The gaming industry is driven by one thing: its fans. As gamers, we are very sentimental. We get attached to characters we grow up with like Mario or Link, and we get inspired by our favorite games and developers. If you talk to anyone in this industry, our memories of our first video games are always so clear. Gaming is an experience that affects you and allows you to bond with people over a shard experience. That’s why developers, streamers, and writers alike dive into this accepting community. But what happens when the people we are inspired by destroy the things we are passionate about?
By The Fans, For the Fans
It has become quite the trend lately for bigger companies to shut down exciting fan made projects. Pokevision, Pokemon Uranium, Metroid 2, and Star Wars: Galaxy in Turmoil are the fan projects getting the most hype for getting the good ole C&D. These are fan’s projects that have been under developement for years, and were cancelled as soon as they were released. The Star Wars project didn’t even make it out of production before it was terminated by EA and LucasFilm. And to make matters worse, none of these developers were looking to make a profit. All of these games and services were free of charge and strictly made for the enjoyment of other gamers.
Team Rocket Strikes Again
I doubt I have to describe what Pokemon GO! is by now. The augmented reality game has quickly taken the world by storm. However, the in game tracker has made it difficult for gamers everywhere to track down their favorite Pokemon. PokeVision gave consumers an easy solution to this problem. They provided maps that showed what Pokemon were where, and I have them to thank for my precious Charizard. Niantic Labs considered this cheating, and quickly had the site shut down. Despite the fans outrage, the creators of PokeVision quickly reminded people who brought them Pokemon in the real world.
PokeVision wasn’t the only Pokemon related fan project to get the boot. Pokemon Uranium takes place in the Tandor region where Pokemon have been affected by radiation. Over the nine years of development, the developers created over 100 new Pokemon for their game. Despite their years of hard work, the game was taken down after a few days. In those few days, the game was downloaded 1.5 million times. So, I guess you can say people were slightly interested. Instead of shutting them down, why couldn’t Nintendo and The Pokemon Company reach out to them? Why couldn’t Niantic Labs reach out the creators of PokeVinsion to work together to fix their tracking issues? (Which are still being worked on after being taken out of the game completely)
This Was Not The Game We Were Looking For
Frontwire Studios was only looking to make the game Star Wars Battlefront fans were looking for. Instead of making a third installment in the series, EA released a new Battlefront game that didn’t quite follow the ones before it. So, they wanted to make what Battlefront 3 would have been free of charge for the hungry fans of the series. EA and LucasFilm quickly put that to rest before the game could even be released. The developers even tried to set a meeting with the LucasFilm execs to discuss the game and what could be done, but EA had no desire to work with the smaller team. Instead of wiping the game all together, the developers decided to continue working on the game after removing all Star Wars related content.
Come On, Guys
At the end of the day, I understand why Nintendo, EA, and LucasFilm would want to protect the content they themselves have worked hard to perfect. Instead of getting so defensive, I think the companies should have been honored. Isn’t it amazing that people are so excited by your content? Isn’t the whole purpose of making games to provide a fun, memorable experiance? I can’t understand why they wouldn’t want to support that in their unique gaming communites. As I have stated before, none of these fan made projects were looking for a profit. They just wanted to expand upon products they already knew and loved. In the future, I really hope more companies are willing to give fan made projects a chance without immediately shutting them down.