The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Multiplayer Mod by Pointcrow

Nintendo Cracks Down on Fan Mods of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The gaming industry has been rapidly growing and evolving in recent years, thanks in part to the rise of social media and content creation. However, as demonstrated by the recent controversy surrounding YouTuber and speedrunner Eric “PointCrow” Morino’s multiplayer mod for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the industry is still grappling with the implications of fan projects and mods on copyrighted games.

Morino’s mod, which transformed Breath of the Wild into a co-op version of Four Swords Adventures, drew significant attention from the game’s passionate community. However, Nintendo quickly hit Morino with copyright infringement claims, resulting in some of his biggest YouTube videos being demonetised.

While publishers generally have full ownership and control over any footage produced from their games, they have traditionally allowed content creators to share such footage online, with many companies even promoting it to cultivate a community of passionate fans. Yet, Nintendo has taken a more aggressive approach to social media content around fan projects and mods, as evidenced by its attempts to get a YouTube documentary about an abandoned pitch for a The Legend of Zelda tactics spin-off removed from Google’s platform late last year.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Multiplayer Mod by Pointcrow

The Repercussions of Nintendo’s Approach

This approach can have significant repercussions for both content creators and publishers. For content creators, the demonetisation of their videos can lead to a loss of income and a decrease in visibility. While for publishers, aggressive policing of copyrighted material can alienate the very fans that have helped to keep their games relevant years after their release. Additionally, it can stifle innovation and creativity within the gaming community, preventing fans from exploring new ways to engage with and enjoy their favourite games.

Morino’s case has sparked significant discussion within the gaming community, with many content creators voicing their support for him and criticising Nintendo’s approach to fan projects and mods. Some have even suggested that the controversy could impact the release of Nintendo’s upcoming games, with content creators choosing not to promote them in response to the company’s actions.

This incident between PointCrow and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild multiplayer mod also raises important questions about the balance between ownership and innovation in the gaming industry. While publishers have a right to protect their intellectual property, they must also recognise the value that fan projects and mods can bring to their games and their communities. By working together to find a solution that allows for both ownership and innovation, the gaming industry can continue to grow and evolve while remaining true to its passionate and dedicated fan base.

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (In-game Screenshot)