Games Journalism has, once again, revealed a fangame to the public, to which will inevitably be obliterated due to copyright laws. Especially that this time, it’s a Nintendo game. While I highly doubt that Nintendo would give a shit about Hotel Mario, having a Mario game in the Hotel Mario style is certainly going to attract Nintendo to take down. Nintendo, as you all know, is absurdly strict when it comes to fanmade creations. Before they released Smash Bros Ultimate, they would even take down videos that even so much as talked about their games at times (to be fair, Sega did this as well at one point). Regardless, a good amount of footage of Nintendo games could get taken down regardless of who you were. So Kotaku revealing a fan game like this that’s to do with Nintendo spells disaster for the makers. This is not the first time that gaming journalism has done this, however. There are many instances where Game Journalists have revealed fan projects to the public only for the company to be hot on the makers’ trail the next day. Sure, it’s good to get eyes on a project but it always attracts the wrong eyes.
The Metroid 2 remake is another example of a Nintendo fan game taken down. Once it was released and several game journalists piled on, the game gained enough attention for Nintendo to copyright claim the shit out of it. Eurogamer revealed that Team Fortress 2008 would be releasing soon onto Steam. The mod gained quite a bit of attention. However, it wasn’t long before Valve caught on. The Steam page was shut down and even the Discord for the makers involved was shut down as well. Turns out they were most likely reusing code for the game itself which Valve didn’t necessarily like. A Doom Remake 4 mod compilation was also taken down after game journalists threw it into the spotlight. Bethesda didn’t hesitate to point out that it was using the same weapons and maps, only the graphics changed. While it was a compilation of multiple mods put together without much effort, it was more convenient for those who wanted a remake-looking Doom.
While these remakes and mods have a right to be legally questionable, gaming journalists throwing it into the spotlight do not give the chance for it to bloom much at all. Toby Fox, the creator of UnderTale even worked on several EarthBound ROM hacks while in high school. EarthBound was a huge inspiration to Undertale. ROMs and Mods also help preserve a game’s history and give it new life or extend it further. These constant takedowns are worrying for the future of gaming and it’s past. Game journalists do not help throwing these into the spotlight for legal teams to look into.