Surprising only the person who funded its creation, a Zelda: Breath Of The Wild multiplayer mod has been taken down at Nintendo’s request.
In 2021, YouTuber Eric ‘PointCrow’ Morino put out a $10,000 bounty for someone to create a multiplayer mod for The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
Said mod was finally completed and released just the other week and, to absolutely no one’s surprise, was swiftly taken down thanks to Nintendo’s intervention.
Not only that, but Nintendo has issued two copyright strikes against Morino and forcefully taken down 24 of his videos, most of which contained modded Breath Of The Wild content.
Considering how much work likely went into getting this mod up and running, we don’t blame anyone for being disappointed with its removal, be they excited players or the very people who made it.
However, given Nintendo is… Nintendo, we’re confused why anyone would put the effort in when this was always going to be the outcome. Nintendo does not care for people messing with its products, as evidenced by the number of fan games that have met the same fate. It doesn’t even want people uploading its music, despite rarely making its game soundtracks legally available.
Morino is clearly disappointed with Nintendo’s actions, though, and while he has capitulated and taken down the mod, it sounds as if he’s hoping to try and reach some sort of settlement rather than back off completely.
In a statement on Discord (shared via PC Gamer), he wrote, ‘I have taken down the mods in this Discord as I am currently in talks with Nintendo. All I can share right now, please no speculation and understand that I will update you all as much as I can.’
We can only imagine these talks involved Nintendo saying the word ‘no’ a lot and threatening to get its lawyers out.
In a more recent video, he criticised Nintendo for the copyright strikes, saying the company was ‘deliberately putting [his] channel in danger’ since three strikes risks getting an entire channel deleted (which isn’t great if YouTube is your main source of income).
He says this as if it’s a surprise but yes, that’s exactly that Nintendo’s doing. That’s exactly what Nintendo always does. It might not be fair but it’s hardly a surprise.
Furthermore, while some of the videos it took down were mod related, some of them were just regular gameplay videos, which were well in line with Nintendo’s own guidelines for uploading and monetising videos featuring its games.
PointCrow fears this is a sign that other Zelda YouTubers risk being ‘nuked off YouTube,’ especially with Tears Of The Kingdom launching next month.
‘As per their decisions to take down gameplay and challenge videos alongside the modified content, it’ll be difficult for any content creator to post creative concepts without having the fear of Nintendo exercising their copyright over video that is in line with their own policies,’ he says.
‘In fact, what they’ve demonstrated here is that they will ignore their own policies and licenses to selectively enforce their intellectual property. So if you’ve uploaded any video that features any Nintendo content, no matter how transformative or directly in line with their published guidelines, you are at risk.’
Despite his warnings though, no one else has seen their Zelda videos abruptly taken down.
In fact, many mods for Breath Of The Wild and other Nintendo games are still readily available for download, and videos showcasing said mods haven’t been touched either.
We easily found multiple videos showcasing mods for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and even the same multiplayer mode for Breath Of The Wild, so it’s not as if Nintendo is on a bloody warpath across YouTube.
Regardless of Nintendo’s motivations, the fact of the matter is that it is well within its right to clamp down on the mod. The best he can probably do is keep his channel safe and get some of his videos back.
This isn’t the only Nintendo crackdown story as of late either. Earlier today, GamesIndustry.biz reported that the company has successfully fined website operator Dstorage for failing to remove pirated copies of Nintendo games from a filehosting website called 1Fichier.
The Paris Court of Appeals has ordered Dstorage to pay Nintendo €442,750 in compensation and a further €25,000 to cover legal fees – €467,750 altogether, which is roughly £413,000.
Dstorage is free to appeal the ruling, but Nintendo is already treating it as a victory, saying it’s ‘significant not only for Nintendo, but also for the entire games industry.
‘It will prevent sharehosters like 1Fichier from claiming that a prior decision from a court will be needed before pirated content has to be taken down, and additionally the Court decision confirms what rights holders have to give notice of when claiming that notified content infringes copyright or trademark rights.’
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