Nintendo Takes Down Fan-Made Metroid 2 Remake

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Thirty years ago, Nintendo released its action-adventure game Metroid on the Famicom platform. This Saturday, to coincide with the anniversary, a group of game makers pooled their resources and released their AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) game, for free. In response, Nintendo sent in the lawyers.

am2r-logoAn astonishing three decades have passed since Nintendo first unleashed Metroid on a still-young video gaming market. Debuted in Japan in 1986 on the now-classic Famicom system, Metroid gained a dedicated and passionate following.

For those interested in the game’s development, Kotaku has decent potted history. However, this weekend, with Metroid turning 30, another big event reignited the fires.

AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) has been in development for more than 10 years. Based on Metroid II: The Return Of Samus, it’s a game written by fans, for fans. After a demo version was released in 2014, this Saturday the full version landed, free of charge.

“Finally. This is the first full release of AM2R. You’ll be able to complete Metroid 2 like you never did before,” a post by developer DoctorM64 revealed.

“It was a long journey. I grew up both as a person and as a developer along this project. Today I can start sharing with you the rest of the game. There’s lots of improvements and features planned for a near future.”

The release delighted the gaming press, with shouts of “brilliant” and “hot hot hot“. But now it appears that Nintendo is attempting to pour cold water on the flames using the DMCA.

According to an announcement this morning by leading Metroid fansite Metroid-Database, Nintendo took exception to the site hosting the game files and filed a complaint with its webhost.

In a follow-up, Metroid Database lead designer Infinity’s Edge published the full email, which was sent to the site’s web host by a lawyer acting for Nintendo of America.

Dear Copyright Agent,

We represent Nintendo of America Inc. (Nintendo) in intellectual property matters. Nintendo recently learned that content hosted by SoftLayer at infringes copyrights owned by Nintendo. This notice is provided pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 USC § 512, and SoftLayer’s DMCA Policy.

The above URL provides access to a software file that makes unauthorized use of Nintendo’s copyrighted material from its Metroid video game franchise, including but not limited to the images and fictional character depictions from U.S. Copyright Reg. Nos. PA0000356142, supp. by PA0000547461 (Metroid); VA0000474073 & TX003221317 (Metroid II: Return of Samus); PA0000720157 (Super Metroid); PA0001275461 (Metroid Prime); PA0001275460 (Metroid Prime 2: Echoes); PA0001633666 (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption); PA0001915118 (Metroid Prime Hunters); and PA0001791606 (Metroid: Other M).

I have a good faith belief that this use is not authorized by the intellectual property owner, its agent, or the law. I hereby state that the information herein is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that I am authorized to act on Nintendo of America Inc.’s behalf.

We would appreciate your expeditious removal of all infringing content. Please contact me immediately with any questions.

This notice is not intended to and shall not waive or prejudice any rights and remedies that Nintendo may have at law, in equity, or otherwise. Any and all such rights and remedies are hereby expressly reserved.

Best regards,

Brian Sniffen
Attorney for Nintendo of America Inc.

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
3400 U.S. Bancorp Tower | 111 S.W. Fifth Avenue | Portland, Oregon 97204
Office: 503.224.5858 | Fax: 503.224.0155

Why Nintendo appears to have targeted Metroid Database with a takedown and not yet the official site is unclear. However, the official site is currently only linking to files hosted elsewhere (Mediafire, Filedropper), so it could be that the third party sites will receive notices directly. That being said, no files have yet been taken down. (Update: Both files have been removed by Nintendo)

TorrentFreak has reached out to Brian Sniffen for comment but in the meantime a DMCA notice published by Kickstarter in June confirms that the lawyer has acted for Nintendo in earlier Metroid copyright cases.

Of course, fans of the remake and indeed the whole Metroid series are pretty upset that Nintendo appear to be spoiling the party, but with the game already widely distributed, Nintendo isn’t going to be able to do much to stop things now.


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