Last week Kotaku UK reported on the fun and extremely daft Mario Royale, an unofficial browser game that pitted 75 players against each other in runthroughs of levels from the original Super Mario Bros. Somewhat inevitably, Nintendo's legal department sprang into action and the game now has a new and witty form as DMCA Royale (a reference to the USA's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the threat of which would have been used to shut this down).
The patch notes paint a rather amusing picture of how things went down.
Version 2.0.0 ALPHAJun 21 - DMCA PatchFuck.It happened. Please bear with us while we fix the game over the next few days.
Following this, Mario Royale was down for a while before the following patch note appeared, with perhaps the greatest 'lore' note in gaming history.
Version 2.0.1Jun 21 - Asset PatchAlmost all missing assets have now been recreated by seal team sixSprites/SFX/Music/Maps/ETC...Added loreMain character is named Infringio Infringio and his brother is Copyright Infringio.You can now press the A button on a gamepad to launch the gameIt was annoying to do. You are welcome.
I played Mario Royale last week and it's an amusing twist on something we all know and love so well. Naturally Nintendo needs to protect itself and fair play to it for doing so, but it's notable how prepared the creator was for this inevitability: the game had almost no downtime and the assets were replaced extremely quickly, whether with the help of Seal Team Six or otherwise (though there are still omissions, notably at the moment music). The game has obviously lost a big part of its appeal but, if you can get over the fact it's now all blue pipes and weird-looking monsters, the fundamentals are the same.
What was so intriguing about Mario Royale is that, as Heather noted, the whole 'royale' trend can sometimes feel a bit stale. But as examples like Tetris 99 and this show, there's real potential when it's applied in unexpected ways. What I'm really getting at is that Nintendo should completely nick this idea because, if executed by the Kyoto wizards with a little more care and polish, this is something I'd love to play. For now, Mario Royale is dead; long live DMCA Royale.