Pokémon Uranium Creators Pull Game After 1.5 Million Downloads

After nine years of work on Pokémon Uranium, the fans who made it have removed all download links for the game from their website, saying they want to respect Nintendo's wishes that the game no longer be distributed, despite the fact that it's already been downloaded 1.5 million times.

Although the developers say they themselves haven't received any cease and desist letters from Nintendo's lawyers yet, they have "been notified of multiple takedown notices" and don't want to take any risks. "While we have not personally been contacted, it's clear what their wishes are and we respect those wishes deeply," they said in a statement on their website.

Here's the full statement:

After receiving more than 1,500,000 downloads of our game, we have been notified of multiple takedown notices from lawyers representing Nintendo of America.   While we have not personally been contacted, it's clear what their wishes are, and we respect those wishes deeply.   Therefore, we will no longer provide official download links for the game through our website.   We have no connection to fans who reupload the game files to their own hosts, and we cannot verify that those download links are all legitimate. We advise you to be extremely cautious about downloading the game from unofficial sources.   We are blown away by the response this game has received, and we thank you all so much for your outstanding support.   We will continue to provide Pokémon Uranium-related news and updates through our official channels.   You are welcome to continue discussing and sharing content related to the game on our forums and Discord, where there is a very active community.   Thank you for reading, and let's share the love of Pokémon!

It's a remarkably chill statement from people who spent nine years on this thing, but I'm sure they're well aware that anyone who wants to play it will find a way.


Comments

    They were smart, they released it first.

    Does that mean all the online play will be disabled?

    Now it's up to the pirates to share it...yarr.

    Personally I downloaded it and have played a little...but between Pokemon Go and PokeMMO I haven't played Uranium much.

    Curious if the online part will still work, assume it needs servers to run.

      whats pokemmo?

        It's been around for years...basically fan project that turns Fire Red, Emerald and Gold into an MMO.

        I don't understand how it hasn't been taken down but I played it 3 years ago and am active again now thanks to Pokemon Go.

    This is how you handle something you know breaches copyright law and will get takedown notices. You blast it out there, then close up shop when the lawyers start closing in and say "If you're redistributing this then good luck with the lawyers if they catch you or if you're downloading it then hope you aren't duped".

    Last edited 14/08/16 7:54 pm

      Still not a smart thing to do.
      If you get up someone's nose, there is still plenty of rope they can hang you with.

      Yeah you are still liable for copyright infringement though for making it. And you never know how fat Nintendo is willing to go.

      Last edited 15/08/16 1:16 pm

    These guys aren't stupid. This would have always been the plan. Its a no training Nintendo would come after them so they have planets the seed (15 million seeds) and no I will grown uncontrollably. Well done gents

      Correction: 1.5 million seeds

      Well. I mean. Nintendo would still have a clear cut case against them for infringement, regardless.

    OK. Ingore my crazy ramblings before. Autocorrect at its best!

    These guys aren't stupid. This would have always been the plan. Its a no brainer Nintendo would come after them so they have planted the seed (1.5 million seeds) and now I will grow uncontrollably. Well done gents

    I was going to be a smartarse and say something about 'This week in IP theft dot com' but then I found a website practically titled that:

    https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/

    Look at the copyright myths page. It's of course predicated on US law, but it would seem that Nintendo is 'showing a level of enforcement or protection' which if I am reading this right, means Nintendo needs to do things like nuking small fry from orbit.

    As in, Nintendo is legally obligated to do things like this. Not because it's out to get you.

    To prevent the more 'robust' or slicker attempts at copyright infringement that would actively seek to circumvent profits for the Kinda-Not-But-Really-Is-Pokemon-branded thing FROM ACTUALLY SUCCEEDING.

      I am an IP Law expert of some kind. I guess it's my job so I feel I can say that. Most Law between us and USA is pretty similar (biggest differences are that usa has more open ended defences to infringement). You don't have to enforce your right or lose it with copyright (that's more a trade mark thing, which would also be problematic here). You can choose which infringements you don't like in copyright.

      In saying that, it's easy for people to lose sight and say well these are just fans and Nintendo is a big evil corporation. But you need to remember this is someone's art work and allowing others to freely start using it dilutes it and may end up with consumers being confused about what is Cannon and what not.

        You should write a guest article this is very interesting stuff.

        Cheers.

    Okay, so the plan is to finish a project before announcing its existence.

    A question though, how far would an UNfinished project have to go before Nintendo stops it?

    "I am announcing an IDEA for a fan Nintendo game, I have a PENCIL in my hand, I'm ABOUT to illustrate something but I'm not sure what yet. I hope Nintendo isn't watching. OH, I drew a hair, this project is in full swing now. There goes another strand of hair."

      Well. Any trade mark use or copyright infringement could lead to legal threatening notes from their legal team.

      How similar things can be before infringement is of course always a debate in copyright law and the courts. You'd be surprised how varied the differences are with different mediums (like books compared to artwork or music) in court judgements. Gotta remember copyright protects the expression, not the idea.

    Nintendo is under no obligation to issue take down notices. For decades EA has been the gold standard on fan projects. They allow remakes and spinoffs as long as they do not claim to be part of the IP Canon, and don't try to collect money. EA and Star Wars are examples of how fan projects should be dealt with.

    Last edited 16/08/16 12:50 pm

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