Nintendo on the unfair use of its IP and games: “Action must be taken”

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During Nintendo's 84th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, company president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked how Nintendo “handles cases on social media where Nintendo IP and games are used inappropriately” when this behavior “threatens to harm the value of its brand.”

Although Furukawa did not want to comment on any “individual case”, he mentioned that appropriate action should be taken against any behavior that undermines the Japanese company's policy of “bringing smiles through entertainment”. It will “continue to make every effort to ensure” that its “consumers do not feel uncomfortable when exposed to Nintendo's IP” not only in its games but “anywhere” where they come into contact with it.

Shuntaro Furukawa: “Our company aims to achieve our management policy of “bringing smiles through entertainment” by proposing unique games that anyone can enjoy effortlessly. I will refrain from commenting on individual cases, but we believe that appropriate action should be taken against any behavior that undermines this policy.”

“Our goal is to create an environment where everyone can enjoy playing games. We will continue to do everything possible to ensure that our consumers do not feel uncomfortable not only in our games but wherever they come into contact with our IP.”

Although no specific case was mentioned, as Eurogamer notes, there was a time in 2018 when a fan creation called Bowsette (a mash-up of Peach and Bowser) went viral on social media and elsewhere. Nintendo's official response at the time was “no comment,” and eventually the craze for the fan-created character died down.

Beyond social media, Nintendo has targeted fan projects it deems inappropriate and potentially harmful to the value of its brand. In September 2020 it turned its sights on a mischievous fan-made game starring Princess Peach. More recently, it filed a DMCA against the Rhythm Heaven Remix project, and just this week it filed two new lawsuits continuing its crackdown on Switch piracy.

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