world premiere on June 6, 2009 in Atlanta -- with several other screenings in New York City, Los Angeles, Germany, and Washington. It was also released digitally on Daily Motion in December of that year.

Soon after that, Nintendo found out about the film and demanded that it be taken down. But eventually the creators and the Big N came to an agreement that they'd allow the movie to run until the end of the year before pulling it.

FullScreenMario (2013)

FullScreenMario is a fan made recreation of Super Mario Bros 1 in HTML5. The game's creator, Josh Goldberg, originally took the project upon himself in order to improve his programming skills. Not only is the game a complete recreation of the original Super Mario Bros, it also contains a level editor and a random level generator. So the possibilities were endless.

But on November 1 of 2013, just a year after Goldberg began building the game, it was taken down due after he received DMCA notices on the official website.

Two years later Nintendo released Mario Maker -- a game that allows you to make and share your very own Mario levels. Goldberg was more than a little suspicious, but he held no ill will. He was just glad that Nintendo finally capitalized on such a simple concept.

Zeldamotion: A Link To The Past (2015)

Okay, so Nintendo didn't exactly put a stop to this particular project. But its fan base certainly did.

Zeldamotion was an animated YouTube series set to make The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past into a full on animated adventure. Originally a motion comic, it was meant to be based off of the manga adaption by Akira Himekawa.

The project got a lot of attention -- so much so that it landed big names like Vic Mignogna (the voice of Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist). Its creators launched a Kickstarter, though they claimed they would go through with making it even without the funds from a crowdfunding campaign -- though the extra funds would help the project go faster.

But before it could be fully realized, the project was cancelled. Nintendo never took any actions against the creators or the project itself. But according to the official statement about its cancellation, Zeldamotion was brought to an end out of respect for the developer and because a fraction of the company's fans had a very negative reaction to it all. 

The team, now called Aeipathy Industries, is currently working on an original visual novel called Rook. It looks to have an interesting style to it that could set it apart from other visual novels.

Lots of fans have tried to create something great with Nintendo's IPs, and many of them have succeeded in some capacity. But nothing gold can stay, and more often than not the Big N has stepped in to protect its brand -- even from the fans who love it most. But if we're being honest, it's probably just because Nintendo wants to protect the franchises it has worked so hard to cultivate, and ensure that those franchises can grow and change in the future to please old fans and bring in new ones. 

 

What Nintendo fan projects have been your favorites over the years? Are there any currently underway that you're hoping doesn't catch a C&D from this iconic company? Let me know down in the comments!

Published Jun. 22nd 2017

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