Dear Nintendo

Subject: Dear Nintendo
From: A mother of gamers
Date: 19 Apr 2018

Dear Nintendo,

My name is Miranda. I'm a 35 year old mother to two young boys, and we ALL love Pokemon. We discovered Pokemon Brick Bronze quite by accident; my eldest son had been going on about “Roblox” for ages, so I finally decided to check it out. I made myself an account at the same time as I made his, so I could make sure the content was safe for him and supervise his interactions online. It was during one of these supervised gaming sessions that I discovered Pokemon Brick Bronze; I was hooked from the start! An ex-gamer myself, I soon encouraged him to play. The game is quite complex and requires a lot of strategising and reading to play correctly, so we spent a lot of time playing together. By that time the addiction had spread to my youngest son as well.

Fast forward to just a couple of hours ago when my eldest suddenly discovered he could no longer find this game. When I also could no longer find it, I took to google to find out what was going on. It soon came to light that this game that we'd all spend hundreds of hours working on, lovingly developing our favourite pokemon, was gone. Thanks to YOU, Nintendo. Because, legally, you CAN stomp all over and destroy fan-made games like this, breaking the hearts of millions without batting an eyelid simply because – someone clever used your idea and made it accessible to everyone. More to the point, they made it better.

I knew there was a risk you would do this. I'd been warned by others that you'd done this kind of thing before. But I honestly believed you wouldn't, choosing to instead embrace the love your fans have shown you in the creation of this game, and work WITH the creators rather than shutting them down. Imagine my heartbreak to discover otherwise. And to think - I was planning on purchasing a Nintendo Switch for my kids this Christmas (even though they are still nearly $500 and we'd have to save for many, many months to do so), with the sole intention of getting an official Pokemon game. Now, I can't look at anything associated with Nintendo without remembering the tearful look in my sons' eyes when I had to explain why their favourite game was deleted - "Why? Because they can, son.”

Did you have a right to do this? Damn straight. The game had been up for years, and was definitely using your content – legally, you had the right to shut it down. But did you have to do it? NO! If anything, this game has created an entirely new generation of Pokemon fans and rekindled the love of many old ones! It's not like you're losing money, you're definitely not losing fans (except all the kids you crushed today). There was never any danger that this game would impact you negatively in any way. You’ve shut it down for the same reason you’ve shut down so many other popular fan-created games: because you’re big, because you’re powerful and because you can.

I know nothing will eventuate from this letter. You'll probably ignore it, along with all the other messages you'll be receiving about this game. And I will have to soldier on, swallow that impotent rage burning furiously inside me, and encourage my children to discover new games. But I had to let you know how many hearts you've broken today. How many fans you've undoubtedly lost today. And how petty (greedy) you look to all of us.

Disappointment is an understatement. Now I'm going to have to think of something else for Christmas.

Still damp from the tears of my children,