The story of Mario Royale, the free browser-based version of Super Mario Bros. that pitted you against 74 other players, continues. After hearing from Nintendo last week, creator InfernoPlus was forced to change the name of the game and replace all the assets to avoid copyright infringement. That wasn’t enough though, and now he’s been forced to pull the game altogether.
Heading to InfernoPlus’ site, where he’d been hosting the renamed DMCA Royale (starring the one and only ‘Infringio’), now only results in a message explaining that the game is no more.
“Sorry, your battle royale is in another castle,” it reads. “Unfortunately, Uncle Nintindie’s [sic] lawyers have informed me that, despite my best efforts, the game still infringes their copyright. They refused to give specifics (I asked multiple times) but it would seem that either the level design or general mechanics are still too close to the original game.”
InfernoPlus said leaving the game up would likely have exposed him to legal action, and that he’ll be discussing the whole fiasco on his YouTube channel at some point in the future.
But the story doesn’t end there. As Dark Side of Gaming reports, fans have resurrected Mario Royale (with the original Super Mario Bros. assets) in open source form, which you can find here. This version only supports up to 15 players, and as of this writing I haven’t been able to find a full match.
1 like = 1 prayer for Infringio
He was too copyrighted for this world~ pic.twitter.com/apHd573pUv
— 🔥➕ (@Inferbro) June 25, 2019
The splash screen describes the game as a “not-for-profit historical backup” of Mario Royale. That language – as well as the fact that it’s open source – may provide enough of a legal fig leaf to avoid the ire of Nintendo’s attorneys.
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But it seems likely that now that the project is on Nintendo’s radar, this version will eventually be ordered to cease and desist as well. Still, InfernoPlus’ strange experiment wound up being valuable on a couple fronts: First, it pioneered the 2D platformer as a space for battle royale; and second, it confirmed scientifically that Nintendo is still fiercely protective of its brands.