Last week, Kotaku reported on No Mario’s Sky, a procedural game where you could make the plumber leap in a spaceship and explore different worlds. Two days ago, the team received a copyright takedown notice. Undeterred, they rebranded their game and pressed forward.
After the team received the takedown notice from Nintendo, the project was quickly reposted as DMCA’s Sky. A large takedown of games at Game Jolt encouraged them to move quickly. The gameplay remains intact; instead, the new version merely drops all copyrighted material. It can be found here.
Ben Porter is a member of the team that worked on the project. He told Kotaku that “...we had a feeling that we might get a notice, and Alex (the artist) had already begun designing new sprites.”
Both Porter and fellow designer Max Cahill were disappointed that the takedown occurred. In a Reddit post, Cahill was candid about a host of subjects including publicity, Nintendo’s actions, and the game’s content.
“It’s definitely Nintendo’s right to defend their IP,” Cahill began. “However, NMarS was a clear parody released for free. I personally think that Nintendo’s protection of their IP can be heavy handed. It’s disillusioned many devs starting out making fan games.”
Porter echoed the statement as well. “Personally I’m disappointed that fans can’t make games about Mario, even when they are clearly parodies,” he explained.
Regardless, the team was humbled by the reaction to the game. Porter claims download numbers were close to 100,000 downloads. An impressive number for a game made in 72 hours in a game jam. No Mario’s Sky was part of the most recent Ludum Dare, a accelerated game development competition. Ludum Dare 36's theme was ancient technology.
In spite of the takedown, Porter seemed cheerful enough. “Ultimately we had fun making it and many people enjoyed the game,” he stated. Although he went on to add “We won’t be making Nintendo mashups in the future.”