Another Pokémon Fan Game Says Nintendo Shut Them Down

The creator of Pokémon Prism, a fan made hack for Pokémon Crystal that was due to release on Christmas, says he's received a cease-and-desist from Nintendo and will have to shut down the project for good.

On Twitter early this morning, Pokémon Prism creator Koolboyman broke the news and shared a copy of the letter he says received from Nintendo asking him to stop production of the project.

"I'm sorry everyone, but Pokémon Prism is cancelled," Koolboyman said. "Thank you for your support."

Pokémon Prism added a whole new region to explore, over 200 Pokémon, and the ability to play as the creatures themselves. Koolboyman and a team of developers worked nearly eight years on the game. Large communities had built around the game including a Facebook group with over 8,000 eager fans.

The letter states that because Koolboyman's website identifies as the "official website for Pokémon Brown, Prism and Rijon Adventures" it infringes on Nintendo's exclusive intellectual property rights. Pokémon Brown was a ROM hack for Pokémon Red that added new content. Rijon Adventures was a similar hack for Pokémon FireRed. You can read the letter in full here.

Koolboyman says Nintendo gave him two stipulations. First, he has to cease all further work on Pokémon Prism and refrain from releasing any files from the game. Second, by January 7 he has to remove all downloadable links for Prism as well as his other works, Pokémon Brown and Pokémon Rijon Adventures. Koolboyman and his team have shut down the website for Prism in the wake of this message, leaving only a message of thanks and support for fans.

Nintendo has a long history of taking actions against fan games. Earlier this year, Nintendo filed a DMCA takedown notice against the Metroid 2 remake AM2R. Nintendo also shut down the popular fan game Pokemon Uranium.This cease and desist is another of Nintendo's strong measures against fan games, which has included large scale takedowns of fan games and specific action against popular creations and hacks.

Nintendo did not respond immediately to a request for comment.


    While I do feel for the guys that make these projects, because being forced to shut them down after so much time and effort had gone into them would be utterly disheartening, I also don't understand why they still continue to work on them without first seeking permission from the owners of the intellectual property they are using. Without that permission, it's usually only a matter of time before cease and desist notices start to arrive. Nintendo have been prolific in this recently but they are certainly not the only company doing it.

    I suppose making matters worse in this case is that not only are they using someone else's IP without permission, they are also modifying game roms which is explicitly against the EULA.

    If you're going to use someone else's IP, you need permission to do so. If you don't get that permission, you should expect this kind of thing sooner or later. It's that simple.

      "it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission" - some guy
      I think in most of these cases they don't necessarily start big, more of a hey man what if at the end of crystal (the best pokemon game ever) you could journey to another region with an entire new story... and then it sort of picks up momentum because there are a bunch of other people that all want the same thing.
      Making something small and for a few friends (not profiting off it of course) hardly seems like you're doing anything wrong. Add a few more "friends" then you end up with a small community of like minded people. Then the media gets a whiff and you end up with a cover story "mod of awesome game more awesomer than original" copied and pasted all over the internet and all of a sudden you have the hell hounds of nintendo breathing down your neck.
      If they cant get permission (come on, its nintendo) then how else are they supposed to extend or recreate the story or adventure or fill in something that may have been missing without either creating a whole new experience (somehow keeping it the same while changing everything) or breaching the copyright. What would a fan based game (because we already have fan art, fan fiction and fan based parodies ( I understand satire or parody is a free zone anyway but still )) be considered then? Whats restricting these from running as mods on the pc where they were developed? (EULA?) Can it really confine them to a platform in a way that no one is allowed to even think about putting pen to paper if they have a better idea. Is this not the crux of imagination, combination, invention?

        Paragrahps. Learn how to use them

        On a more serious note. It does not matter how much you care about the story. This mod was using copyrighted material. Pokemon/Nintendo are well within their right to send a C&A. These mod makers are using existing IP's to piggy back on.

        You are conflating, the crux of imagination and invention would be creating original works....

        Nobody is stopping these people putting pen to paper, just stopping them from infringing on somebody else's hard work.

    The quote from nintendo's cease and desist letter was enough tho.

    The letter states that because Koolboyman's website identifies as the "official website for Pokémon Brown, Prism and Rijon Adventures" it infringes on Nintendo's exclusive intellectual property rights. Pokémon Brown was a ROM hack for Pokémon Red that added new content. Rijon Adventures was a similar hack for Pokémon FireRed

    Obviously you can't use other people's IP to self promote not to mention saying Official. You don't see mods like DayZ or DotA naming their website the official website for Arma II : DayZ or Warcraft 3 : DotA right?

    In a move which surprises no-one.

    Man, I see a lot of "fuckonami", anti-EA, anti-Activision, anti-Ubisoft sentiment around (a lot of which is justified, to be fair), but very little against Nintendo. They can be pretty bloody anti-consumer (this and other shutdown examples, the YouTube policy, absolutely terrible online implementation, etc), but I suppose they're "sacred."

      This is not anti consumer, This is Nintendo protecting is IP's. And they are well within their rights to do so. EA, Activision and Ubisoft would do the same, Activision have done the same.

      Erm... those companies you mentioned consistently release shitty half baked games.
      Nintendo don't have this kind of history.

        And they've also released good games, just like they also release sequels of the same few IPs rehashed every year.

        Just like Nintendo release good games, but also release games that are the same four IPs every year.

      How is them protecting their copyrighted intellectual property being anti-consumer? I think you need to go back and check what the definition of that term is.

    A lot of Cease and desist letters I understand, fan hosted servers of games still out etc.. however in this case I just don't get what Nintendo is thinking. Anyone searching the internet looking for fan made mods of the pokemon games is guaranteed to be buying any product they release for the franchise. These mods aren't costing them sales, if anything they're keeping people invested in the franchise during the dry periods.

      Nintendo has to go after this stuff because in a court, If a company is shown to not protect its IP, The judge is unlikely to rule in favour of nintendo in copyright cases since they are seen to not care about the copyright.

        If it was a trademark issue, maybe, but the lache's defense is not as effectve when it comes to copyright. The worse it can cause is a reduction in pay for the litigation. This does not mean they can't go to court anyway, of course.

      For every 1 game Nintendo has to get the big stick out and knock down, ten more are left unmolested. This is on purpose. Nintendo has to look like they're defending their IP, so they take down the highest profile fan games every now and then, especially ones who get too popular.
      In turn, they ignore the rest, knowing that it indicates a strong fan following still exists and their next release for pokemon is assured sales.
      Basically, they're like a farmer pruning back a bush - just enough to keep it under control, not so much that it kills the plant.

    The moral of the story is: if you want to release a fan game without proper licences, develop the damn thing in secret and then dump the files online in one fell swoop.

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