Back in August 2016, we informed you about Project AM2R. This free fan game, created by Milton Guasti, aimed to recreate Metroid 2 with updated graphics and gameplay. And as you may have guessed, Nintendo shut it down (though it can still be found for download on the Internet).
In an interview with Waypoint, Nintendo of America’s President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aimé, tried to explain why the company decided to shut it down. And his reasoning was not that convincing.
Reggie claimed that Nintendo feels the need to protect its IP when a project transitions to something that people are trying to monetize, to sell or to profit off. Which sounds reasonable, however Project AM2R was a free fan game. As such its creator never tried to monetize it or sell it.
As Reggie said when asked about AM2R:
“So, I think there needs to be clarity in what the line is, and, in our view, the line is when an initiative crosses from being an homage to something that is monetizing our IP. We allow homages to exist in a variety of different ways. And, for me personally, as a fan before I was an executive, I understand the attraction that you could have to our IP. But, when it transitions to something that… now, you’re trying to monetize, you’re trying to sell, you’re trying to profit off of, that is what broaches or breaks through that line for us, where we have to claim our IP protection.”
When pressured a little bit, Reggie concluded that AM2R was a commercial product, even though it was not charged.
“We have had conversations with entities that started as fans and became more of a business partner. Those conversations happen all the time, but again, when something transitions to a commercial product, and that’s what [AM2R] was—there wasn’t a charge, but it was now a commercial product.”
Makes no sense, right? Well, what Reggie wanted to say – but couldn’t due to the usual PR nonsense – is that AM2R would have stolen Metroid: Samus Returns’ thunder; a game that was unveiled at this year’s E3, is a remake of Metroid 2, and is coming to 3DS. And that’s exactly why Project AM2R was shut down.
It had nothing to do with Nintendo’s policies regarding fan games. It would simply compete with its commercial title, and could potentially have a negative impact on its overall sales.