Nintendo is going about taking down AM2R.
Okay, I get it. Nintendo has a right to defend their intellectual properties. In the case of AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake), it’s debatable as to whether the game was sufficiently transformative to fall into fair use, seeing that it’s not a straight-up ROM of Metroid 2. But it does use Nintendo’s characters and it uses a scenario for an existing Nintendo game. It’s Nintendo’s IP, and it’s understandable that they’d want to protect it.
What strikes me as odd is the timing of the takedown of AM2R, which was just days after its release. It stinks of something spiteful.
AM2R wasn’t some fly-by-night operation happening in a dark alley somewhere; its development was highly publicized, to the point that there were frequent public updates from the developer. Not only that, early versions of the game were released as demos. Why didn’t Nintendo start issuing takedowns for those? Was Nintendo okay with the demos?
What this indicates is an extraordinary level of spite from Nintendo. They could have issued a takedown request at any point during the game’s years-long development process. But no, they waited to issue the request until the project was finished, and the passionate Metroid fan that had worked on it had invested hours upon hours of his time.
Nintendo can’t pretend ignorance, because a member of Retro Studios had expressed that he was aware of AM2R’s existence. It’s not like Nintendo wasn’t aware of what was going on.
AM2R was coming to us just as Metroid was celebrating it’s 30th anniversary. Okay, it’s not really much of a celebration. I don’t know if Nintendo is even acknowledging Metroid’s 30th anniversary, other than maybe a blurb about it in marketing Metroid Prime Soccer… *ahem*, I mean, Metroid Prime Federation Force, a game which angered many of Metroid’s core fans.
Again, I know that Nintendo has a right to defend its intellectual properties. But going after someone who made a fan game (not even a ROM, but a transformative reskinning)? And not doing anything about it until days after the years-long development process came to its conclusion (in spite of repeated release of demos of the same game)?
I doubt that Nintendo is thinking much about making it up to the person who made AM2R, but I think that Nintendo would benefit from hiring him. It’s obvious that the guy knows quite a few things about how to make a video game. At least they’ll have scored some real talent for their team, and not come away with a total loss from the bad press that they’ll get from taking down AM2R.
Going after a Metroid fan like this wouldn’t likely put Nintendo in a positive light. I know that Nintendo wants us to give Federation Force a chance, but in light of how Nintendo treated AM2R, which was an expression of just how much fans want a real Metroid experience, that’s not very easy to do.