The Indie Killer?
It is no secret whatsoever that Nintendo isn’t the best of folks when it comes to recreations of their franchises. Unlike SEGA for example, who are more than happy to give their blessings to one guy in his bedroom to make a hack of Sonic 3 where you play Charmy the Bee for no reason, to a small studio making a killer game that heavily uses Sonic as it’s inspiration.
It’s strange that Nintendo continues to hold this grudge against fans using their properties, in what is usually a nonprofit fashion and just for fun. We’ve seen the Big N change their attitude over the last few years; there was a time where we never thought that Nintendo would be open to having games on the Mobile market. We’ve got Pokemon and Mario on our phones, and everyone loves it.
Compare that with crossovers we never thought we’d see happen! Project X Zone 2 saw Fire Emblem stars enter the battle, Hyrule Warriors is a brilliant game thanks to the combined efforts of Koei Tecmo and Nintendo, and of course the Mario and Rabbids XCOM hybrid being made thanks to Ubisoft. These are crossovers that on paper, seem like something Nintendo would shake their heads at.
Lastly, Nintendo is more open than Sony is when it comes to cross-platform play for Rocket League, allowing Switch users to play with Xbox One and PC users across the globe. The usually reserved little company that could is letting their userbase pal around with Xbox and PC users, while Playstation is sitting this outing out. So the question is, what do Nintendo have against quirky little remakes of their biggest franchises?
A while ago, we reported on AM2R. An excellent Metroid 2 remake from a small group of dedicated fans who just wanted to let the world enjoy Metroid for how they saw it. It gained traction through its development and supporters started to pile in, and it all peaked when they released their latest update on Metroid’s 30ths anniversary. A group of Metroid lovers had been working in their spare time to give Samus a sweet toast for her 30 years in the industry. Guess who was absent?
The 30th anniversary of Metroid was a silent one from the people who handled the franchise. Not so much as a whisper from Nintendo, instead the community rallied behind AM2R and their little project that could. It was a feel-good moment in the community, as we had something to latch onto and for a good reason! AM2Rlooked fantastic! It played like Zero Mission and just felt right to experience overall. It looked leagues better than Nintendo’s E3 announcement of Metroid Prime: Federation Force, which was universally frowned upon after such a profound silence from the Metroid series.
What did Nintendo do with the gracious reception that came from the Gaming community? An announcement on the AM2R website paints a depressing situation of how years of work can be dashed by one company and their worry over a bit of support from news and social media outlets all over.
No future. It’s disheartening to read, and you can only imagine how devastated the team felt by it. The more good fact is that the creator of the project, DoctorM64 who was the lead on the project. While understandably upset, campaigned for people to not hate on Nintendo for their choice. Just to support Metroid 2, and to buy it off the E-shop to show Nintendo how much the original game is loved by all.
A class act through and through, DoctorM64. But while the core Metroid community felt the pain and loss of the project, things only moved forward, and we accepted the loss of AM2R. It was hard to do, but we couldn’t exactly make a difference. It was just jarring, why shut down a project that obviously had lots of love and passion put into it? DoctorM64 had been working on it for ten years and didn’t ask for a single penny.
Now that Nintendo has had their recent E3 announcement, we know the answer to that question.
Samus is making her return. A return approved by Nintendo. We won’t deny it; the remake looks fantastic. It looks fun to play, it looks like Metroid 2, and we’re happy to see her get a fair shake at last. On top of this and the Metroid Prime 4 announcement, it feels like Nintendo is starting to care about our beloved Bounty Hunter once again and it feels pretty good.
But for the fans who still remember what droughts of non-Metroid appreciation felt like before, where Nintendo left us out in the rain on Samus’ anniversary or said no to one dedicated fan just wanting to shine a light on the series. It’s a somewhat empty enjoyment. Still a thing to celebrate, but not as much if we’d had the attention we wanted. Thanks, Poppa Nintendo.
Nintendo had no reason to be scared over the development of AM2R. It would never go onto store shelves, and would just remain on a PC for fans of Samus to enjoy. For free. We’d click our fingers on our keyboard, or gamepad and just smile. No special edition purchases, no Amiibos to be used in the game. We’d just download a file that held the 10-year efforts of a dedicated little group, and go back to the old days of Metroid.
Now, we’d like to echo the words of DoctorM64. Don’t hate Nintendo for this; we don’t. We’re upset over their behaviour, and would more than love for them to change their attitude towards small developers who use their franchises for fun. But this behaviour should not be met with hostility and rage, instead, let us all just appreciate the games they’ve made the characters we’ve all come to know.
Metroid, F-Zero, Golden Sun, and Starfox. Whatever series you love, just continue to support it. Be vocal in your love! Draw artwork, make songs, make fan games. Just show the developers and companies of the games you love how much you love them day in and day out. If it wasn’t for the efforts of DoctorM64 and the Metroid community over these past few year, we might not be looking at Samus Returns. Instead, we might just have another silent anniversary.
Keep gaming everyone.