Fans of Nintendo have a few bones to pick with the popular gaming company. After the company shut down one of the biggest Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online tournaments with a cease and desist, it has now come after a designer for supposed copyright infringement.
Content creator CptnAlex created new Joy-Con shells for the Nintendo Switch controllers in tribute to the late Etika. A portion of the proceeds from each shell was donated to charity.
But more than a year after the original Indiegogo campaign was launched, the company banned the sale of these Joy-Con shells based on the fact the design included the term "Joy-Con" on it.
Now, many Nintendo fans are upset with the company for how it handled the situation, and CptnAlex is trying to find a way to get the Joy-Con shells back out there.
Nintendo sent CptnAlex a cease and desist over a few of his designs.
CptnAlex, a die-hard Nintendo fan, also creates custom Joy-Con and controller designs, which he sells on Etsy.
In August 2019, two months after Etika, a YouTuber and fellow fan of Nintendo and its games, committed suicide, CptnAlex created an Indiegogo campaign to fund the creation of custom Etika controllers to honor the late creator.
The design features black and white Joy-Con shells, with the term "JOYCON BOYZ" on it — in reference to the name of Etika's fanbase.
"As a backer for this campaign, you'll be able to honor Etika with a pair of joy-cons for your Nintendo Switch, while also providing money for a really great cause," the campaign's description read.
A portion of the sales for every Joy-Con shell made would be donated directly to the JED Foundation, which is a non-profit focused on preventing suicide in teenagers and young adults. The campaign's goal was met in a short amount of time, and CptnAlex donated almost $11,000 from the original backers.
But CptnAlex was recently hit with a cease and desist from Nintendo, demanding he stop selling the Etika Joy-Cons and many of his other custom controllers, claiming copyright infringement.
In a thread on Twitter, CptnAlex explained the situation, outlining that one of his biggest frustrations with Nintendo at the moment was the company's lack of willingness to allow licensing for small businesses, like his.
"Is Nintendo justified in shutting down some of my designs? Absolutely. I’m not claiming they’re not. It’s their IP and they’re protecting it. So why are they only protecting it from ~ME~?" he wrote, including an example of a larger company using Nintendo's intellectual property without proper licensing. "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."
Will there be new Etika Joy-Cons available?
In another Tweet, CptnAlex said that while he was not legally allowed to send out the Joy-Cons with the outlined copyright violations, he was open to making a new design that complied with the cease and desist to release instead.
"Get #FreeCptnAlex trending and I’ll launch a new Indiegogo campaign for revised Etika Joycons (aka Etikons) TOMORROW," he tweeted. "All references to Joycons and the switch logo will be removed from the design. Will be replaced with 'We Dem Boyz' or 'FRFX.' Profits still donated to charity."
If you're looking to support the foundation, keep an eye on CptnAlex's social media accounts for more updates.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.