Pokemon Uranium and AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake), a pair of fan projects paying homage to the Pokemon and Metroid series respectively, were unceremoniously removed from The Game Awards last week. Both were nominated for the Best Fan Game category, and their removal left only two other nominees on the table. At the time, no official statement was made as to why, leading to much speculation about licence-holder Nintendo pushing to have the games removed.
During a stream on the official Twitch channel earlier this week, host and creator of The Game Awards Geoff Keighley explained why the two games were removed from the proceedings, as reported by Nintendo Everything. “I think the big challenge that we face as a show is that everything in the show has to be legally cleared by the game companies in question,” he said. “It became clear once we announced the nominees that we weren’t going to be able to get clearance on those games from Nintendo, understandably so, it’s Nintendo IP, they’re trying to protect their IP, and those creators had sort of taken those games down.”
Nintendo had already served AM2R with DMCA notices, forcing the game’s removal from its download hosts. The company did the same to No Mario’s Sky, a fan game that mashed together No Man’s Sky and Super Mario Bros, prompting the developer to re-release the game as DMCA’s Sky, changing enough game assets to protect it from Nintendo’s lawyers. Pokemon Uranium is also no longer available for download, though the developers claim this is pre-emptive, and not due to a takedown request from Nintendo.
“I think the fan creations are amazing things that fans do, and I hope that game companies and fans find ways to continue to create that content,” continued Keighley during the stream. “We have to make sure those [fan] creations are legal creations, or at least creations that are not subject to takedown, to be in the show. It was a bummer to see that happen, but it was something that unfortunately from a show perspective, we had to remove them because we couldn’t obtain the clearance.”
Check out the full list of games nominated for The Game Awards 2016, results will be announced this Thursday December 1 at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. The show will be streamed live, and viewable right here on GameSpot.