Popular Pokémon Fan Game Creation Tool Disappears After Nintendo Cracks Down

Screenshot: Pokémon, OLM, inc.

Pokémon Essentials, a robust resource for making Pokémon fan games, has been removed from the internet following a takedown notice from Nintendo. Losing this resource is a harsh setback for would-be makers of Pokémon fan games.

Essentials takes the form of a file that works with the PC build-your-own-RPG game RPG Maker XP. But rather than being a full game of its own, it’s an asset pack filled with Pokémon-related sprites, music, and more—the raw materials that you’d need to start making your own game. An accompanying wiki, which was hosted on Fandom, was also taken down.

Last year, Voluntary Twitch, the creative director behind the popular fan game Pokémon Uranium, told Kotaku that without Pokemon Essentials, it would have been impossible to make Uranium or any other fan game.

“[It allows] even someone with little to no programming knowledge whatsoever (for example, me) to make a fully-functioning game,” Voluntary Twitch said at the time. “And in the hands of someone who knows how to use it well ... it becomes a powerful tool that can create something truly exceptional.”

As of today, that powerful tool is offline. Speaking with Kotaku under the condition of anonymity, one of the creators of the project confirmed that the files were deleted following a copyright infringement claim sent by Nintendo.

Nintendo did not return a request for comment in time for publication, and The Pokémon Company International declined to comment.

There’s little evidence that Nintendo wants to crack down on fan-drawn graphic art, or covers of its game music, or other such activities, but it seems to draw a hard and fast line at fan-made games.

Last year, Pokémon Uranium also received a takedown notice that lead to its developers removing the download link for the game and then ceasing development on it entirely.

Nintendo also famously shut down Another Metroid 2 Remake in 2016. Nintendo’s relationship to the makers of fan games has long been adversarial, and the takedown of Pokémon Essentials pushes the developers of such games into a state of limbo.


Comments

    I keep saying this, but I don't know why fans continue to create games based on other company's intellectual property, because the chances of this kind of takedown notice happening is very high. Nintendo are well known for it but they aren't the only ones - companies like Hasbro and Disney are also notorious for it. While some companies like Sega seem fine with it, and even support it to a degree, they are the exception to the rule.

    While I do feel for these guys that are making these fan games that their work needs to be abandoned, they would have known full well before taking on any such projects that there was a good chance of this happening eventually. There's nothing stopping these creators from making their own fantastic games using 100% their own creations - but as soon as you start using the intellectual property of others you're starting to walk the tightrope. In this case these creation tools can be made available again, just sans the Pokemon, and there won't be any issues.

    I know it's disappointing because the entire reason they are using these IPs in the first place is because they are dedicated fans and want to pay tribute to their favourite games, but that doesn't change the fact that you can't use someone else's IP and distribute it without their permission.

      Remind me to create a public domain setting so gamers can just go crazy.

    Nintendo can keep taking down fan projects, pretty sure their trademarking requires them to take enforcement action as well. They either do the takedowns or they risk losing the trademark.

    As a consumer though, every time I see an article like this though it makes me even less inclined to purchase or go anywhere anything with Pokemon written on it through a mixture of fatigue with the product and a general lack of interest. I suspect that Nintendo would have less of an issue with fan games if their main line games weren't all basically identical to one another, which has the charm wear off as people get older and want something a bit more to the experience. It seems they tout something special for every new release and it's another gimmick instead of something genuinely new.

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