Nintendo Doesn't Want to Shut Down Fan Projects

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This helps to explain why they only go after particular fan projects (engine-stealing Pokemon MMO) and leave the rest of them alone (Brawl in the Family, Super Mario Crossover, etc.). I'd wager that for every 1 project they shut down, there's at least another 10 or so that they continue to let run.

Straying Bullet:
Screw Nintendo. I remember when they cancelled the entire effort for a Pokemon MMORPG after a year or so. That's just bull, seriously.

In their defense, it only makes sense for them to shut down a project that looks like it will seriously take off. Most fan projects die long before they're complete, so it was just a matter of waiting to see if the creators were actually going to go through with it.

I'll bet if the MMO hadn't just ripped everything out of the existing Pokemon games (graphics, engine, and all), it might not have been shut down.

danpascooch:

Brok3n Halo:
...

It was 100% free

If you're referring to the Pokenet game, doesn't matter, it's still competing with the official Pokemon games that Nintendo is still selling.

V8 Ninja:
Nice to see that Nintendo is thinking about copyright more than just doing the "What?! They used our character?! Sue their asses!" method of dealing with problems of that nature. Oh, and a few responses to a few of the user comments:

The Zelda Movie: As Brok3n Halo has already stated, the filmmakers were actually making money off of that film. It makes logical sense why Nintendo would shut it down. And besides, the movie was utter rubbish.

The Pokemon MMO Game: This is almost the exact opposite of The Zelda movie situation. Nintendo is making money off of the series while other people were basically handing out the same game for free. Of course Nintendo is going to shut down people basically handing out their game for free over the internet.

The Chrono Trigger Remake: Nintendo had nothing to do with it, that was Square Enix. Get your facts right.

Yup! Exactly! Thanks for the summery, my version was kinda long winded and I can't agree with what you said more. ^_^

Diligent:
"I love you baby, and I don't wanna hit you, but sometimes you don't give me no choice.", says Nintendo.

They really don't have a choice, though. Apart from V8 Ninja's statements, you also have to consider that making a free to play Pokemon MMORPG is well within Nintendo's abilities, and it's basically remaking a game that is still currently being sold and maintained by Nintendo, had it been in a situation where Pokemon as a franchise was basically dead, then I would definitely disagree with Nintendo shutting it down, but that's just not the case.

Dexiro:

danpascooch:

It was 100% free

That's probably part of the problem. People are selling off Pokemon clones for free, which could diminish the value of their official games.

Who knows maybe they have a Pokemon MMO in the works too, it has potential.

Did you even look at my link? I wasn't talking about the Pokemon MMO (which I don't have a problem with them shutting down, it could steal business away from them) it was about the Zelda fan movie that caused absolutely no harm to them whatsoever.

Brok3n Halo:

danpascooch:

Brok3n Halo:
...

It was 100% free

If you're referring to the Pokenet game, doesn't matter, it's still competing with the official Pokemon games that Nintendo is still selling.

V8 Ninja:
Nice to see that Nintendo is thinking about copyright more than just doing the "What?! They used our character?! Sue their asses!" method of dealing with problems of that nature. Oh, and a few responses to a few of the user comments:

The Zelda Movie: As Brok3n Halo has already stated, the filmmakers were actually making money off of that film. It makes logical sense why Nintendo would shut it down. And besides, the movie was utter rubbish.

The Pokemon MMO Game: This is almost the exact opposite of The Zelda movie situation. Nintendo is making money off of the series while other people were basically handing out the same game for free. Of course Nintendo is going to shut down people basically handing out their game for free over the internet.

The Chrono Trigger Remake: Nintendo had nothing to do with it, that was Square Enix. Get your facts right.

Yup! Exactly! Thanks for the summery, my version was kinda long winded and I can't agree with what you said more. ^_^

I was talking about the Zelda film, I can see why the pokemon game needed to be shut down, but I don't see how the Zelda film hurt them at all.

I just looked at three separate articles and saw nothing about them making money off of it, even if Nintendo had to shut it down, they could have told them years ago when they were still making it (they were very public about the project), they had no right to shut it down at that point, but they could have given them a heads up like: "Guys, when you finish this we're going to shut it down, you might not want to bother" and save them 4 years of trouble.

