We don’t hear much Nintendo news round these PC parts, and when we do it’s usually bad. The latest nintenews is that their lawyers have shut down Pokémon Essentials, a set of tools which have been instrumental in many unofficial fan-made Pokémon games on PC, as well as the Wiki containing information on how to use them. A video games company aggressively going after after perceived copyright violation is not surprising, even if Pokémon Essentials has safely been available for over a decade, but it’s still a mighty bold move.
Pokémon Essentials is (was?) a framework for the game-making software RPG Maker XP, aiming to let fans more easily make Pokémon and Pokémon-like games. It was basically a Pokémon blank slate, containing the gameguts of everything from the pocket monsters themselves through how they level, their battles, cutscenes… all the technical bits that stopped different fangame makers from repeating each others’ groundwork over and over.
Now, The Verge report, the lawyers have stepped in to shut that down.
“The Pokémon Essentials Wiki, and all the downloads for Pokémon Essentials, have been deleted due to a copyright infringement claim by lawyers representing Nintendo of America,” current (former?) lead developer “Maruno” said, according to The Verge.
The Verge also confirmed with the Essentials wiki’s host that they shut it down after Nintendo’s suits got in touch.
Nintendo’s lawyers have previously shut down fan games and ROM hacks from Pokémon Prism to Pokémon Uranium, but going after the tools used to make some of them is a bold new step. I’m sure the tools will continue to circulate covertly (and not all downloads have been pulled yet – I found it just now by accident), much as shut-down fan games have, but that’s far less accessible. While Pokémon Essentials isn’t the only way to make your own pocket ’em up, it is one relatively easy and well-documented way.
Here’s a peek at Pokémon Uranium, which was made in RPG Maker using Pokémon Essentials (and shut down by the suits):