Last week we reported on Pokémon Uranium, a fan-made PC outing in the Pokémon universe which took 9 years to produce. Boasting it has its own region, characters and (naturally) fresh 'mon, Uranium also features online trading and battling.
The game was so popular that the servers quickly buckled under the sheer volume of more than 1,500,000 downloads, proving that there's a considerable appetite for fan-made games these days.
However, the game has now been removed from the web by its creators, who have issued the following tweets and statement:
While development appears to be on-going, without any channels to actually release the game it remains to be seen how long Uranium will remain active for.
Did you download the game? What did you think of it, and what do you make of today's news? Post a comment below to tell us.
My 1 kid downloaded it and had some fun after he got stuck in AM2R. He liked the "nutzlocked" mode, whatever permadeath option was called.
My other son hadn't downloaded it yet, but I suppose I could just move the file over if he wants it.
I know how to fix dat! just rename it pokeyman uranium.
At least I have a copy of the game now. It will find it's way onto Torrent sites eventually.
So how about it Nintendo? Make a place for these games to live. An official harbor where it is clear that they are fan-made, non-canon, and there is deliberate and sustained marketing towards Nintendo's current wares. Fan games can only live there if the originators make no direct money on it but they are also credited and, hey, let's interview them and have them extol Nintendo, the driver of their creativity and effort.
It's win-win from my viewpoint. Nintendo can turn it into a sustainable positive press and marketing for little cost rather than send it underground with ill-will from fans that get to play the games all they want anyway.
Glad I grabbed a copy before it was pulled, I missed the Metroid 2 remake (I'm sure I'll find a copy somewhere though). Haven't had chance to give it a try yet but it looks really good.
@aaronsullivan While that sounds great on paper... it may cause problems for Nintendo and their partners. Let's say if a smaller studio like Grezzo for example wanted to do another older Zelda remake It may cause negotiation problems or even issues if they wanted to do an original title that emulates the older ones.
The ideal solution would be Nintendo doing what SEGA is doing now and snagging some of these talented developers and have them work on legitimate entries.
I have no idea why this was taken down. Nintendo/The Pokemon Company has never had a history of taking down rom-hacks before if the developer is not making any money off of it.
Why are they blown away by how successful it was? They knew what IP they were plagiarising! I bloody hate false modesty.
I wonder how much lost revenue 1,500,000 downloads equate to. So hard to quantify.
@GrailUK Let's be far this game is a rom-hack and Nintendo/Pokemon Company have really never had a problem with them as long as they the hackers are not making a profit off them that is causing the offical product to lose on sales. That and thanks to the boom that is Pokemon GO and exposing Pokemon to even more people (hard to believe that was even possible considering the empire that is Pokemon) that that level of downloaders does not surprise me.
To me lost profit is when it is an unlicensed remake or straight up pirating of the software. This was far more harmless and I can understand the developers may wanting to take it down just in case Nintendo/Pokemon Company change their tune on how they feel about rom-hacks.
Dammit. I knew I should have downloaded this much sooner, but never got the chance. Oh well. Guess I will have to be patient for Sun.
@Wexter Yeah, it's full of problems, but I think it's worth a go. The current situation is full of problems, too. If Nintendo had an established "harbor" like I suggested, it could also dictate rules a bit and these enthusiastic developers would probably be happy to shift inside them for the most part.
@Wexter FYI, it's not a rom hack it's a standalone game. You don't need the ROM to play. So...
Can't say I'm surprised.
@aaronsullivan That is true as well. I would be curious to see how a safe harbour could be handled and if it could be possible... I will need to think over that idea.
As for the second reply. Ooooh yeah that could be a problem for them. I did not really get to look into it too much since I have been slammed at work, but if it does not require the rom or an emulator that could be major problems.
@aaronsullivan Owt for nowt?
How much 1.5mil downloads make add money? I see why there is so much people interested to continue sharing that game in their own sites.
@Wexter I'm curious if it'd work as well. I really haven't thought about it too much myself. I just remember some things in the past like when starwars.com embraced the fan films that were being made and did something similar in giving them an official place. It's people making stuff in the same medium as the major films and they are supporting it officially. Still happening to some degree it seems: http://www.starwars.com/star-wars-fan-film-awards
Imagine Nintendo eventually having awards for the best fan-made games. Seems unlikely, but how fun, right?
@GrailUK Had to look that up. Not too far off from my initial guess "all for naught", right? Yeah, people won't ever pay more than they have to because they are living for themselves in shortsighted manner. Right? sigh Just disappointing is all.
I snatched it, but have been busy trying to finish Unepic. Has anybody done a review on it?
You could of spent those 9 years turning it into a Pokemon Inspired IP of your own, then you could do whatever you want with it (Make it free forever, put a price on it, etc.) and keep it up and running for however you wanted.
Yeah, these fan projects are cool and all but all that work gets cut off within a few days of release then eventually forgotten about the more and more people have trouble finding it.
I downloaded it but it didn't work for me. I'll try it again later.
