Nintendo on inappropriate use of its IP and games: “Actions must be taken”

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During Nintendo’s 84th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, company president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked how Nintendo handles “instances on social media involving inappropriate use of Nintendo intellectual property and games” when “the conduct risks damaging the value” of the brand.

While Furukawa would not comment on “individual cases”, he did mention how “appropriate measures must be taken against any behavior that undermines the Japanese company’s policy of “bringing smiles through entertainment”. It will also “continue to make every effort to ensure” that its “consumers do not feel uncomfortable” when coming into contact with Nintendo’s IP “not only” in its games, but also “everywhere” where “they come into contact with it”.

Shuntaro Furukawa: “Our company strives to achieve our management policy of “bringing smiles through entertainment” by proposing unique games that everyone can intuitively enjoy. I will not comment on individual cases, but we believe that appropriate measures should be taken against any behavior that undermines this policy.

“Our goal is to create an environment where everyone can enjoy playing games. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that our consumers feel comfortable, not only in our games, but also anywhere they come into contact with our IP.”

While no specific instances were cited, as Eurogamer notes, there was a time in 2018 when a fan creation named Bowsette (a mashup of Peach and Bowser) went viral on social media and elsewhere online. Nintendo’s official response at the time was “no comment,” and the craze for the fan-made character eventually died down.

In addition to social media, Nintendo has cracked down on fan projects deemed inappropriate and potentially damaging to its brand equity. In September 2020, it took aim at a mischievous fan game starring Princess Peach. It recently filed a DMCA against a Rhythm Heaven remix project, and this week it continued its crackdown on Switch piracy by filing two new lawsuits.

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