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Nintendo orders takedown of fan game maker Pokémon Essentials

Decade-old asset kit for RPG Maker pulled, along with wiki on how to develop with it

Nintendo's clampdown on the illegal use of its games, assets and IP continues with the removal of Pokémon Essentials.

Eurogamer reports the software - which was an add-on for RPG Maker that granted access to the various sprites, environments and even mechanics of the popular monster catching series - has been removed from various websites that hosted it.

A post on the PokéCommunity forums also reveals that the Essentials wikia, a repository filled with information on how to use the fan game dev kit, has also been taken down "due to a copyright claim by Nintendo of America."

"We will not allow Pokémon Essentials or any of its assets to be hosted or distributed on PokéCommunity," moderator Marin posted. "This includes derivatives such as Essentials GS or Essentials DS. We sincerely apologise that we have to do this, but there is no going around it."

Of course, this hasn't completely cut off Pokémon fan game makers, as the post adds: "Mods such as the BW2 Mod which don't feature itself Essentials, are still fine, though."

Marin requested that Pokémon fans not "freak out about the claim", adding there's "no reason to get angry with Nintendo or anyone else involved" - although, inevitably, the move has prompted ire from Pokémon fans and the dev kit's users, pointing out the asset pack was free and its creators were not profiting from it.

Nonetheless, it's in keeping with Nintendo's current crackdown on misuse of its IP. Last month, the platform holder filed a lawsuit against two popular emulation sites, which prompted one to be shut down and the other to remove all Nintendo titles from its library.

Equally, Nintendo has been known to attack fan projects - most notably ordering the takedown of more than 500 user-made games back in 2016, just a month after shutting down Pokémon Uranium. This case is interesting, however, because it's a rare instance in which the platform holder has targeted the means by which these games are made.

Pokémon remains one of the most lucrative franchises in Nintendo's portfolio (even though it is technically owned by developer Game Freak), thanks in no small part to the worldwide phenomenon that was Pokémon Go. The mobile game reignited interest in the series to the point where older 3DS versions were selling in droves once again.

Nintendo is due to release the first Switch entry in the series - the simplified Pokémon Let's Go - this November, followed by a more traditional Pokémon RPG in late 2019.

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