Nintendo Defends Copyright – Shuts Down Metroid Fan Project

Nintendo shut down a Metroid fan project in late August. A little more than a month later, the anticipated Metroid Dread will release. Historically, Nintendo has shut down fan projects, and they have every right to defend their intellectual property.

But what power does Nintendo actually have?

The apparent fan project was a 2D remake of Metroid Prime, a game that originally came out on the Gamecube in 2002 in the USA. In copyright law, a copyright extends to the work of art. In this case, the work of art is the original Metroid Prime. As the owner of the copyright rights to Metroid Prime, Nintendo has the right to create derivative works from Metroid Prime.

Those derivative works could be toys, comics, movies, TV shows, anything that could be a spin off or expansion based off of the original Metroid Prime. This also means other games. This 2D re-imagining of Metroid Prime, would be considered a derivative work.

Game developers, please be careful of what you use and promote as your projects, because the last thing you want is for your passion project to get shut down.

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