Dreams is a creative platform by Media Molecule, the team responsible for the Little Big Planet games. Dreams allows its users to make game assets by scratch, which they can then upload for other players' use. Unsurprisingly, Dreams' userbase likes making models and games based around established properties. Also unsurprisingly, Nintendo's not wild about Mario showing up in Dreams.
On Friday, Dreams user "Piece of Craft" was issued a removal notice stating his "Rigged Mario for Twitch Stream" model was pulled because of copyright infringement. In a follow-up tweet, Piece of Craft says the Legal and Business Affairs Division of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe sent the notice at the behest of Nintendo.
Good news and bad news We flew too close to the sun boys! A big video game company who i will keep nameless obviously didn't read my be cool note in dreams no worries though have a back up plan. But for now Mario projects in dreams are on hold until i put said plan into effect pic.twitter.com/ifGDM0jFZ3Piece of Craft (@Piece_of_Craft) March 20, 2020
The email came through to the same email i have linked to my psn but it was from the legal and business affairs Division of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe so not from Mm. And stated Nintendo, themselves, had objected to my use of their Super Mario IP in Dreams- Piece of Craft (@Piece_of_Craft) March 21, 2020
Nintendo's always been fiercely protective of its intellectual property, and it's especially draconic about Mario's image. Many of the Mario models being created in Dreams are spot-on, including Piece of Craft's. It's understandable why Nintendo doesn't want a bunch of fan-made Marios running around on the PlayStation 4, especially since it's highly unlikely Dreams will ever hop onto the Nintendo Switch. The question is, does Nintendo intend to hunt down and kill every illegitimate plumber skulking around Dreams? Will it continue to tag-team with Sony to make sure it'll happen? Or is this a contained event that Nintendo hopes will make Dreams' creators think twice about giving birth to their own iteration of Mario?
Either way, Dreams is already copyright violation hell, and that's admittedly part of its appeal. People use the platform to remake old games and breathe new life into them, like Simpsons' Hit and Run and Crash Bandicoot. These re-creations are a great way for less experienced developers to get a handle on their art, even if Nintendo seemingly disagrees.
Curious about Dreams yourself? Check out our Dreams review, and take a look at five Dreams creations you should try out for yourself.