If you’re a super big fan of Pokémon, chances are you’ve heard of Pokémon fan games – unofficial Pokémon games made by people who just love the series. Just yesterday, one of the biggest tools used to create these fan games, “Pokémon Essentials,” was forced to shut down due to receiving a DMCA from Nintendo.
While definitely a huge blow to the Pokémon fan game community, it’s hard to say that this development was unexpected. Nintendo has demonstrated numerous times in recent years that they are extremely adamant in protecting their IP. Just last month, they made headlines for threatening to sue two sites that were providing roms of classic games. In order to avoid paying hefty fines, the owners of these sites ended up removing Nintendo titles from their collection, or as in the case of LoveRetro, shut down the site completely.
One of the more interesting aspects of this particular takedown, is that Nintendo also went after the Pokémon Essentials Wiki, a site that detailed the usage of the software. A representative from the company that hosted the wiki, Fandom, confirmed to The Verge that Nintendo had pressured them to remove the content.
“Fandom received a DMCA notice on behalf of Nintendo notifying us of content that was in violation of its copyright holdings. After carefully assessing the violations in regards to the Pokemon Essentials wiki, we came to a decision to take it down.”
One developer, who for fear of facing possible legal repercussions sought to remain anonymous, told The Verge that despite the takedown of the wiki and the Pokémon Essentials tool, people who have the tool stored locally could easily reupload it at any moment. The real issue is that since Nintendo has set people associated with the tool in their crosshairs, “the more organized entities are definitely going to shy away from … building out new things for the kit.”
Judging by the numerous World of Warcraft private servers that pop up regularly on the subreddit, it seems like its nearly impossible to keep hardcore fans from doing what they love. It’s probably only a matter of time before a new tool with similar features makes a splash on the Pokémon fan game scene. The aforementioned developer seems to think so as well. “We’ve always known this day would come, some are surprised it took so long. But people are going to continue to make fan games, whether there’s a Wiki and support or not.”
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