Pokémon Essentials, a free game-making tool that let amateur developers create their own Pokémon adventures, was shut down earlier this week following a copyright notice from Nintendo.
The news about the shutdown spread quickly on the PokéCommunity forums, where one of the staffers behind the project, "Marin," noted the Pokémon Essentials wiki and all related downloads are gone. Marin also requested that people not freak out in Nintendo's direction.
Pokémon Essentials, which was available for 11 years before Nintendo took the axe to it, gave users access to tilesets, maps, music, and sprites from the official Pokémon games. The popular 2016 fan game Pokémon Uranium was made with the aid of Pokémon Essentials. Nintendo sent Pokémon Uranium's creators a cease and desist notice in 2016, prompting the team to scrub its own website and servers. Fans of Uranium continue to make and distribute patches and bug fixes for the title.
Nintendo's always been very protective of its copyrights, but its hounds are out in full force recently. Several popular ROM sites were forced to close down earlier this summer after Nintendo handed out lawsuits.
The fervor with which Nintendo is going after ROM sites, fan projects, and now tools like Pokémon Essentials is stirring up heated debate and opinions in the industry. I'm personally a little worried about the crackdown hobbling our access to games we'd never be able to play otherwise.