Pokémon Company Shuts Down Popular Minecraft Mod: Pixelmon

#1
So if anyone on Gaf is part of the Minecraft Modding Community, Pixelmon was an extremely popular Mod that brought the world of Pokémon into Minecraft. The Mod itself had been supported for over 5 years and over 560 Pokémon were brought into Minecraft. However, recently the Pokémon Company has asked the mod's developers to shut the the mod down and end support.
Here is the message on their fan page....
It's Been a Gréat Ride

With much sadness, but keeping all our fond memories, we must announce that Pixelmon is ending its development. We have had a great time making this mod and creating such a wonderful community but after a request from the Pokémon company we will be shutting our doors. I'm sorry for the disappointment this will cause but let's remember all the great times we had playing Pixelmon, discussing Pokémon, making awesome things inside this mod and everything else that we've done.

All good things come to an end eventually and now is our time. However there are always more things to do, to be a part of and to enjoy. Keep going out there to find fun projects to be a part of and other great things to invest your time and enthusiasm into.

Farewell,
The Pixelmon Team
Source
http://pixelmonmod.com/

Kill me with bidoof if old
 
#18
Do they take donations or anything like that? Because if it is completely non-profit, I'm pretty sure TPC can't legally force them to shut down and have no leverage
Even if they don't legally have leverage, it wouldn't matter, they either shut down or TPC will force them to under nigh infinite legal fees that are water off a ducks back to them, but horribly crippling to a small team of mod makers.

That said, there does appear to have been a donate page, http://pixelmonmod.com/donate.php, at least at some point.
 
#22
If that's the case, then this was completely justified.
No, it wasn't justified at all. You can absolutely take donations and be in the legal clear. Nobody tries to challenge in court because nobodies wants to fight that for several years against a massive team of lawyers. TPC and Nintendo continuously abuse this fact.
 
#23
Do they take donations or anything like that? Because if it is completely non-profit, I'm pretty sure TPC can't legally force them to shut down and have no leverage
Sometimes it doesn't really matter if something is legal or not. If it costs a shit-ton to litigate and fight against it, that's usually enough to make the smaller guys back down.
 
#28
Add me to the list of being surprised that TPC let it exist for as long as it did. That mod is super detailed in it's recreation of the Pokemon gameplay.
 
#33
These guys ran a Kickstarter for their mobile version or something, right?

And I believe they were at least initially planning on selling it, but changed course.
 
#34
Wait, can they even do that? It's a non-profit mod of an existing game. I thought that was fair game.
Money doesn't have to be involved when it comes to protecting IP and trademarks. I am sure TPC takes a similar stance as Nintendo. If the project is in effect commercial, in that in impacts or could impact a commercial product then they will shut it down. AM2R was free and they shut it down.

To them being a commercial product doesn't mean they are charging for it but it means the project is presented and done in such a manner that it could have a negative impct on the companies involved and their ability to control the ip.

So it is totally reasonable legally, even if we think it silly. If nothing else it demonstrates a total miss and lack of foresight from TPC, Nintendo, Microsoft/Mojang and the porting company. I am willing to bet folks would pay quite a bit for this mod/skin pack

Again to be clear there doesn't have to be money involved when it comes to protecting your IP/TM/Copyright as a company they are obligated to show they have an interest in maintaining control.
 
#35
When I google "Pixelmon Kickstarter" the first link is this page. So it looks like they hit legal trouble years ago as well?

Oh, wait, I think I'm reading it wrong and the Pixelmon people are the ones who filed the complaint against someone who was ripping them off.
 
#37
No, it wasn't justified at all. You can absolutely take donations and be in the legal clear. Nobody tries to challenge in court because nobodies wants to fight that for several years against a massive team of lawyers. TPC and Nintendo continuously abuse this fact.
Oh, OK. I was under the assumption if you profit in anyway it's not legal. I remember this interesting Pokemon fan game way back being taken down because they were taking donations. And this was before Nintendo went all C&D on anything popular that was related to their franchises.

Edit: Found the game, its was called Pokemon Evoas, and the guy was actually adding in his own new mechanics to the game and it looked pretty cool. I think I remember him accepting donations, but it was a while ago and I could be completely wrong. https://www.reddit.com/r/pokemon/comments/227blb/games_the_fangame_pokemon_evoas_has_been_shut/
 
#40
If you use someone else's IP, especially the IP of a company who is extremely protective about their IP, expect to be shut down. Why do people have a hard time understanding this?
 
#41
Not a good look. This was a pretty great project.

It's different from AM2R. What's the equivalent of this that TPC has right now?
I'm not sure if this is what you're asking, but I don't think "Well, the pokemon company hasn't made a minecraft clone or official mods for another competing product therefore this should be 100% fine" is an argument that holds up under much scrutiny. And yes, minecraft certainly is competing with mainline pokemon games for the time of kids, even if they're in different genres.

Again to be clear there doesn't have to be money involved when it comes to protecting your IP/TM/Copyright as a company they are obligated to show they have an interest in maintaining control.
And again, to be clear, remember that time SEGA lost the rights to sonic the hedgehog last year?


( From this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lt5i4XEqKrI)
They do not have to take fangames/mods down. They're probably in their rights to, but that's different to having to.
 
#42
Again to be clear there doesn't have to be money involved when it comes to protecting your IP/TM/Copyright as a company they are obligated to show they have an interest in maintaining control.
This is false. No, they are not obligated to take down fan mods or fan hacks.
We're just talking about video games on a forum here, so don't break your backs doing research, but I would love to know which one of you is correct with sources.
 
#43
We're just talking about video games on a forum here, so don't break your backs doing research, but I would love to know which one of you is correct with sources.
The whole "maintaining control" thing is memetic and patently false. It seemns to stem from a misunderstanding of genericide law, something an entertainment or art product has never succumbed to.
 
#44
We're just talking about video games on a forum here, so don't break your backs doing research, but I would love to know which one of you is correct with sources.
If he was correct Valve and SEGA would have lost Half-Life and Sonic franchises ages ago. There is zero obligation on shutting down any fangames or fan mods or whatever. This has literally never been a obligation in the entire history of IP law.
The only thing you're obligated to shut down to actually protect your trademark (not the IP) is actual paid commercial products using your brand.
 
#50
Nintendo/TPC isn't obligated to shut these things down but they're absolutely in their rights to do so. It's very unlikely a U.S. Court would rule this mod to be a "fair use" of nintendo's copyrights. And the USA has some of the most generous fair use provisions in the world, other countries have far stricter laws.