For the past month, Reddit user Dragon_GameDev2 has been working on a side project imagining a PC Pokémon game, built using Unreal Engine, that you played in first-person.
While your thoughts may now be drifting towards something resembling Pokemon Snap, Dragon_GameDev2 had more violent plans for this game. He instead showed off some videos where players were dropped into a Pokémon-filled landscape, given modern firearms, and set free to hunt (and defend themselves from) as many of the pocket monsters as they liked.
While it was a little jarring seeing someone empty a whole clip into an innocent little Pokémon, complete with blood effects, the basic premise of “Pokemon x FPS” was still exciting enough for people that shortly after Dragon_GameDev2 posted some clips of their project on Reddit and YouTube, they blew up.
And as we all know, when something a Nintendo fan does blows up, Nintendo loves to respond with thanks, admiration and respect. Just kidding, they got most of his videos taken down. Even tweets highlighting the clips have had the footage removed. One of the only places you can still see the game in action—at least where Dragon_GameDev2 themselves uploaded it—is on Reddit:
This sucks, just like it always does, because unlike many other major international companies, Nintendo seems utterly unwilling—or even unable—to differentiate between commercial projects that infringe on their copyrights and fan-made playthings that are free and made for fun. This, for example, was just the first in a year-long series Dragon_GameDev2 hopes to complete, where they make a new game every month.
And just so we can get this on the record, in case you never realised that legal teams work harder than just checking Kotaku once a week, we did not post about this project, nor did we even mention it in passing, and yet Nintendo’s lawyers found it all the same. The point isn’t that people need to keep things like this a secret, the point is that Nintendo needs to chill!
It’s almost a meme at this point, so predictable and tragic has the process become. The world finds out about a cool fan game someone (or a team) has made, the world gets ready to enjoy it, Nintendo’s lawyers step in, they get it taken down, and we don’t end up getting to enjoy it after all.