Garry's Mod takedown might be Nintendo's strangest one yet

Garry's Mod takedown might be Nintendo's strangest one yet
Image via Valve | Twitter - ckosmic | Illumination Entertainment

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Published 

25th Apr 2024 15:35

We've known for some time that Nintendo isn't the biggest fan of players using its properties for their own gain. Fair enough. After all, Nintendo has spent decades on the market, proving to itself and everyone else that the brands under its banner are practically untouchable in terms of quality.

Mario has stood as the face of video games for decades, and as he conquers the platformer with Super Mario Odyssey and the Legend of Zelda series peaks with Breath of the Wild and its sequel, it's hard to imagine another company having such a vice grip on the industry. 

These brands are very particular, and it makes sense that those who created them wouldn't be so happy to see them defiled. The only problem is that the definition of "defiled" has opened up drastically in the legal offices of Nintendo more than at any other games company.

As Nintendo takes aim at yet another company, players are more concerned than ever that the gaming giant intends to rule with an iron fist.

Nintendo is coming after a PC classic

GMan rides a bath propelled by balloons in the original key art for Garry's Mod.
Click to enlarge
Image via Valve

In a pretty shocking turn, Nintendo has issued a remarkable new takedown notice to Garry's Mod, Steam's sandbox title that has stood as the basis for a number of chatrooms and custom games. Nintendo is insisting that Garry's Mod strip all of its fan-made Nintendo-themed content.

There is an awful lot of Nintendo-themed content in the game, from Mario skins to entire death run maps, so it's easy to see why Nintendo wouldn't be happy. This comes alongside its attitude to fair use being as strict as taking down YouTube videos of soundtracks that have never been officially released, or shutting down Smash Bros tournaments.

Mario and Zelda are pretty family-friendly properties, so to see them wander around maps that feature punji pits with a shotgun in their hands is (to be fair) in direct contrast to Nintendo's aims and hopes for the characters.

Still, this is where our sympathy ends. Not only has Nintendo asked Garry's Mod to do something abominably difficult to appease its hopes for its properties, its' also much, much too late.

Nintendo has come for Garry’s Mod 18 years too late

Even though Nintendo has no intention of allowing Garry's Mod to use its models, the frustrating thing about this is that it isn't. Each of the skins and items that Nintendo has taken issue with is led by its community, making it deeply unfair to crack down on its development team for the excitement of its players.

Mario is synonymous with gaming, so surely, as a game that brings together the inspired products of gamers, his appearance will be a given, takedown notice or not? Plus, if Nintendo is hoping to fan the flames of players seeing Tom Nook with an axe, it's much too late.

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Garry's Mod has been active for over 18 years, and as its online flourishing came in the 2010s on YouTube thanks to fans playing death runs and car vs rocket launcher games, the boat has truly been missed. Not only is this a difficult and exhausting process for the Garry's Mod team, but it's a needless one. A huge sum of the game's fanbase has already gone. 

This is another feather in the cap of Nintendo's dramatically anti-fun approach to fan reactions to its properties. Garry's Mod does no real harm, and even if it did, its legacy for doing so would've been long over by now.

Nintendo's copystrike trigger finger is perhaps one of the worst things about the company that once inspired genuine imagination from fans. We now have to be worried about sharing that same imagination for fear of being crushed by the strike-hammer. This legal threat is nothing new and, equally, a new low.

Joseph Kime
About the author
Joseph Kime
Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.
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