This would have been a whole lot less likely to have gotten a cease and desist, I think. While this is a Pokémon game, it doesn't copy any of the official games in story, region, or any other details like that, and thus wouldn't necessarily cut into official Pokémon sales. Compare this with AM2R, a game that was very much the exact same game (albeit with a few things added) as Metroid 2, a game that is still available for purchase from Nintendo. That could have cut into sales of the Virtual Console release, as a better version of the game would have been available for free.
Oh, mylanta... (Facepalm)
What a shame. Didn't the cease-and-desist for am2r come within the first twenty four hours? If Nintendo was concerned I'm sure they would have gotten around to it by now...
To my knowledge most, if not all, Pokemon fan games have been safe from getting c&d but I understand their fears. I don't think there has been any that have been this popular in such a short time span before (which I'm sure pokemania coming back because of Pokemon Go really helped it). Also the fact that it has online, if I remember right, for some reason makes me feel like it is more likely to get noticed. Unfortunate but in cases like this it is better safe than sorry.
This game will be available forever Enough people have it, and it's so easy to distribute (being a single .msi package) that you'll ALWAYS be able to find it if you want it. And it's pretty cool, for a fan game
Too bad it seems it has some problems.
My little brother was playing it and he stopped because his savefile somehow got corrupt.
@GrailUK "Why are they blown away by how successful it was? They knew what IP they were plagiarising! I bloody hate false modesty".
I thought exactly the same thing, although I believe them when they say that they love Pokemon.
@Yasume noice profile picture
I've already downloaded it, but haven't gotten around to playing it yet. Excited for the nonbinary protagonist option. It's a bit weird that they're taking it down so early out of fear, though. Has anybody ever seen a Pokemon fan game get taken down? Pokemon Reborn, for example, has been around for years with no issues. Since Nintendo doesn't have a 100% ownership of the Pokemon IP, they may not even be allowed to send take-downs over it for all I know. I think the Uranium team are getting quite a bit ahead of themselves, but I guess they're going to support the game more on the down-low from now on instead of risking a total desist. Still weird.
Yeah if they're not making any money off it...but lo-and-behold dig a little deeper and you'll find :
I'm really starting to dislike fan projects because there's often something lurking behind the positive fan facade. If there's any reason they pulled their own download link they're probably trying to cover their own backside in the case this Patreon is found by Nintendo.
It does use official assets of the GBA games for some Pokemon like Mankey & Primape. The "Pokemon Uranium" name as well spreads potential brand confusion because it's named just like an official product.
@Dr_Lugae Damn man... that is just low of them. It is a shame I cut some slack to a fan project and man... yeah they are probably covering their tracks.
Every time I tried to download it, the servers were too busy. Is there any way I can get it from somebody who already has it?
The non-binary option made me really happy. But then the game froze for thirty seconds any time an NPC had a "!" appear over their head, and it crashed when I tried to use an attack in my first battle. Eh. From what I've heard, the difficulty balancing is really frustrating and unfun after the first couple gyms anyway.
Should've made it a game inspired by Pokémon (most of the mons were original anyway). Could have still capitalized on the free publicity from everyone knowing it was originally a fangame, like Legend Maker.
When it went big on reddit I knew it was going down. I really don't know why Nintendo doesn't just shutdown Pokemon Essentials.
Another possibility is that the Pokemon Company fears that since this free to play game is available, it will work agaisnt Sun & Moon's sales. I've seen people in other forums that prefer to stick with Uranium, since its free, that pay for the official.
@Luna_110 The Pokemon Company did not send a C&D though these folks took it down themselves. While I feel that could be a reason for The Pokemon Company to send a C&D. To play devil's advocate would the people who are not going to buy Sun and Moon because of Uranium have purchased Sun and Moon if Uranium was not available? Odds are no.
@ChuJelly So ahead of themselves that they didn't have time to patch the game. Coincidentally, they are already announcing "updates".
Shoot i should have gotten it sooner but hey anyone know a legit and safe place to get it yet
@Wexter Um just want clarify this isn't a ROM hack. Its built from the ground up.
@TheRedCap30 That is okay that was already pointed out. Just made a guess because of the screenshots provided. I have not really had a chance to look into it.
If I ever design a game inspired by a Nintendo IP, I'll make sure it's a parody.
Free for Crappy or Pay for WOW ?
I would better Pay for WOW.
Some people are Really Extreme Cheapskater.
And that's not a good sign...
I guess they couldn't take it anymore and turned themselves in. Well, at least that shows they got some conscience and/or common sense left in their head.
Oh well. I already downloaded it, as well as AM2R, just for kicks.
And the Streets of Rage Remake, too.
Maybe I'll see if there are any other good fangames I missed. Finding out about them tends to be the tricker part, really.
@ChuJelly They can. Nintendo is one of the trademark and copyright holders.
Pokémon Uranium download: http://bit.ly/2bgkGBw
I've enjoyed it alot so far i'm not super far into it. Also really loving the metroid 2 remake. If you're having trouble finding it just go to reddit there are sub reddits for both games that I think have been keeping verified links to download them from.
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