At the VERY LEAST they could not then lie and say "we don't like to shut down fan projects" because that's a load.

danpascooch:

Dexiro:

danpascooch:

It was 100% free

That's probably part of the problem. People are selling off Pokemon clones for free, which could diminish the value of their official games.

Who knows maybe they have a Pokemon MMO in the works too, it has potential.

Did you even look at my link? I wasn't talking about the Pokemon MMO (which I don't have a problem with them shutting down, it could steal business away from them) it was about the Zelda fan movie that caused absolutely no harm to them whatsoever.

Oh sorry, must've grabbed the idea you were talking about Pokemon from the guy you quoted xD

Guess we can't always understand their reasoning behind stuff. Hopefully since making that statement they won't be so quick to throw a C&D at someone, it just seems like a big gamble to me though.

John Funk:

This seems like a very sensible stance to take. On the one hand, a company is obligated to defend its IP lest it become effectively worthless and out of its control. On the other hand, do you really want to slap the proverbial cuffs on someone who is going to a great deal of effort because they love the things you make?

It's really about balancing the gain from additional product visibility and free advertising vs the loss of having competing fan-made products on the market.

So I suppose that is why the There Will Be Brawl DVD is still a no show.
Pity since I would love to see it in decent resolution and without that goddawful escapist watermark ruining it.

I give up. It's like trying to take a bone away from a dog.

What's the problem?
Fandom doesn't equal ownership. If you want to use other peoples' ideas, get their permission before you start working on a project. If you don't get the okay, then do something else or carry on knowing you're putting yourself in the way of consequences. Here's another idea: If you want to use other peoples' ideas without their permission, do so in a fashion where they can never find out; it makes no sense to broadcast your trademark and copyright infringements over the internet.

The argument that it's somehow more wrong to shut down completed projects or near completed projects makes no sense. A bunch of people shooting a movie for fun is a fan project. Distributing trademarked/copyrighted materials isn't part of the fan project--that's business. Same thing for an MMORPG or other projects of that sort. That's what copyright is there for, protection against illegal distribution.

canadamus_prime:
Also Nintendo seems to be pretty good at practising what they preach too. For every fan project they've shut down (all 2 of them that I know of), there must be at least 200 or so that they've ignored.

Well, Nintendo did also shutdown Project Wiki (at least that was the rumor) several years ago too, but I think the reasons for that are pretty obvious......

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/setView/overview/gameID/198

On a somewhat related note, a fan group is remaking the original Half-Life with updated graphics and such. I've usually found Valve to be pretty catering and kind with their fans, so I'm hoping they let it go through, since the game will be free. If they take any legal action against the dev team and prevent the game from coming out, then I will chastize them in my mind while I play TF2 or whatever is out at the time. Yea.

wow. this is...nice. a super company that's not totally against fan projects.

i think valve is taking over the game industry.

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

I think that kind of falls under the category of "diminishing the IP". Remember the CD-I games? I don't think Nintendo wants to go there again, even though the CD-I games were totally licensed. (Plus, you kind of can't charge money for a fan movie based on someone else's IP.)

V8 Ninja:
Nice to see that Nintendo is thinking about copyright more than just doing the "What?! They used our character?! Sue their asses!" method of dealing with problems of that nature. Oh, and a few responses to a few of the user comments:

The Zelda Movie: As Brok3n Halo has already stated, the filmmakers were actually making money off of that film. It makes logical sense why Nintendo would shut it down. And besides, the movie was utter rubbish.

The Pokemon MMO Game: This is almost the exact opposite of The Zelda movie situation. Nintendo is making money off of the series while other people were basically handing out the same game for free. Of course Nintendo is going to shut down people basically handing out their game for free over the internet.

The Chrono Trigger Remake: Nintendo had nothing to do with it, that was Square Enix. Get your facts right.

Exactly. So a lot of the anger towards Nintendo on this thread was completely undeserved.

Timbydude:

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

I think that kind of falls under the category of "diminishing the IP". Remember the CD-I games? I don't think Nintendo wants to go there again, even though the CD-I games were totally licensed. (Plus, you kind of can't charge money for a fan movie based on someone else's IP.)

I don't see how it diminished the IP at all, and I don't see them charging money anywhere

Brok3n Halo:

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

From the article, I would guess it would have more to do with the fact (according to that article anyways) that they were playing it in theaters, which likely means they were charging for it. Legally Nintendo would be forced into having to either legally challenge them or officially license it to them in order to protect future copyright claims on the series. Not sure if that's the case here, I didn't really look too far into it besides what you linked.

