Nintendo fans have unleashed a tirade of fury at the company after the gaming giant issued a cease and desist to stop the production of Etikons.
Etika Joy-Cons, the custom Joy-Con shells otherwise known as Etikons, started as a project made to honour YouTuber Desmond Amofah, aka Etika, who took his own life in June 2019.
A few months after his death, an Indiegogo charity campaign was launched with the help of Cptn Alex who specializes in making custom controllers. Contributors received a custom-made pair of the Etika-themed Joy-Cons.
“The Etikons are a way to honor his legacy while putting a lasting product into the hands of his fans, and raising a ton of money for mental health and suicide prevention awareness,” the product description reads.
Sales of Etikons went towards raising money for the JED Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting mental health in teenagers and young adults and preventing suicide.
Although Nintendo issued a cease and desist order prohibiting sales back in September, the news has only gathered steam in recent days.
Cptn Alex revealed in a text message to YouTuber JoyConBoyz why he was asked to stop producing the Etikons, explaining “it’s because they [Nintendo] own the word JoyCon,” later elaborating that Nintendo own the copyright.
“Captain Alex informed me that he is no longer producing those Joy-Cons … the reason unfortunately why Alex is no longer allowed to produce them is because they have the word JoyCon on them and Nintendo own the copyright,” JoyConBoyz said.
The following day, Cptn Alex released an official statement to confirm the rumours.
“All this information is accurate,” he said in a Reddit post. “The cease and desist I received from Nintendo [includes] all of my products, including the Etikons.”
“The only claim Nintendo can make over this design is the word Joycon,” he added. “While they didn’t specifically tell me why each design was taken down, they did include a list of copyrights [that] my designs broke, and the word Joycon was on that list.”
The word JoyCon can be seen on the outer shell of the Etikon.
“It’s not Nintendo protecting their IP. It’s Nintendo protecting their IP from me. Someone who has been nothing but respectful of Nintendo and their IPs since the beginning,” Cptn Alex tweeted on Monday. “Everything I did, I did with the most authentic Nintendo touch. To keep their brands integrity out of respect and love for their brand.”
Enraged fans took to Twitter and Reddit to blast the company for its decision.
“Getting harder and harder to support this company won’t lie,” one fan wrote. “Virtually every other video game company loves the free advertising and competitive fans, why they’re so far behind I won’t get.”
“All Etika ever did was show love for Nintendo and this is how they treat his legacy, disgusting,” another said.
“Nintendo really solidifying themselves as one of the scummiest companies,” a former fan noted.
Others were less sympathetic. “Nintendo was in the right legally. Stop being snowflakes,” one person quipped.
“The actual issue is pretty benign and involves actual IP infringement,” said one user. “Just remove the legal trademarks. What am I missing here?” said another.
Nintendo has hit the news recently for seemingly all the wrong reasons. Furious fans heaped criticism online when the company issued a cease and desist to the Big House Online Super Smash Bros. event, which is one of the biggest annual Smash events.
The hashtags #FreeMelee and #SaveSmash circulated on social media as the online community remained incensed.
Newsweek has contacted Nintendo for comment.