Nintendo has issued copyright strikes against multiple accounts belonging to a well-known Super Mario 64 ROM hacker days after the release of his newest project, a multiplayer hack called Super Mario 64 Online.
As of yesterday, you can no longer download Super Mario 64 Online or even watch its creator's videos of gameplay footage.
Kaze Emanuar, who has been developing mods and hacks for Super Mario 64 for years, said he received a batch of emails earlier this week informing him that Patreon had removed his account and that YouTube had taken down many of his videos.
"They took down my videos for containing their 'audiovisual content', meaning Mario 64 gameplay and Mario 64 music," Emanuar told me in an email yesterday. "They even took down videos without Mario 64 music too though. The exact same goes for my Patreon. They didn't personally message me, I've only received a ton of emails that things had been removed from YouTube/Patreon [Tuesday] morning. They seem to have targeted the 'Super Mario 64 Online' videos especially, as every single one of them has disappeared from my channel."
Last week, Emanuar received a great deal of attention from the release of Super Mario 64 Online, an elaborate hack of the 1996 N64 game that allows up to 24 people to jump and stomp their way through the Mushroom Kingdom together. Before it was pulled, Emanuar's video about the game's release racked up over a million views. In an email to Kotaku yesterday, Emanuar said tens of thousands of people were playing Super Mario 64 Online.
Emails provided by Super Mario 64 ROM hacker Kaze Emanuar
Emanuar suspects that Nintendo's copyright strikes may be tied to the upcoming release of Super Mario Odyssey, which is out for Switch in late October, but Super Mario 64 Online's popularity might be more to blame. Nintendo has a long tradition of chasing down fan games and ROM hacks based on its biggest franchises.
On Discord, Emanuar said he hadn't yet received a cease-and-desist from Nintendo, despite the copyright strikes. "I might wait until after Odyssey before resuming development, in hope that it doesn't come to a C&D, at which point development would be rather dangerous and would have to be kept a secret," he wrote.
Neither Patreon nor Nintendo responded to requests for comment.