Kaze Emanuar made headlines with his inventive mod allowing Mario 64 to be played with up to 24 players simultaneously! Just 21, Emanuar is now facing the unsurprising Nintendo DMCA strikes against his Patreon and video content featuring Mario 64.
Nintendo sent out the copyright strikes to various videos and accounts covering the online mod. Emanuar’s Patreon account has been removed and it’s now much more difficult to get a copy of Super Mario 64 Online.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier spoke with Emanuar via email.
“They took down my videos for containing their ‘audiovisual content,’ meaning Mario 64 gameplay and Mario 64 music. They even took down videos without Mario 64 music too though. The exact same goes for my Patreon. They didn’t personally message me, I’ve only received a ton of emails that things had been removed from YouTube/Patreon [Tuesday] morning. They seem to have targeted the ‘Super Mario 64 Online’ videos especially, as every single one of them has disappeared from my channel.”
Speaking to poisonous-drink manufacturer Redbull.com, Emanuar spoke of the creative process.
“It just seemed natural. I started off adding a two player mode, but then noticed I could easily turn it into eight player – then I thought ‘Oh, but they need different skins.’ Then I added different skins and realized ‘Hey, they are different Mario characters, so they should have their own special behaviours’ and it went from there.”
Emanuar has worked on reverse-engineering Mario 64 for years, allowing impressively smooth integration of 24 online players, including different characters like Wario and Yoshi, each with their own unique abilities.
Nintendo’s actions should’t come as a surprise. They’ve consistently targeted remakes of their franchises and obviously any Patreon generating money off of their property will be confronted swiftly.
It’s easy to see Nintendo’s point of view. They own Mario 64 and sell versions on many of their consoles. They expect gamers to pay to play and will stop attempts to release free versions.
The argument against Nintendo is of fair-use and also free advertising for their IP that could potentially promote more sales of the original. However, it’s not up to anyone but Nintendo what they do with their #1 mascot. My advice to Emanuar and other modders is to take the knowledge gained and apply it to your own legally different clone (a lá Stardew Valley). I’d think the prospect of your own art making big money is better than dealing with Nintendo’s legal team.