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Nintendo: Nintendo States It Doesn’t Want To Criminalize Obsessed Fans

An inquisitive Nintendo shareholder directed a question to Satoru Iwata at a recent company meeting, asking how Nintendo plans to respond to the wealth of fan fiction and Nintendo tributes.

In connection with Nintendo’s basic strategy of “gaming population expansion”, I would like to ask about the handling of fan activities and intellectual properties. Recently, there are many fan magazines, original short movies, music bands, cosplay activities, websites, orchestras and so on, based on Nintendo’s titles. If these activities threaten Nintendo’s intellectual properties or licenses, will Nintendo crack down on them aggressively, or just view them as fan activities? If Nintendo has any policies, please let us know.

As the principle, please understand that the question is regarding a rather delicate issue to which no one can perhaps identify a clear-cut criterion. Of course, we cannot say that we can give tacit approval to any and all the activities which threaten our intellectual properties. But on the other hand, it would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo, as criminals. It is true that some expressions are detrimental enough to diminish the dignity of our intellectual properties, and others destroy our intellectual properties’ world-views by connecting them with something not based on fact. We think one of the criteria for deciding how to respond is whether the expression in question socially diminishes the dignity or value of our intellectual properties or not. Of course, it is very hard to have a blanket standard as this problem involves many complex elements that are very difficult to judge.

In these meanings, we cannot say OK to any and all such activities and, at the same time, it is not feasible for us to immediately respond to each small issue of this nature every time. However, these days an individual can easily transmit information through the Internet. Hearing your question today, as we cannot find these problems only by ourselves, we feel that a kind of contact window should be set up so that people can somehow report to us any inappropriate uses of Nintendo’s intellectual properties which diminish their dignities or values, so that we can respond appropriately.

– Nintendo president Satoru Iwata addressing a shareholder regarding fan fiction

14 comments

  1. So Pokémon fan games and LPs of Nintendo games are appreciated, but they’ll still sue us. Got it.

    1. It’s more like

      “Fan work is appreciated as long as you don’t draw Mario doing it with Peach in Photoshop – *then* we’ll sue you, you sick bastard”.

      To which I totally agree.

  2. I agreed, if u make a pokemon game where the goal is not to catch em all, but it’s to kill’em all, ala duke nukem style, then I think that falls into the, nintendo’s gonna get your ass, category. But I have loads of fan based drawings I loaded of kindgom hearts, pokemon and smash bros, I even saw someone at disneyland have a mario vs mickey, which I thought was not degrating nor in any way showing dis-appreciation for either company or character. So I think it’s smart nintendo does outright saw say they’re going to smash designers with an iron fist, but it will go after people not showing nintendo love appropriately

  3. Because of the fact that none of that hurts us fans, so now they want us just to respect thier fictional characters. You shouldn’t care as long as we buy your f**king games.

  4. So shy guys erotic tales no???? This all weird I mean a boswer s and m fan fic is ok right? Hehehe

  5. nintendo has always been nice to their fans. and i agree that they need to what they to only when it is mandatory. but yeah making your own games or little cartoons is not bad as long as you dont make money off it. or make nintendo look bad, but that common curdacy

  6. That was a nice intellectual read, but it’s all beating around the bush. Long story short, Nintendo just doesn’t know.

    Nothing will happen to fan projects unless they start charging money.

  7. bassically, no offensive material. so even though it’s funny, luigi cussing out his brother is a no go. and as far as fan art goes, just portray the characters looking really awesome, like some epic face off between bowser and mario. no nudity either. so no stuff like that

  8. Ah, so Mario throwing a fireball at a Koopa Troopa is alright, as long as he’s not stroking his ”FireBalls”. Link stabbing a Darknut with the Master Sword is alright, as long as his ”Master Sword” Stays out of Zelda. Red throwing a Pokeballs at Articuno is alright, as long as Gulpin isn’t eating those ”Pokeballs”. Want me to go on? I have a whole list of these.

    1. I get what you’re aiming at, and generally you’d be right – it’s astonishing that we as a society condemn sex more than violente.
      But in this case there are three other factors that supercede that:

      – It’s cartoony violence, not the high-budget espectacular violence from Hollywood movies or modern FPS.

      – It’s isn’t only sex, but sex with childhood icons. You may not be bothered by this (and neither am I), but other people have all the right to be because it goes beyond just watching sex.

      – Lots of people rarely are smart enough to catch a Mario-on-Peach image on the Internet and be aware that’s not from Nintendo itself. It’s completely understandable for the company to not want such misunderstanding to spread.

      All these complicate matters way beyond the “mere” subject of sex x violence in our mass media entertainment.

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