Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 7, 2016

Email: Nintendo’s recent actions demonstrate IP obsession

It’s quite apparent to me that Nintendo’s recent actions with unlicensed fanworks are demonstrating an IP obsession.
It wasn’t until a year or so ago that Nintendo started cracking down on youtube videos of Nintendo games and their game music

And just in the last month they’ve had the downloads taken down for something like 100+ freely-available Nintendo fangames and in at least some cases have specifically demanded for development to be stopped..
Both these are actions are strange because they’re actually quite “out of the blue”. 5+ years ago it was almost as if Nintendo didn’t even know that these things didn’t exist on the internet.

This is particularly apparent with the freely-available fan games Another Metroid 2 Remake and Pokemon Uranium – both of these games were in development for over 8 years and, at least for AM2R (as it’s what I’m familiar with), even had releases that literally covered like half of the game (and it was arguably already better than Zero Mission!)…yet it wasn’t until recently when both games had completed release that Nintendo suddenly shut them down.

The key thing though is that it was a DMCA takedown request that was ordered for AM2R, not for trademark or anything like that, but copyright – the very same thing they use for taking down YouTube content (which itself is strange given AM2R’s abundance of original graphics and audio).
To me, it seems like Nintendo is not only being very protectionist of anything related at all to their IPs but is now basically claiming copyright on the IPs themselves.

This goes perfectly in-hand with what you been saying recently in that appears Nintendo firmly believes that only they get to say what the IP is and what it means – almost like a “holier than thou” attitude.

Of course, as we all know it’s impossible to completely remove anything from the internet as I know for a fact that both Another Metroid 2 Remake and Pokemon Uranium are available on your local “el piracy lagoon” website…(as someone that refuses to touch Other M, I particularly recommend AM2R)

…it’s kind of funny that you seem to have a lower chance of being shut down by making a rom hack of all things than you are making a free fan game; I don’t see direct download links for rom patches being taken down!


If Nintendo doesn’t take legal action to protect its Intellectual Property, they will lack precedent to defend future actions. This is what I suspect is going on here.

What I refer to as IP obsession is outside any legal framework. IP is a legal word, not a consumer/market word. It is similar to when a company executive saying people want to buy skus. Sku is not a consumer based word. Console is. Game is. Sku is not.

Metroid Other M and Federation Force flopping may have Nintendo say, “Metroid IP doesn’t sell.”

The market, however, is saying, “Bad gameplay doesn’t sell. The IP is awesome.”

Image result for mario teaches typing

Mario used to be everywhere. Nintendo was putting Mario in places where he didn’t really belong.

“What is wrong with that, Malstrom? The early 90s were a good time for Nintendo.”

I’m not so sure. If you live by the IP, you die by the IP. A competitor, Sega, made Sonic as a type of Anti-Mario which neutralized the Mario IP entirely. Mario could not defeat Sega. The only solution was to build up another IP which did the trick: Donkey Kong Country.

The only reason why Nintendo is re-using all these IPs is because they lack the talent to create new ones. Competitors will create anti-Nintendo IPs which will neutralize Nintendo’s advantage entirely. What Nintendo must do is create new, fresh games with new, fresh characters and worlds.



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