The unlicensed, fan-made game called Pokémon Uranium, which launched last week after nine years of development, has been removed for download by its creators.
The game was downloaded some 1.5 million times over the past week, according to the development team, but after being “notified of multiple takedown notices from lawyers representing Nintendo of America,” they elected to pull the download links from their official page.
Pokémon Uranium launched on Windows PC on Aug. 6, creating 150 new Pokémon to capture and train in an homage to the original Game Boy Pokémon titles. The non-canonical title set its adventure in the Tandor region, where many original Pokémon have mutated after an exposure to radiation. The player’s job is to battle and stop them.
Pokémon Uranium is the latest high-profile casualty in the demimonde of fan-made video games whose developers sink months or years of time into a game, gain notoriety thanks to a passionate and involved fanbase, and discover that not selling their work doesn’t mean they have rights to distribute it. Just this week, fan developers launched something called AM2R: Another Metroid 2 Remake, only to see the file hosting services where it was offered remove it a day later after Nintendo filed copyright claims against the work.
Previously, at the end of July, work on a fan-built game based on the canceled Star Wars: Battlefront 3 was terminated after its leadership was contacted by Lucasarts. The project will still proceed as as a generic sci-fi multiplayer shooter without any reference to Star Wars or use of its property.
A few fan-made works have been successful in either acquiring a license or permission to develop. One notable success is the Skywind modding project, which is remaking The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind of 2002 with the engine used for 2011’s Skyrim. That project is creating new assets to re-render Morrowind, and as such has Bethesda Game Studios’ blessing.