If you’re a Pokemon fan, chances are you know of the doomed Pokemon Uranium, a fan game that was released earlier this year. After being in development for a whopping nine years, Pokemon Uranium got a lot of attention when it was released – and not all of it positive. As expected, it was only a matter of weeks before the game was taken down by Nintendo, which was looking to protect its intellectual property.
Of course, we all knew it was going to happen. Everyone who pays attention to high-profile fan games knows they’re pretty much living on borrowed time from the second they’re announced. Nintendo’s lawyers are tasked with protecting the company’s trademarks, and that means issuing takedown notices to fan games, even if the creators aren’t charging any money for them.
It’ll likely be this way until trademark, IP, and copyright laws change (if they ever do). What does Pokemon producer Junichi Masuda think of these fan games, though? Free from the legal necessity to pursue the take down of these games, he may have a different outlook on their existence.
In a new interview, Kotaku asks just that. Masuda says that Pokemon fans across the internet frequently send him fan creations, whether that’s fan art or fan-made games. Though he didn’t give specifics on how he feels about something like Pokemon Uranium, Masuda did say that the developers at Game Freak share the feeling of being passionate about a project.
Interestingly enough, he also encouraged the creators of those fan games to apply to work at Game Freak. “In general terms, as creators we both have fun creating things, and at Game Freak we are always looking for skilled individuals, so please apply!” Masuda said. While Nintendo’s lawyers may not like the game, the Pokemon producer has a point in that something like Uranium would look really good on an application to Game Freak.
It’s not really surprising to hear Masuda say something like this. As the producer of one of Nintendo’s most beloved series, he probably knows that this is all just part of a franchise having millions of fans around the world. Though he may not be able to express outright admiration for projects like Pokemon Uranium, it seems almost certain he’d be impressed by the amount of work that went into it.
Perhaps the developers who spent nine years making their vision for Uranium a reality should apply to work at Game Freak? Though having their fan game taken down by Nintendo probably stings, getting the chance to work on the real deal would serve as a decent consolation prize.