Last week we reported on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the NES, a fan-made Zelda game based off of the 2D demo that was used while Breath of the Wild was in development. However, since this fan game used the Zelda name as well as trademarked characters such as Link, Kotaku reports that Nintendo recently sent a cease and desist letter to the developer of Breath of the NES, asking him to remove the game from the internet and stop using names and characters trademarked by Nintendo.
This isn’t particularly surprising, given Nintendo’s penchant for giving copyright strikes to YouTube channels that use Nintendo content without permission, including review and let’s play channels. This also isn’t the first time Nintendo has asked for the removal of a fan game. Some may remember Pokémon: Uranium Version, which was a fan-made Pokémon game released last year that was developed over the course of nine years. Despite the fact that the game was free, so the developers weren’t making any money off of the Pokémon name, Nintendo had the game shut down almost immediately. Some attribute this to cultural differences; whereas in the West a fan-made game may be seen as a form of flattery, in the East it is seen more as copyright infringement.
Despite the receiving of the cease and desist letter, Winter Drake, the developer of Breath of the NES, has insisted that he will not stop working on the game, but rather will just change it so original characters and names are used instead of ones copyrighted by Nintendo. For now, however, the game is unavailable until Winter Drake can make those changes.
— WinterDrake (@WinterDrakeDev) April 30, 2017