In April of this year, a group of developers known as Team SCU dropped a demo for Metroid Prime 2D, a side-scrolling demake of 2002’s first-person exploration title Metroid Prime on the GameCube. This demake has been in the planning phase for quite some time, and the efforts of many years of their work finally saw the light with the release of the demo. Sadly, however, those efforts have hit a wall, because Nintendo and their lawyers have gotten involved and you know what that means.
Team SCU has officially taken down the demo that they posted earlier this year, and they shared the following sad message onto Reddit:
Nintendo is infamous, unfortunately, for shutting down fan projects while also failing to deliver what fans actually want. Metroid II: The Return of Samus, the black-and-white GameBoy sequel, saw a fantastic fan project known as Project AM2R that completely upgraded the game in every aspect, and Nintendo brought the hammer down on that one a day after it was released. What do you think Nintendo did after this? Well, they announced that they were making their own Metroid II remake for the Nintendo 3DS, which came off quite petty and unnecessary and drew poor sales (Coincidence? I think not.).
These shut downs are not subject to only Metroid games either, as we have seen the likes of other fan-made projects face the same death. Titles like Zelda Maker, No Mario’s Sky, Ocarina of Time 2D, Zelda 30 Tribute, Pokemon Uranium, Super Mario 64 HD, and many, many others gave the community hope only to see the hard work of dedicated members stopped dead in their tracks.
An argument that comes up often is why doesn’t Nintendo embrace these ideas more? Clearly there is such an interest that thousands and thousands of players take notice and follow the fan-made projects. The attention even gets noticed by Nintendo themselves, and they always feel a need to shut it down in its tracks.
SEGA took a different approach a while ago with Sonic Mania, which started off as a fan-made project, and instead of shutting it down, SEGA embraced it, hired the developers, and actually released the game as a proper SEGA title. This approach does so many things right, because it puts a spotlight on the fan-made community, gave some people a dream-job, made SEGA some extra money, and gave Sonic fans something new to be proud of.
With so many of these fantastic fan-made games based on Nintendo series, you would think Nintendo would take notes from SEGA’s approach and follow suit. Not only is this a successful business strategy, but it also builds positive rapport with fans. Nintendo has caught a lot of flack in recent years for the way they have handled both fan-made projects and their games being used in tournaments. It is even worse when a fan project like Project M is proposed for a big tournament like The Big House, and you see Nintendo come down even harder making a large group of people very angry.
That’s not to say that all scenarios are bad, because there was that one time Nintendo caved to pressure from the Smash community. However, those situations are few and far between when compared to the times Nintendo shuts something down and we never hear from it again.
Imagine, though, if you will, Nintendo hiring this group of developers who worked on Metroid Prime 2D, paid them adequately to finish the project, and released the game for $19.99 or $29.99 on the Switch eShop. Think of how much money Nintendo would make after putting in very little effort in the developmental process. If you ask me, that is a clear win-win situation, as like the Sonic Mania example, Nintendo gets to make some solid money and a few developers receive an experience most people could only dream of.
Sadly, this Metroid Prime 2D project will never see the light of day again, which is a real shame, because this is a solid demake and the kind of project that would strike a chord with the Metroidvania community.
Part of me thinks that this is another petty response since Metroid Dread is on the horizon, but Nintendo needs to realize that of all of their IPs, Metroid is the one in the most dire situation. Although it has a very dedicated fanbase, it pales in numbers compared to the likes of Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, and others. Working with these fan developers could create more interest in the series and allow Nintendo to pump out titles for fans if they just learned to play nice and work together.
But seeing how they are handling this current Metroid Prime 2D situation, I do not think Nintendo will be learning that lesson any time soon. For now, we can still marvel at the demo videos still available online and dream of a day Nintendo works alongside their communities and not against them.
Thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link for all of your gaming news and updates! What do you think of Nintendo shutting this project down? Are you disappointed? Understanding? Let us know in the comments below! Happy gaming, everyone.
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.