Nintendo has gone on a copyright claim bonanza, ordering hundreds of free, unofficial fan projects to shut down. These include Another Metroid 2 Remake (AM2R), the ambitious Metroid 2 remake whose development went underground earlier this summer when Nintendo first ordered it to shut down.
"Nintendo of America, Inc. has filed a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)," wrote DoctorM64, creator of AM2R. "I received the request on my personal email, so I'm complying with their requests.
"There will be no more AM2R updates, and no more releases under any platform," the developer continued in what might be the project’s final blog post.
DoctorM64 told fans of the free fangame, which launched on Metroid’s 25th anniversary and quickly went viral, that the game would continue to be improved upon privately after Nintendo issued its first takedown notice. Development would proudly continue on, the developer wrote, even though file hosting sites had complied with Nintendo’s requests to remove the download.
It’s likely that DoctorM64 received a letter similar to the one posted by Fireside, Game Jolt’s indie-skewing sub-site. Game Jolt hosts numerous titles for free download, and many of them are produced by and for fans of big franchises. Those include several Nintendo series — namely Mario, Zelda and Pokémon — and 562 fangames based on these properties are no longer available, following Nintendo’s orders.
"We are required to act promptly on requests like [Nintendo's]"
The full list of games is included in the letter from Nintendo, which Game Jolt has made available in full. Names feature obvious Nintendo references, like Pokémon Stellar Pearl, Pokémon Temporal Diamond, Pokémon Snap Remake and Super Mario Bros. Part 2, along with some allusions to other properties, like Mario and Luigi vs. the Furbies, Six Nights at Zelda’s and Zelda and the Youtubers.
"These web pages display images of Nintendo's video game characters in connection with unauthorized online games that copy the characters, music, and other features of Nintendo's video games," wrote Nintendo’s legal representation, whose contact information has been redacted from the posted notice.
As a result, Nintendo’s lawyers told Game Jolt to take down "all infringing contact."
"We are required to act promptly on requests like [Nintendo’s DMCA letter] and remove any games included in the notice," user CROS wrote in a post on Fireside. "When a DMCA takedown request comes in, we will ‘lock’ any of the games in the notice. This will result in the game page being accessible by the developer and no one else."
That means 562 — plus one more, counting AM2R — Nintendo fangames are no longer online as of today. CROS’ post says that Game Jolt will continue to upload DMCA notices that it receives in the future, keeping a public archive of the Nintendo homages that once were.