After 10 years of work, Nintendo fan Milton “DoctorM64” Guasti finally released AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake), his remake of 1991’s Metroid 2, for free on PC this past weekend. Unfortunately for both Guasti and retro gaming fans, Nintendo promptly slapped Guasti with a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices, forcing him to remove the game from all of its download hosts.
While many Metroid 2 fans are angry at Nintendo for the move, Gausti is surprisingly taking the whole thing in stride. “Please, don’t hate Nintendo for all of this,” he wrote in a blog post Tuesday. It’s their legal obligation to protect their IP.
“Instead of sending hate mail, get the original [Metroid 2] from the eShop. Show them that 2D adventure platformers are still a thing people want.”
Guasti also recounted how he began working on AM2R “a long time ago, while I was actually trying to learn the programming side of Game Maker. Instead of moving on with something else, when I learned a better way of doing something, I reiterated and improved the old code.
“Eventually, I learned to program in C#. Now I’m making a living as a professional programmer thanks to what I learned developing a fan game.
“Technically speaking, I’m satisfied.”
Gausti has not received any cease and desist letter from Nintendo, but the IP holder did provide an official statement to Kotaku confirming its issuing of DMCA notices. “Nintendo’s broad library of characters, products, and brands are enjoyed by people around the world, and we appreciate the passion of our fans,” reads the statement. “But just as Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of others, we must also protect our own characters, trademarks and other content. The unapproved use of Nintendo’s intellectual property can weaken our ability to protect and preserve it, or to possibly use it for new projects.”
Speaking of using its intellectual property, Nintendo is getting ready to release Metroid Prime: Federation Force for 3DS on August 19. Unlike AM2R, Federation Force has faced intense fan backlash since its first announcement, a trend that continued earlier this week with the game’s latest trailer receiving more dislikes than likes on YouTube.
As for AM2R, though Guasti and some volunteer artists created it strictly because of their passion for Metroid 2 rather than out of a motivation to earn money off the project, some fans are now wondering if Nintendo will acquire the game and officially release it. Nintendo itself has made no indication it plans to do so, and it should be noted that the company has a history of outright killing fan projects.
In any case, Gausti is soldiering on and will continue updating AM2R for those who were able to download it before the takedown.