Two days ago, AM2R: Another Metroid 2 Remake finally launched. The project is full remake of the Game Boy title Metroid 2: The Return of Samus, using a graphical style similar to Super Metroid. Within retro fan circles, there was much fanfare and joy.
Of course, Nintendo still owns Metroid and has set about getting AM2R taken down from various download sites. A link to the game on MediaFire now mentions a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown from Nintendo of America. The same is true of the other download links, which have either disappeared or been replaced with a DMCA notice. Metroid Database, one of the larger Metroid fan sites, was hosting the game until their filehost received the takedown.
Friends: Nintendo has hit us (meaning, our website host) with a DMCA takedown notice. We can no longer host the AM2R file. Sorry!— Metroid Database (@MetroidDatabase) August 7, 2016
The letter came from Miller, Nash, Graham and Dunn LLP and some doubted the veracity of its legal claims, since it did not come from the same email address listed on Nintendo's website. The same law firm has previously been involved in protecting Nintendo IP, with take downs of a planned NES Compendium and Super Mario 64 HD. Metroid Database later confirmed that the takedown was real.
The attorney has gotten back in touch with us and it appears the notice is indeed legitimate. We have no further comments.— Metroid Database (@MetroidDatabase) August 8, 2016
"Nintendo’s broad library of characters, products, and brands are enjoyed by people around the world, and we appreciate the passion of our fans," said Nintendo in a statement to Polygon. "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."
It's unsurprising that AM2R has been taken down, but there's solace in the fact that this is the internet, where nothing ever truly dies.
Unfortunately, that's not the only Nintendo-related removal this week. Last week, the Nintendo Power Collection went up at the Internet Archive, showing every issue in Nintendo Power's long run. The page for the collection is still available, but all of the issues have been removed.
There is currently no word on whether the removals are due to legal pressure. We have contacted the archivist responsible for the collection to see why they've been removed. We will update the story accordingly once we receive a reply.