Everyone that follows videogames knows that Nintendo and Pokémon Co. aren’t exactly fond of fan-made games. Both companies have gone after hobby devs countless times in order to shut down their projects, and for a number of different reasons. Now we have a bit more insight into how those cease and desists come to be.

Don McGowan is the former Chief Legal Officer for Pokémon Co., and he spent numerous years going after various fan-made games and more. Wondering what the process was for Pokémon Co. stepping in to shut these projects down? McGowan explained in an interview with Aftermath.

I would be sitting in my office minding my own business when someone from the company would send me a link to a news article, or I would stumble across it myself. I teach Entertainment Law at the University of Washington and say this to my students: the worst thing on earth is when your “fan” project gets press, because now I know about you.

But that’s not the end of the equation. You don’t send a takedown right away. You wait to see if they get funded (for a Kickstarter or similar); if they get funded then that’s when you engage. No one likes suing fans.

[Don McGowan, former Chief Legal Officer for Pokémon Co.]

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Comments (2)


1M ago

I see a lot of people responding to concerns when a video game news site covers a fan project with
"Do you really think their lawyers are sitting around reading this site?"
And now it seems we have insider info, yes, yes they are.


1M ago


It's all my fault, I guess!

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