To no one's surprise, the fan-made adaptation of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild based on a 2D prototype of the game has been taken down on a copyright claim by Nintendo of America.
"Breath of the NES," a free game for Windows PC, drew its inspiration from a 2D test game, shown at GDC 2017, which resembled the original Legend of Zelda from 1987. The internal-only prototype was meant to test open-world gameplay concepts and also reinforce for designers the idea of returning the series to its roots.
Winterdrake, the fan designer behind "Breath of the NES," imagined what such a game would look like, in a playable state, and uploaded a demo to itch.io last week. His version had a day and night cycle, an interactive environment, and enemies and collectibles drawing on Breath of the Wild and the series at large.
This weekend, however, itch.io received a complaint from a Nintendo of America attorney, citing its copyright to The Legend of Zelda and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
WinterDrake seems undeterred, vowing that "the project will come back bigger and better than ever." Fans advised WinterDrake to change the sprites and the use of Nintendo's marks, but WinterDrake said "I'm going to make the next release a lot bigger than a simple name change."
Copyright law is a common hazard for fan-made works, which seem to be running into it lately. Nintendo has been especially vigilant in protecting is copyrights and trademarks. In September, the console maker got 562 fan-made games shut down at one hosting site.