Arisato-kun:
Yeah this doesn't change anything. Nintendo you ruined my dreams of a Chrono Trigger sequel by shutting down that fan made project that wasn't for profit at all. You can go to hell.

That was Square, not Nintendo...

In general I think Nintendo has followed this pretty well, there are plenty of derivative works of Nintendo franchises all over the net. I've seen plenty of video series, both animated and live action, some of it pretty high profile, that Nintendo never goes after. Not to mention webcomics. Also games, I haven't heard of them going after games such as Super Mario Bros. Crossover, Super Mario Bros. X, or Zelda Classic yet. And all three of those are blatant copyright infringement with graphics ripped directly from the old carts and not s bit of parody to hide behind. Awesome, yes, but certainly you can't argue that they're using Nintendo's property without permission. I personnel currently respect Nintendo's stance on this since it looks like their actions represent there statements.

As for the Pokenet thing, that's where "diminish the dignity or value" comes into play. Considering Nintendo is current releasing new Pokemon games regularly, and the game ripped all it's mechanics, monsters, and (apparently from the screens I've seen) graphics directly from the official games, it would have acted as direct competition to the official game series. I'm sure there are plenty of players who would never touch the single player game again if they were playing a MMO that kept up with the new monsters each year. And I'm also sure the big N has been rolling around the idea of a Pokemon MMO in R&D too, so they're watching that turf pretty good. It's just a question of when, where, and how for them.

It showed up in a few theatres, but it was free of charge.

Mr. Fister:
This helps to explain why they only go after particular fan projects (engine-stealing Pokemon MMO) and leave the rest of them alone (Brawl in the Family, Super Mario Crossover, etc.). I'd wager that for every 1 project they shut down, there's at least another 10 or so that they continue to let run.

Straying Bullet:
Screw Nintendo. I remember when they cancelled the entire effort for a Pokemon MMORPG after a year or so. That's just bull, seriously.

In their defense, it only makes sense for them to shut down a project that looks like it will seriously take off. Most fan projects die long before they're complete, so it was just a matter of waiting to see if the creators were actually going to go through with it.

I'll bet if the MMO hadn't just ripped everything out of the existing Pokemon games (graphics, engine, and all), it might not have been shut down.

In all honesty, if they had intervened months before, it would be no problem but they let this one grow and grow. Maybe they weren't aware but I don't think you could keep this secret for a long ass time. In fact, nintendo should have bought them out and devolep further on this project, it would be epic in every word and sense.

danpascooch:

Timbydude:
snip

I don't see how it diminished the IP at all, and I don't see them charging money anywhere

"Shown in a few theaters"? The article itself said that it was "for free", but they don't cite a source.

Regarding the endangerment of the IP, there are two possibilities:

1. The movie is good: Considering that a Zelda movie at some point isn't entirely out of question, an amazing fan movie would really steal Nintendo's thunder and kind of ruin their chance to try making a movie of their own. I'm sure that they've considered making a Zelda movie at some point.

2. The movie is bad: Depending on the distribution, it's very possible that people who don't know better could mistake this movie as licensed by Nintendo and associate it with the IP of Zelda itself. Notice how Nintendo didn't step in until the movie was actually shown in certain theaters. Like I said before, I can't be certain that they were charging money for it. Regardless, people who don't know Zelda or know very little about it might mistake the movie as an official film by Nintendo, and it would dissuade them from buying the game.

Diligent:
"I love you baby, and I don't wanna hit you, but sometimes you don't give me no choice.", says Nintendo.

You got the roles mixed up. Nintendo is the object of affection and the fans are the creepy, obsessive lover whose love borders on abuse.

OT: Nintendo doesn't necessarily want to kick fans in the balls, but if they feel there intellectual property is in peril, they have the right to do something about it.

What I think needs to be explored the hard to define "asshole bully line". Defined as "if I shut this thing down, will I be a mean asshole bully"? Square Enix repeatedly crosses this line, especially if the fan-product in mind has anything to do with Chrono Trigger. Square's corporate strategy seems to be to kill all love for the Chrono series by doing nothing with it and prosecuting anybody who tries.

But if you're gonna try to SELL somebody else's intellectual license, you definitely gotta be shut down.

tellmeimaninja:

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

This.

