The fan-made Pokemon game has been removed at the request of Nintendo’s lawyers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone for good.
Devoted fans love to share their appreciation of video games through various methods, many of which gain the attention of the publishers and developers they love; Asura’s Wrath and Smashing the Battle include in-game galleries with contest-winning and fan-submitted artwork, while many of Bethesda’s games have an active modding community, which recently expanded to consoles through Fallout 4 and the upcoming Skyrim: Special Edition. Some fans go above and beyond, creating their own games as a tribute to a chosen franchise, including the likes of Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch, and the “demake” series of Soundless Mountain II, Team Fortress Arcade, Super Smash Land and Project Tiger– low-poly tributes to Silent Hill 2, Team Fortress 2, Super Smash Bros. and Destiny.
After numerous years in development, Pokemon Uranium released to the public last weekend. A free fan-made project for PC, Pokemon Uranium features a brand new region, characters, a completely original cast of 150 Pokemon, and an alternate “Nuzlocke” challenge mode. Following its successful first week with more than 1.5 million downloads, Uranium Team pulled the official download from their website. While the creators did not receive an official Cease and Desist notice from Nintendo, Pokemon Uranium has been removed at the request of multiple lawyers representing Nintendo of America. According to a statement from Uranium Team developer and forum moderator “Involuntary Twitch”, Uranium will still receive updates, despite being no longer available through an “official” source:
“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.”
Pokemon Uranium is the second high-profile fan project to be removed under the influence of Nintendo this month, following AM2R early last week. Created solely by one individual in Game Maker Studio, “Another Metroid 2 Remake” was a 1:1 remake of Game Boy classic Metroid II: Return of Samus. Another free download for PC gamers, the game re-imagined Metroid II with Metroid: Zero Mission‘s visuals. AM2R was removed after the creator received DMCA complaints and an official C&D notice from Nintendo.