An unofficial game project which used Super Mario assets to promote an NFT-based gambling platform has attracted the attention of Nintendo, so we all know what happens next.
As reported by Kotaku, a cryptocurrency scheme known as '1-UP Platform' has been preparing for launch this year, giving users the chance to take part in a battle royale-style game where players can bet on matches to earn NFTs (a controversial method of digital file ownership that uses blockchain technology). The problem here – or one of the problems, at least – is that the battle royale itself appears to be full of stolen assets.
You can see some early footage of the game in action below.
Unsurprisingly, Nintendo has already started the process of tackling the project head-on; as Twitter user @jycompany_ spotted, videos relating to the project on YouTube have already been taken down at Nintendo's request.
Kotaku notes that 1-UP Platform's Telegram admin, known as 'Link', has since defended the project, calling it "a cool indie concept":
"I’m a community manager for an anonymous team working on a cool indie concept. The goal was to innovate on top of an amazing idea infernoplus had launched in 2019. Nintendo had shut them down for innovating and are known to do that. We just created a beefed up version of it with a combat system. Goal was to innovate privately within the community to showcase what’s possible if we all contribute new ideas. We just feel like corporate ideas are drying out and nearly dead."
They go on to say that the stolen assets were only in place as a proof of concept and will be removed later down the line, calling out the "Nintendo simps" who helped to get the game noticed. They sound lovely, don't they?
"For all the Nintendo simps having a panic attack, fear not. It was private test videos getting put out there to grow grow size of the community. When we go live the entire game will have custom art with none of the original Nintendo fanmade sprites. This was just a proof of concept. The engine is custom made and will be used for other original games. The buzz is great though. At least it gets people talking about new ideas."
1-UP Platform hasn't been shy about Mario's inclusion, though, with a September blog post even describing the project as something that would "bring Mario and friends to the blockchain," all wrapped up in "a 2D, Battle-Royale concept based on classic retro games that we all know and love." If Mario was a selling point, was removing him from the game ever really the intention?
Currently, 1-UP's blog page is still using Mario assets without Nintendo's consent. We imagine it'll only be a matter of time before Nintendo presses further.