If Nintendo doesn't want to do that, then why won't they stop?

I would also like to add my support to this sentiment.

I like how Mr. Iwata's criteria is totally open to interpretation and essentially means he'll do whatever he wants, only it's spun to sound like he loooooves his fans. No. No, you do not. You're a corporate sellout in a long line of corporate sellouts and if anyone comes close to creating anything big using your IP you'll shut them down so fast we'll all be flung off the face of the Earth because of the centrifugal force.

Too bad, DeviantArt.

Samurai Goomba:

tellmeimaninja:

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

This.

If Nintendo doesn't want to do that, then why won't they stop?

I would also like to add my support to this sentiment.

I like how Mr. Iwata's criteria is totally open to interpretation and essentially means he'll do whatever he wants, only it's spun to sound like he loooooves his fans. No. No, you do not. You're a corporate sellout in a long line of corporate sellouts and if anyone comes close to creating anything big using your IP you'll shut them down so fast we'll all be flung off the face of the Earth because of the centrifugal force.

Yeah you're about 5 posts debunking the "evil corporate attitude" too late.

Nintendo has every right to defend their property and even if they say one thing and technically do another it's not really being hypocritical. It's being business savvy. But of course I forgot, corporations are always the bad guys keeping the little guy down. Carry on with your irrational bullshit hatred.

If they were trying to profit off of Nintendo's IP, then they deserve to be shut down. Full stop. End of story. Cut. Print. Cliche. If they're doing something that could diminish the quality of the IP, it deserves to be shut down and they are well within their rights to do so.

Another thought that occurs is that they're reconsidering their stance on this and are going to lighten up but oh no I forgot we're supposed to hate the corporate types and thinking about this logically is for sympathizers.

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

You've always seemed very unlikable to me for some reason. Maybe it's my "rabid" support of big business? I dunno.

Nintendo may be big, but even they can miss things on occasion. It might very well not have come to their attention until after they started showing the movie around.

AceDiamond:

Samurai Goomba:

tellmeimaninja:

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

This.

If Nintendo doesn't want to do that, then why won't they stop?

I would also like to add my support to this sentiment.

I like how Mr. Iwata's criteria is totally open to interpretation and essentially means he'll do whatever he wants, only it's spun to sound like he loooooves his fans. No. No, you do not. You're a corporate sellout in a long line of corporate sellouts and if anyone comes close to creating anything big using your IP you'll shut them down so fast we'll all be flung off the face of the Earth because of the centrifugal force.

Yeah you're about 5 posts debunking the "evil corporate attitude" too late.

Nintendo has every right to defend their property and even if they say one thing and technically do another it's not really being hypocritical. It's being business savvy. But of course I forgot, corporations are always the bad guys keeping the little guy down. Carry on with your irrational bullshit hatred.

If they were trying to profit off of Nintendo's IP, then they deserve to be shut down. Full stop. End of story. Cut. Print. Cliche. If they're doing something that could diminish the quality of the IP, it deserves to be shut down and they are well within their rights to do so.

Another thought that occurs is that they're reconsidering their stance on this and are going to lighten up but oh no I forgot we're supposed to hate the corporate types and thinking about this logically is for sympathizers.

Yay! I like you.

AceDiamond:

Samurai Goomba:

tellmeimaninja:

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

This.

If Nintendo doesn't want to do that, then why won't they stop?

I would also like to add my support to this sentiment.

I like how Mr. Iwata's criteria is totally open to interpretation and essentially means he'll do whatever he wants, only it's spun to sound like he loooooves his fans. No. No, you do not. You're a corporate sellout in a long line of corporate sellouts and if anyone comes close to creating anything big using your IP you'll shut them down so fast we'll all be flung off the face of the Earth because of the centrifugal force.

Yeah you're about 5 posts debunking the "evil corporate attitude" too late.

Nintendo has every right to defend their property and even if they say one thing and technically do another it's not really being hypocritical. It's being business savvy. But of course I forgot, corporations are always the bad guys keeping the little guy down. Carry on with your irrational bullshit hatred.

If they were trying to profit off of Nintendo's IP, then they deserve to be shut down. Full stop. End of story. Cut. Print. Cliche. If they're doing something that could diminish the quality of the IP, it deserves to be shut down and they are well within their rights to do so.

Another thought that occurs is that they're reconsidering their stance on this and are going to lighten up but oh no I forgot we're supposed to hate the corporate types and never give them a fair shake etc.

