As is often the case, last week’s Nintendo fan game is this week’s original idea. The Breath of the NES fan-game reported on last week, one which takes the ideas of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and sets them to 8-bit graphics, is no longer being distributed after Nintendo handed out the inevitable takedown notice.
Developer WinterDrake published the takedown notice on his itch.io website and committed himself to continue development using original characters.
(2/2) The game isn't dead, I just won't be using the Zelda characters. It will live on! 😀
— WinterDrake (@WinterDrakeDev) April 30, 2017
Just another chapter in the reeling in of fan games
Nintendo has earned itself a reputation for coming down hard on fan games, so there should be no shock about this one. This goes double considering the developer had a donation button on his site for this game.
As said, I’m all for fan games and think they should be allowed for innocent displays of affection towards popular properties. Recently, though, these fan games continue development with original characters and have yet still benefitted from the initial exposure they got from lifting Nintendo’s images. There’s a fine line that needs to be defined between paying homage and early advertising with the image of homage.
Likely, Nintendo is just going to lose it one day and define that line in a legal proceeding if it keeps up.