Nintendo might have a great reputation for quality games, but the inonic company has also become infamous for sending DMCA takedowns against content they don't like being shared. We’ve seen the numerous takedowns of emulator ROMs and game music from YouTube, but the company has sunk to a new low, emoving a journalistic video about a cancelled Zelda game from Retro Studios.
This has to be the most egregious DMCA we’ve seen from Nintendo, with many seeing it as the company silencing fair journalism. Also not helping is the fact that the channel in question, DidYouKnowGaming, is one of the more objective gaming commenters out there, mostly covering gaming history.
DMCA takedown notices are reserved for breaches of copyright, but Did You Know Gaming's video is a journalistic investigation. While there might be certain legalities that put the Big N in the right, more behaviour like this could blacken Nintendo’s supposedly positive image in the industry.
DidYouKnowGaming revealed that their video on the cancelled Zelda spin-off, Heroes of Hyrule, was taken down on their official Twitter account. The channel issued a statement over the injustice, saying that it’s a “slap in the face” of video game preservation.
"Nintendo has removed our Heroes of Hyrule video from YouTube. This was a journalistic video documenting a game that Retro Studios pitched to Nintendo nearly 20 years ago,” reads the statement. “This is an attempt by a large corporation to silence whatever journalism they don't like, and a slap in the face for video game history preservation. We are exploring all available options to restore the video."
Before the video was taken down, it gave fans plenty of details regarding the cancelled Heroes of Hyrule spin-off. Gameplay would have been similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, while the story would focus on three heroes attempting to save Link. Nintendo reportedly turned down the pitch before any gameplay could be developed.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Nintendo takedown videos. Prior to this, the company has been taking down channels preserving the music of older games such as Super Mario Galaxy and more. However, while upsetting, Nintendo is in the right to do that, even if it's frustrating.
DidYouKnowGaming said that they would do everything in their power to put the video back on YouTube. Retro Studios still have a good relationship with Nintendo, developing Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U and Switch, while also working on the upcoming Metroid Prime 4.