You have to admit the timing for shutting down the zelda fan movie was ridiculously obnoxious. They could have shut it down at any point after they found out, which I'm sure was quite early into the production of the film.

And hypocrisy is hypocrisy regardless whether you personally feel it is a good idea in business. Nintendo is the king of making up PR crap.

I'm not saying Ninty don't have rights, but they should be open and forthcoming about their IP protection policies. Fake PR announcements like this will just get fans all keyed up to make more fan productions which Ninty will then shut down and sue the fans for.

IMO no IP owner should have the ability to sue or control a fan project beyond telling them they can not make or rise money via that project, because at the end of the day the IP owner owns the resale rights of the fan project so they can take it tweak it and resale it. Thats how copy right should work its not downloading /distribution or making a fan project that hampers potential profit but actually taking money out of the market by taking in donations and ad revenue. Hell if the IP owner was smart they would say you can do donations but we take 20% of all donations. Sadly the industry is to inept to do something that might just save them in the long run....

"We don't WANT to do it, but 'want' and 'do it for shits and giggles' are hardly the same thing, no?"

Kajin:

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

You've always seemed very unlikable to me for some reason. Maybe it's my "rabid" support of big business? I dunno.

Nintendo may be big, but even they can miss things on occasion. It might very well not have come to their attention until after they started showing the movie around.

Thanks, I love you too man.

Denmarkian:
it looks like you're good to go except if your fan project looks like it will be better or more popular than the original property."

That would fall under diminishing the value of the property, as there's a possibility of it competing with actual Nintendo products.

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

Yeah, that was harsh, but do you have any idea how many fan projects are started up based on Nintendo properties? 99% of them never make it out of pre-alpha, due to the team splitting up. Nintendo's not psychic, and it can't tell which ones are going to go the distance, and you can't ask them to monitor the entire internet looking for fan projects.

Yeah, it's always shitty to have worked that hard for nothing, but it's not like Miyamoto is sitting at Nintendo HQ and giggling to himself that he ruined 3 years of people's hard work.

tellmeimaninja:

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

This.

If Nintendo doesn't want to do that, then why won't they stop?

Legal precedent. They would lose all the rights to the property if they didn't defend it.

Samurai Goomba:
You have to admit the timing for shutting down the zelda fan movie was ridiculously obnoxious. They could have shut it down at any point after they found out, which I'm sure was quite early into the production of the film.

In all likelyhood, they only discovered it due to the publicity hype just before launch. That's when their legal teams find out about it, and that's when the cease-and-desists are sent out.

Altio:
On a somewhat related note, a fan group is remaking the original Half-Life with updated graphics and such. I've usually found Valve to be pretty catering and kind with their fans, so I'm hoping they let it go through, since the game will be free. If they take any legal action against the dev team and prevent the game from coming out, then I will chastize them in my mind while I play TF2 or whatever is out at the time. Yea.

Valve have approved the "Black Mesa" HL1 remake. They only asked the team to change its name at one point. Plus, for anyone to play the mod, they'll have to own an official Source game.

danpascooch:
Oh right, Nintendo just HATES killing fan projects, that's why they wait until THE DAY A YEARS-IN-THE-MAKING PROJECT IS COMPLETED TO TELL THEM THEY'RE SHUTTING IT DOWN!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100104/0433407589.shtml

Actually, that's how most companies do it. See, little fan projects like that tend to get started very frequently (many of which I'm sure no one hears about). More often than not, the creators of the project will get bored or hit some other obstacle, and it'll fizzle-out on its own. Thus, it isn't really worth a companies time and effort to take legal action against a project unless it's far-enough along that it's more likely to see completion. This is why projects being shut-down due to legal threats are always cases of "it was almost done".

Onyx Oblivion:
You don't want to?

THEN STOP DOING IT.

It's called profits. You know... the reason Nintendo is in business in the first place. When you start a project that can cut into them (like, for example, an MMO-version of a game being offered for free that can take away sales of their trademarked game), then they really don't have a lot of choice but to shut down the project, even if it's one they wish they could have left alone. It's not to say that the Pokemon MMO would have run Nintendo out of business, but taking money out of their pockets is taking money out of their pockets. I didn't go bankrupt when someone stole my GBA years ago, but that doesn't mean the thief was any-more in the right for doing it.

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