Why does Nintendo Hate Fan Games?
Nintendo is one of the most well-known and successful video game companies in the world, and yet they are consistently vocal against fan games. This can be puzzling to many, why would a potential source of free advertisement and publicity be so hard to get along with? Let’s dive in and look at some of the reasons why Nintendo won’t tolerate fan games.
1. Copyright Infringement
First and foremost, Nintendo claims that fan games infringe on their copyrights. This is standard in the gaming industry, and it is the main reason franchises and games exist. Copyright holders create a closed-in loop where they control the content, characters and branding – this is the main source of their income and the reason why game series’ such as Mario and Pokémon have endured for so long. When people make fan games, this infringes on the copyright. It can take away from game sales, and also create confusion amongst consumers as to what is an ‘official’ game, and what is a fan game.
2. Quality Control
The main problem with fan games is that they have often have quite a low production quality. With no budget and no official backing, the games are often buggy and unpolished. This can potentially damage Nintendo’s existing brand and reputation – in order to gain allegiance and trust, video game companies need to produce good quality games. When someone plays a fan game, it may be seen as a similar quality to official games, and this can confuse consumers and damage their trust.
3. Fan Problems
Finally, fan games can sometimes attract characters with questionable ethics. Trolls, racists and other undesirable characters can flock to fan games and create a negative environment – such as by creating flame wars or other sorts of trolling. This is the last thing Nintendo wants, as their games are meant to be family friendly and accessible to all.
In conclusion, Nintendo’s consistent stance against fan games is due to copyright infringement, quality control and unwanted characters. Whilst Nintendo may appear as the villain in all this, it is essential for them to maintain their brand, reputation and income – and so fan games will remain a dangerous proposition for them.