It was only a matter of time, I suppose. The 3D Zelda30Tribute game which took the Nintendo fanbase by storm this week has already been pulled by its creators at the request of Nintendo.

We noticed the takedown and updated our original story during its initial spread. Now, the team left a “thank you” note on its official Facebook page, asking fans not to be bitter.

Nintendo asked us to remove Zelda30Tribute from the inter-web for copyright infringement. I guess it was a little too pixel perfect. We’re sad about that, but we get it. We started this project because we love Nintendo and the joy they have given us throughout the years. From the start of development, we knew this result could potentially happen. Nintendo has every right to protect their IP. No complaints from us, we had a blast working on this tribute and made some friends along the way.

Big thanks to the half million folks who played our game! We learned a bunch and wrote some code that others might learn from, too. We plan to post the project to Github soon, once we’ve had a chance to remove Nintendo-owned assets.

Darn shame. We’re closely riding the line these days between what is taboo and what is okay when it comes to copyright infringement, and this is one case where I have to agree with Nintendo. Unlike Blizzard’s situation in which it shut down the only viable way to play an official game that fans loved, this Zelda tribute was a fan project that was doomed to be taken down from the start.

Yeah, the fans did an incredible job, and perhaps celebrated the 30th anniversary better than Nintendo did, but they still created a game that stepped all over Nintendo’s development rights. Fan games are fine and all if companies turn a blind eye to them, like Capcom and the horde of excellent Mega Man fan games, but Nintendo is not one to do that.

It was fun while it lasted, so let’s just smile about it and go back to looking forward to the next Legend of Zelda game.